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The CSA Box, Week Seven. Get It Before It Wilts

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Boy, it’s hot. Getting that CSA box early is a smart thing. The Lancaster Farm Fresh refrigerated truck was there when we arrived a few minutes before 1 PM. Lots of people arriving right after we did. Don’t want those veggies to wilt, do we?

The haul. It keeps getting harder to take the picture. I am glad I have lots of counter space to clean and prep it all. It takes about 20 minutes to process all of it.

I did one swap. Dandelion greens to get another bag of pickling cukes. The list.

The analysis. Based on organic pricing. Green Kale $3. Yellow Chard $3. Pickling cukes, eleven of them at 2/$1 is $5.50. Heirloom carrots (priceless πŸ˜‰ ) where else do you find this sort of carrot — $3. Onions $3. Fennel $3.50. Zucchini $3. Two slicing cukes $2. A pound of rhubarb $3. Large green cabbage $3. Total is $32. $3.25 more than the weekly cost of the CSA. Running cumulative total is $51.90, with eighteen weeks to go and so much goodness coming into the house.

As for all these cukes, I am busy doing easy refrigerator and crock dill pickles. Check out the crock at the moment after I added new cukes to the mix. This is what my mom and my husband’s mom always did. Keep a crock of pickles “dilling” in a cool place in the kitchen.

You can see differences in the older pickles and the new brighter green ones, as well as some of those white cucumbers from last week’s CSA. I bought a food grade white bucket, sterilized it in the dishwasher and for these, used a prepared dilling mix that my husband wanted me to try. He thought my original pickling spice mix wasn’t like his mom’s, so we tried this one. It is OK, but I will be experimenting with fresh spices I grind myself to change it a bit. This is Mrs. Wages, bought at Butler’s Orchard in their canning section.

I just use a 2:1 water/vinegar mix and use the appropriate amount of spice, boil it quickly, cool it and cover the cucumbers. Put a plate on top and a clean dish towel and leave it alone in a corner. There is also a bowl full of sauerkraut fermenting next to it from the cabbage two weeks ago. It is coming along nicely and I will probably grill kielbasa and serve it over some sauerkraut next week. Another staple from my mom’s and my grandmom’s German influenced kitchens.

The sauerkraut is really easy. Cut up cabbage. Pack it into container layering it with salt and caraway. Get enough water in it to cover it. Add salted water if needed. Put a plate on it. Weight it down. Let it ferment its little self silly.

OK, all this talk of food has made me hungry. Time to go up and find my crock pot soup made with greens and bacon, using up all of last week’s leftover CSA greens. Veggie stock from the freezer. Greens, beans, bacon and onions. Herbs, salt and pepper. Two or three dinners. We may look like we are drowning in veggies but we do make a huge dent in them every week. Check out our What’s In The Box linkytools party to see how dozens of us are using our CSA deliveries. Bon Appetit!


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

3 responses »

  1. Thanks for linking up! You always have such an amazing bounty πŸ™‚ That kale looks pretty amazing. So does the fennel. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it all! Happy eating πŸ™‚

  2. Excellent haul! I’ve been thinking of buying a crock for pickling, since it looks like cucumbers are the only things I’m going to get out of my short-lived garden this summer.

    • We are looking for a good ceramic crock. My late MIL had two crocks, both were damaged so we couldn’t use them for anything but planting flowers.

      I will find one, but for now I am using HDPE 2 plastic, a one gallon size. For the kraut, I am using an old Tupperware salad bowl. Thankfully, it is a perfect fit for an old glass plate to completely cover it with just enough space for the bubbles to escape.


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