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Eating Seasonally

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It’s the dead of winter. Headed off this afternoon to pick up my farm share at my friend’s house, delivered by Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative. While snow flurries fluttered down on me.

There are just a dozen of us participating in the winter 15 week CSA. Those winter vegetables aren’t fan favorites. Root vegetables mainly. Still, eating seasonally is something I committed to do eight years ago.

Many people would turn up their noses at meals featuring basic root vegetables but I consider it a challenge to make creative dishes from them. I also like having fresh vegetables just harvested. Our CSA does a great job of mixing things up even when there isn’t a huge selection available.

Here’s our first week’s basket. And what I did with it. With winter vegetables you may have them hanging around a while. Mine are stored mostly in cloth bags hanging in my garage or mud room. I can keep potatoes, turnips, onions, etc. for weeks as long as it is cool and dark.

Carrots are always in the basket. There were one dozen red onions there. Little baby popcorn. Mixed winter radishes. Japanese sweet potatoes. Red beets.

A treat – mizuna. An Asian green reminding me of mustard greens.

Another special item. Scallions. It seems they are thinning them out as these were quite thin and delicate.

I “omnivored” my basket this winter, which added a cheese, a meat and a pantry item every week. The SOOM tahini is the best I have ever tasted. There was gouda. And a bone in chicken breast.

I made Ina Garten’s herb roasted onions and added a few radishes to the sheet pan. I like her mustard based vinaigrette used in the recipe.

Once I discovered roasted radishes, it is the way I use them most of the time. Mixing the onions and radishes resulted in a great side dish for the chicken.

I put the chicken on top of the mizuna and baked it. Dusted with my homemade chicken dry rub. Mizuna was tossed with vinegar, oil and cayenne before putting it in the pan.

Carrots and scallions are staples in my fridge. Those little orange carrots were split and roasted. Bigger carrots are sliced and boiled. Served with a butter sauce, or maybe a honey glaze. Carrots and onions also appear in soups and stews.

I roasted the beets, peeled them and pickled them. As for the sweet potatoes, they are still in the mud room waiting for me to bake them and make hummus with that awesome tahini. Take your basic hummus recipe, add puréed potato and sriracha.

Here it is now, week three of the CSA and there are a couple of items left from previous weeks. Mostly potatoes and onions.

We have been getting mushrooms so I made beef mushroom soup today. Snowy weather always has me craving a warm bowl of soup. I had a soup bone from my meat farm share left which was just enough to make a quart of soup. Flavorful shiitake and cremini mushrooms. Spinach. Onion. Herbs. Simmered stove top for four hours. No wonder my electric bill is awful. All that roasting and cooking this month.

I can’t wait for the first greens to show up but right now I have to dig around for some inspiration using purple top turnips and rutabaga. Sounds like another sheet pan dinner this week.

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.

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