(A quick recap: this is my second season belonging to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture---basically I pay a farm upfront for a share of their season's harvest). Every week from now until October, I'll drive to my farm's pick-up spot and get my share of whatever is in season. When I remember, I'll take a photo of the week's bounty, tell you what I got and what I did with it. Hope you enjoy this ongoing project).
We've had a great start to this season, although from what I hear, this year started particularly robust. I remember last year started a little slower---we had plenty of vegetables at pickup but it wasn't the overflowing bounty that hit us at Week One this year. The rain, temperatures, soil and even pest control all came together in a way that was very good for us share members.
This concept of 'feast or famine' is something I never thought much about when I did all my shopping at the supermarket. There is always enough lettuce on the refrigerated shelves, even in January (except for when an E. coli scare removes spinach or tomatoes from the store).
This hit me today when I stopped at our local Farmer's Market to buy a pint of strawberries (yes, I actually wanted some more strawberries after last week's pick). Surprisingly, there was not a strawberry anywhere. Puzzled, I asked the farmer where her strawberries were. She told me that they lost the entire crop this year. "Hail" was her one-word explanation. My oldest stood quietly next to me and then said, "Like Little House on the Prairie", reminding me of when hail destroyed their beautiful wheat crops. One storm did them in, and one storm ruined one farmer's strawberry season. It's a stark example of how hard farming can be and how much we take for granted when we stand before those racks of berries on the store shelves.
Getting back to the issue at hand, we had another huge pickup. (we are having some major computer issues here at the Casa di Odd, so if you see a photo below, hooray! If there is no photo, there will be one uploaded as soon as possible).
Pictured are (clockwise from top left): Garlic Scapes, 3 Heads of Lettuce, 2 European Cabbages, Beets, Collard Greens, Zucchini, Snap Peas, Bok Choy, Chinese Cabbage
So far this week, there has been Homemade Coleslaw, Napa Cabbage Salad, Salmon Bulgogi and Garlic Stir-Fried Snap Peas. There has also been a Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake that the kids love, even with the teeny bits of green that peak out from the inside of the cake. "It's magic fairy dust", I told them, lying through my teeth.
Here are any recipes that didn't have a link:
Creamy Coleslaw (Everyday Food, Issue 44)
1/2 cup light mayo
2 TBS cider vinegar
2 tsp sugar
coarse salt & ground pepper
1/2 head green cabbage, cut lengthwise into thirds and thinly sliced crosswise
2 medium carrots, sliced with a vegetable peeler, then cut into shorter strips
2 medium scallions, minced (I left these out)
Combine mayo, vinegar and sugar, then season with salt & pepper. Add cabbage, carrots and scallions (if using). Let stand 15 minutes before serving, or cover and refrigerate up to one day.
Garlic Stir-Fried Snap Peas (From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook)
3 cups sugar snap peas
1 TBS oil (any mild one)
2 large garlic cloves, minced (I used some of the scapes I had)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
cooked rice (optional)
Heat oil in skillet. Stir in garlic, then add peas. Cook and stir for 2-4 minutes on medium heat. Remove and sprinkle on lemon juice, salt & pepper. Serve over rice if desired.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake (From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook)
3/4 cup oil (I used Canola)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk (I used 1/2 soy milk with 1 TBS white vinegar)
3 TBS cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp each cinnamon and cloves (ground)
2 1/2 cups flour
small bag of chocolate chips
Heat over to 350. Grease a 9x13" pan. Mix all ingredients, dump in pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes.
I need to dig up some good Collard Greens recipes asap. Have any you'd like to share?