Tuesday, July 8, 2008

CSA Post Week 4

CSA Week 4 Haul. July, 2008. photo Jenonymous.
CSA Week 4 Haul. July, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.

More Good Stuff with Recipes

Hey all. Jen here. I'm exhausted, I'm getting up extra-early to catch up at work tomorrow, and I can uniformly say that the Monday after a 4-day weekend most definitely sucks a blue whale's nether regions. On top of that, the employment situation is precarious, and the CVS on my block had to order one of my usual scrips, which means I have to remember to pick it up on Friday (after I went to my Doc in the Box and spent an hour hanging around CVS looking at shampoo). Meh. I just had dins, and I'm drinking a Syrah that's so unapologetically cheap that they call it "stained tooth syrah."

Having said that, I'll get straight to the good stuff.

Tomorrow, I am slated to pick up:

Veggie Share:

snow peas
tat soi <-- wtf is this and what do I do with it anyway? Herb Share:

winter savory <-- not sure what to do with this lemon thyme <-- this also. I've never cooked much with either herb. Fish stuffing with the fennel?

Fruit Share:

TBD, possibly raspberries <-- was hoping for more cherries but whatever Last Tuesday, I picked up, as per the picture:

  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Beets (heirloom golden--orange on the outside, gold on the inside)
  • Snap Peas
  • Sorrel (yet more)
  • Mizune
  • Oakleaf Lettuce
Now, I still had spillover from the week before, so I put the last of the prior week's strawberries in a Ziploc with sugar and froze it. Alas, this is the last of the strawberries for the season; heavy rains and chilly nights upstate spoilt the crop early, according to the supplier.

Before I get into that, as this thread is partially health-related, let me say this. On the upside, I've gone down almost a size just by letting, as the nutritionists say, "letting the good food push the bad stuff off the plate." I used to eat out at least 2 days a week; now it's once in 10 days or so. Downside: You know that Crystal Gayle song "Don't it Make my Brown Eyes Blue?" Well, my Big Brown Eye is...sore. Not used to so much roughage. Really. I think that part of it is that no matter what, some organic stuff is just plain old less clean and needs more washing. When I can taste the soil on washed veggies, I know that at least part of that is cow shit. There have been days where I was sure I had mild food poisoning, but I'm actually OK with that--in a few more weeks I'll have a degree of resistance.

Now that I've grossed you out, let me get to the recipes:

My first priority was to use up the stuff from the prior week, so a star of the show was a frittata.

To refresh, last week I picked up:
  • 4 local Honeycrisp apples (and they really are crisp and smell like honey)
  • Snow Peas 2 helpings of Strawberries (a quart for the fruit share and a pint for the veg share)
  • Two big bunches of lavender, each one slightly thinner than my wrist (one for the veg share and one for the herb share)
  • Romaine Lettuce Sorrel (part of herb share)
  • Purple Swiss Chard
  • A dozen super humane organic free-range no-cage eggs from chickens that were fed from hand-made feed, who also went to Harvard and got massages
  • Honey, from bees that live in a condo and can program Cobol apparently
  • Liver from an Angus grassfed cow (came frozen along with the mutton)
  • 3 lbs. (!!!) of very very lean organic happy mutton (the order page said it came in packs between .75 and 1.5 lbs and I ordered two packs with the stipulation that they be bigger rather than smaller so that's what I got)
  • A raw sheep's milk cheese not unlike Baby Swiss or Ementhaller
  • A raw cow's milk cheese like a soft cheese/almost like cheddar or Monterey Jack
I already talked about Minstrel Boy's amazing Navajo Bowl of Green.

But, I had to use up the rest of that week's good stuff, so for dinner that night, I made a fritatta. I sautee'd down (in a mix of olive oil and that herb butter from Week 1) the rest of the snow peas, the rest of the sorrel, the last Jerusalem Artichoke from the first week, sliced thin (yeah, it really hung in there), and the rest of the radishes, sliced thin. Once they cooked down, I dumped in 2 of my Special Eggs whisked with some milk and poured it in. Salt and pepper were the only other seasonings needed.

The next day, I got into the beets and made a bowl salad--one grated beet, strawberries, snap peas, sorrel, beet tops (which were lovely and fresh), and mizune dressed with a dressing made of lavender vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and a dab of that organic honey. Croutons were a piece of whole-wheat pita torn up.

My lunch on the 4th of July was a nod to the muggy weather and an ice cream craving. I call it a "Berry Cherry Smoothie." In a blender combine:
  • large handful of pitted ripe cherries
  • large handful of hulled strawberries
  • sugar to taste
  • milk to cover fruit
  • fistfull of ice and one more splash of sugar and milk
Blend. Summer in a glass. This is how you remember ice cream tasting.

For dinner that night, after the fireworks, I had a very bad Chinese food craving but was too cheap/lazy to order in (also, Dragon Gate, the one decent place near me, closed). So, I did a riff on Vietnamese hot noodles/cold greens:

In a small cup, combine about a tablespoon of fish sauce and a teaspoon or so of heavy sesame oil (smoky oil). Cook a pack of ramen noodles and if you really have PMS and/or an MSG craving, mix in the dubious flavor packet once you drain the noodles. Set aside. In a bowl, tear up greens--I used mizune and lettuce. Poach or coddle 2 eggs to semi-done-ness. Dress greens with fish sauce and oil (you can add garlic and scallions but I didn't). Dump noodles on greens. Tip eggs on noodles. Eat and feel every salt/fat/MSG receptor in your brain ringing. If you are motivated snip in scallions if you have them.

I also cooked up the liver. For that, I consulted an all-American post-WW2 (1948) cookbook. I present to you: French Fried Liver.

Take good breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper (and whatever else you want) and set aside. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl and set aside (I used my Special Eggs). Heat at least 1/2" of oil in a pan--I used olive oil with peanut oil to temper the oil from smoking. Cut liver into bits about 1/2" thick and an inch square, roughly. Dip in egg and then crumbs. Fry, and turn, until done. Put on paper towls to drain.

That night, I had those liver bits on a mixed salad of lettuce, mizune, whole wheat home-made croutons (courtesy of my broiler), toasted cashew nuts, and home-made garlic vinagrette made with some of my herb vinegar from week 1 (I have about one more salad's worth left).

Tonight I had a liver sandwich with small-batch locally-made ketchup, with lettuce and mizune on the side. Tomorrow, I will fry the rest of last week's greens and snap peas and bring my co-worker his share of the Navajo Green. If he's really nice I may bring him tortillas. :)

I also put away the rest of the lavender and made more lavender vodka.

Off to bed. Happy eating and GOOD HEALTH. ---Jen