Wednesday, October 1, 2008

CSA Week 13

CSA Week 13 Haul. September, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.
CSA Week 13 Haul. September, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.

The No Ladybits, No Politics, All Food and Other Random Fun Crap Edition

Okay, folks, let me first say L'Shanah Tovah to one and all—happy 5769 to EVERYONE EVERYWHERE. This new year has already had a rocky start what with work and general agita, but I allegedly have 9 more days to get my shit straight as far as getting written in the Book of Life for a sweet New Year.

At least I broke it in correctly with some new schwag. Traditionally, one wears new clothing of some sort and has "first fruits" of the season with family. As I am not a clothes horse, and more of a geekgrrrl, I wore a new T-shirt and took some family pix with my schweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet neeeeeeeeeeew deeeeeeeeeeeegeeeeeeeeeeetaaaaaaaaaal caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamera. You won't be seeing pix from that for another few weeks (week 17 to be exact) but hopefully you will be rewarded with much more clear, sharp pix. The visual chippie-bit-thingie in the old camera died, leading to streaky purple pix and total blackouts. Yes, I tried taking pix, new battery, swapping out memory cards, etc. I had a good five years with that camera and given that my new, twice-as-powerful camera was less than half the cost of the old one originally. My one gripe is that not one single component except for the cable from my old camera fits the new one—as in totally new battery size, different memory card size, the whole nine. Even my bloody case is loose on the new jobbie, but I'm using it anyway because it has better padding than the new case that I got for $5 more as part of an accessory package. I figured I may as well get a fresh case, a lanyard, a neck strap, a new spare battery, and other crap for only $5 more than the cost of a new battery alone. That's another thing—I'm kind of pissed/grateful that the cost of memory has gone down, but aggravated that I now have zero use for the two cards from the OLD dead not-worth-repairing camera.

Oh yeah and I gave my Mom some of the tomato jam that I made and my bro got some pesto and I bought Medjool dates and decent Greek red wine also.

Having said that, let me also apologize for not keeping up with my posts on a more regular basis. As per my last post, life has been coming at me fast, and we are starting to get the thin edge of the wedge RE year-end crush at my day job. I also MUST take time off before year's end (paradoxically) or lose them. So it's a catch-22. I'm using up some days for the Jewish holidays and will probably take a crapload of time off between Xmas and New Year's but I still may not be able to roll all my days into next year (which will be a total fucking moot point if I lose my job but I'm mentally not going there right now). Right now, I am making up from my "forced take-offs" by working until 9ish on the days that I AM in.

Oh yeah, one last thing and I'll say it now and get it out of the way. I am BOYCOTTING the debates. I see post after post on and the NY Times site—people saying that they are subscribing to cable TV just so they can watch the debates. Fuck that; I'd sell my blood by the pint in order to keep my cable until November 5th—so that I can watch Gordon Ramsay reruns on my DVR and 24/7 cartoons until it's all the fuck over. It makes me SO SO glad that I DVRd crap like Anthony Bourdain and that Zimmerman guy and the US second season of Kitchen Nightmares (which is being pre-empted this week by the veep debates, which in my book proves there is no G-d) even though this season totally, totally SUCKS and is produced like crap compared to the UK version, which actually uses more than one cameraman, isn't only 30 minutes padded by 30 minutes of commercials and 2-minute replays of the prior 5-minute segment, and the contestants aren't reading from fucking cue cards. Tonight I watched vintage MGM cartoons, old Scooby Doo reruns, some horrid Hanna-Barbera Superfriends third-generation shittily-produced Superman property knockoff, and have "The Biggest Loser: Families" on now. I'm so mentally exhausted that I can't even be bothered to fire up my dying stereo (next big purchase: New receiver) and put on my new Santagold CD. I'm drinking lukewarm rum and water mixed with a little honey because I had to take out my ice cube trays to make room for more stuff in the freezer.

However…that segue ways nicely into the FOOD part of this post! Yay! As per the pic at the top of the post, Lucky Number Week 13 brought the following goodness to my world:

  • Eggplant
  • Peppers (part of a choice of a mix—peppers and/or squash)
  • Apples
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • A large bunch of gorgeous flowering Basil
  • Yellow Tomatoes
One of the things I treated myself with was some fresh mozzarella, so that I could make myself a single-serving delicious veggie gratin. This, my friends, is why it's worth it to have a smallish single-serving cast-iron pan. I made mine thusly: Fry down garlic and onion. Add sliced leeks and sauté those down with salt and pepper. Sauté in a sliced green pepper. Let it cook down a bit; add a splash of water if needed. I added some dried oregano also, and a pinch of hot red pepper flakes. I also had a bit of home-made tomato sauce left, so once the veggies were almost cooked I added that in and let it cook while I fired up the broiler. Then I arranged a few torn basil leaves and the mozz cheese on top and put the whole cast iron pan under the broiler. The result looks like this:

CSA Week 13 Gratin. September, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.
CSA Week 13 Gratin. September, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.

I ate it with farmhouse multigrain bread from my CSA. Yes it was fantastic.

That particular week, I also broke in a new little lunch-related toy; a cute little sandwich-and-side holder. I'm really having fun with this one, especially on the days I get fresh bread. I stash the sandwich in the lower half, cut up veggies with no dressing for one little holder, and put some fresh fruit in the other one. I love the fact that the whole Fit & Fresh line has built-in washable ice packs—there is NEVER any room in my floor's fridge, and it's usually pretty skank anyway. If I use the ice pack and pack the whole container in my insulated lunch box, it stays cold just fine.

One of my better lunch "re-discoveries" from my childhood that week was tuna and egg salad. The recipe couldn't be simpler: Take two hard-boiled eggs and a standard can of tuna. Mix with a bit of mayo and whatever herbs and seasonings you like. You can also add onion, pickle, however Your Folks made Your Favorite Tuna Salad. Makes 3 or 4 sandwiches (you can stretch the filling by putting more veggies in the sandwich).

Also, my Mom had gotten me a colossal can of canned white chicken meat during one of her forays into Costco, which I would normally never think to buy. I wound up making a big batch of Pesto Chicken Salad and putting that in sandwiches or packing a blob of it with a green salad or eating with pasta until I used it all up also. Both salads were phenomenal. Oh, btw, chicken pesto salad: Take very soft cooked chicken. Mix with pesto until spreadable. Add salt and pepper to taste. This would also make a great canapé' on bread rounds—you could also stuff celery ribs with this, and so on. In fact, I have an in-house wine tasting party in a few weeks and I may just do that.

Otherwise, that's it for that particular week. The next week will be a tad more exciting, I promise, as it was a meat and cheese delivery week.

One final food-related idea for discussion in the comments section: WTF is UP with all of the "X-TREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEME! FOOD! FLAVORS! that are being added to normal commercial food items? Case in point: One of my secret weaknesses is Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds. Now, for the past zillion years since I was a kid, you could get these at the supermarket right between the Planter's row and the overpriced macadamia nuts. Now, they have seemingly vanished from the shelves. However, they now have BOLD Salt and Pepper almonds and BOLD Salt and Vinegar. I've also seen knockoff brands of BOLD SMOKEHOUSE like JALAPENO SMOKEHOUSE. They are all overseasoned and taste too intense. They stand out too much in a salad, and they're too salty and peppery to include as part of a cheese-board dinner with fruit and bread (another fave guilty pleasure of mine, and the sole reason why I haven't lost all the weight I want to despite my very much increased veg and fruit intake as a percentage of my diet).

I also can't seem to get NORMAL fucking Doritos anymore (something I only buy once a year anyway, and some brands of potato chips are also endangered)—it's all BOLD this or EXTEME that; completely oversaturated with fluorescent flavor powder. Even the humble pickle; unless I go for the kosher brand, it's all BOLD EXCITING FRESH taste and whatnot.

You know, I'm not expecting my snack food to swing in from an open window ala' Tarzan or play retro-punk music for me at 3 AM to wake the neighbors up or go down on me at my desk during my lunch break. I just want my G-ddamned smokehouse almonds. In my salad.


Until next time, BIG HUGS to all and happy healthy eating! Also, a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year for one and all!