Thursday, July 21, 2016

CSA Week 4

Everything in the box seemed to be used especially quickly, reflecting both the actual items we received compared with last week's box and our schedule (my time available to utilize everything well). We received cucumbers, strawberries, garlic scapes, carrots, kale, sage, basil, and parsley.
Our veggie box was pretty this week but the picture is not
because our humidity was so high

Veggies we purchased at the store this week: 3#carrots, cauliflower, 3 bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, 2 avocados. We harvested our first three zucchinis and two cucumbers of the summer. The only herbs I'm growing this summer are rosemary and chives and both are a little small right now so I've been harvesting from only small bits from them.
I cut some chives from the garden and mixed them in with the sage, basil, and parsley for the compound butter. I froze that in an ice cube tray, like before, and a cube of it wonderfully flavored our grilled steaks on Saturday. One of the cucumbers I sliced for the veggie tray I took to a potluck. Another cucumber my kids ate at lunch, just sliced and served plain. The carrots were deliciously sweet roasted. I tried the carrot leaves as a salad since we didn't receive any traditional lettuce; they were ok but nobody really liked them. They were better the first time with a baby cucumber sliced into them, but not great. I plan to chop the carrot stems very small into a soup and throw the remaining leaves in at the end. A couple of the kale leaves and garlic scapes I sauteed with onions and peppers for a breakfast frittata. The remaining kale, leaves and stems, I included in a huge batch of veggie meatballs (about 200) along with carrots, onions, pepper, zucchini, and garlic, frozen for several future meals. The strawberries were eaten at breakfast without anything being done to them except washing them. Two of the garlic scapes I sauteed with two of the zucchinis, in the place of the garlic cloves I would normally use.
My oldest daughter complained about why we received garlic scapes yet again, though I certainly didn't! Their flavor is a bit milder than garlic cloves and they can be cooked a bit longer without burning. This gives me just a moment longer to add the next ingredient (sauce, eggs, greens, etc.) which is sometimes extremely useful in this season of life when I'm frequently interrupted by babies and toddlers. Their flavor is more "green", like the difference between green onions and yellow onions. I would certainly not use them in anything where the green color would be off-putting or where the smoothness of pressed garlic is important. I find they are easiest to cut with kitchen shears like chives rather than slicing with a knife. I think my daughter's complaint was that they are neither A) a special sweet treat, aka a berry, nor B) a familiar favorite such as carrots, cucumbers, or tomatoes. They are no longer even C) an exciting new flavor for her to try like the fennel, cilantro, or bok choy. Yet, they are truly the type of vegetable I was hoping for when I purchased this CSA, since they are not found in the grocery store yet I can grow them myself. They give us a new way to utilize more of a plant that can in the future reduce our grocery store bill just a little bit.

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