09 June 2011

CSA, Week 2

I just picked up my second CSA order.  Zina, the woman who runs the CSA, gave us 3 shares instead of the 2 we had ordered this week.  So I have LOTS of extra veggies to try to use up.  If you have any suggestions, holler!

This week, I also got the first delivery of my meat share.  Looking forward to digging in!

Here's what I got:
- 11 (!) pickling cucumbers
- 3 beefsteak tomatoes (double the size of my fist)
- 3 summer squash
- 1.5 lbs strawberries
- 10 NC peaches (Mmmmmmmmm....)
- enough green beans for 4 people
- a bag of mustard spinach
- enough new potatoes for 4 people
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1.5 lbs beef cube steak
- 1 dozen eggs

08 June 2011

Summer Fruit Cake

One of the interesting things about CSAs is that I have to figure out a way to use up all the produce I get each week.  In the past, I've planned meals for a couple of days then gotten just what I needed for those meals.  But now, I have some produce leftover that either I haven't found a use for, or I am unfamiliar with.  This week, my elusive "leftovers" have been beets, peaches, and blueberries.  The beets I will get to tomorrow.

But the peaches and blueberries I could take care of tonight.  A couple of days ago, I saw a recipe for a strawberry cake that looked absolutely dreamy.  I didn't have strawberries sitting around.  So I used the peaches and blueberries I had in the fridge.  I changed up the cake recipe a bit too - added some cinnamon and brown sugar.  I LOVE the combination of cinnamon, brown sugar, and peaches.  With this combination of fruit, I would add some cornmeal into the batter.  It would make it a bit heartier.  Cornmeal cakes make me think of southern food, and it makes me think of a blueberry corn muffin that I really like.  This also makes a delicious breakfast!

05 June 2011

Creole Butter Beans

For the past few days, I've been un-enthusiastically searching for good sounding recipes for butter beans.  I got them in my CSA last week, and was excited about them until I discovered that butter beans is just another name for lima beans.  I've never met a lima bean that I actually liked.  In fact, I've hated them since I was a kid.

So what in the world was I going to cook with them.  In searching online, I found a lot of recipes for cajun or creole butter beans.  They all had pretty much the same ingredients - onions, peppers, cajun seasoning, tomatoes, hot sauce, sausage - and I figure if you throw enough of those goodies into a recipe, it'll make anything taste good.  The other problem I had with creole butter beans was that it's a thick, hearty stew-like dish.  Its been close to 100 degrees all week, a stew is the last thing I am in the mood for.

02 June 2011

CSA is Finally Here!

I got the first delivery of my first CSA last night, and I couldn't be more excited! 

For those of you unfamiliar with this type of program, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  Basically, you buy a share in a local farm, then every week or two you get a basket of goodies from the farm.  Given their recent surge in popularity, there all sorts of options out there.  Some programs require you to do some amount of work on the farm.  Some programs deliver while others make you pick up your goodies at the farm.  Some even let you go online ahead of time and choose what types of veggies you want that week.

The CSA I joined (A Country Affair Farm in Williamsburg, VA) gives me enough produce for 2-3 people each week, and I pick it up at a restaurant near my apartment.  I don't get to pick what I get each week, but I don't have to do any work up at the farm.

01 June 2011

Memorial Day Cookout!

I took the long weekend to go visit my family down in North Carolina.  It was a great break!  Callie got to spend the weekend with her favorite playmate.  As an added bonus, some family friends were at the house for dinner Sunday night.  

My dad decided we needed cookout food since it was a holiday weekend, even though they weren't over on Memorial Day.  So I took over preparing dinner and drinks.  The usual dishes were there - sour cream potato salad, corn, baked beans, brisket, sweet tea - along with some things I wanted to make - sangria, watermelon lemonade, vinaigrette-based potato salad, and grilled fruit salad.