Last week I took a break from blogging about my CSA because Sandy cut my power so I didn’t cook anything. Hence, there was nothing to write about. I know, excuses, excuses.
Well my lights are on, my heat is flowing, and I’m back and ready to share Week One of my Winter CSA. Before I go there, let’s make sure we give a warm CSA welcome to both of our honored hosts.
You should definitely check out these lovely ladies and all the great local eats featured on their sites.
Side note (ADD strikes again): when I was forced to buy my groceries at Earth Fare last weekend, they had a huge sign touting their love of local produce and what local means to them (within an one hundred mile radius). I searched and searched and finally, unlike a man, asked someone where the local produce was hiding. The response was, and I’m paraphrasing here, “No LOCAL for YOU.” Actually the woman I broached was pretty embarrassed about their lack of local goods, and I was thinking if my CSA can deliver, why can’t Earth Fare? Needless to say, I’m excited to be reunited with my beloved grocery store, Nature’s Bin, this weekend where not only do they have local produce, bakery, and frozen items, but it’s all labeled too. I ❤ Nature’s Bin. To be clear, they don’t even know about my blog, so I promise I’m not their pimp. The only scandalous, sexual title I’ll embrace is Shoe Whore.
Before I get to the food (can you believe I’m still talking?), I have to mention my winter CSA reflects only a half-share because I’m splitting my weekly haul with a friend. It was my first year participating (hell, it was the farmers first year offering one – Go Geauga Family Farms), so I decided to ease into it. I know, treading cautiously is not my style, but we also had to sign up when we were in the thick of the summer produce season. At that time, I was drowning in peppers, lettuce, and tomatoes…oh my, and I wasn’t sure I was ready to embrace another eight weeks of veggie madness. Of course now the shares have died down, I’ve gotten through all my peppers (Recognize!), and I’m wishing I had signed up for a full share….ah well, maybe next year. Truth be told, this is my busy season at work (like beat my head into a wall busy), so it’s probably for the best. I see a lot of easy grilled cheese dinners in my future with a side of soup.
In any event, here is what my weekly half-share looks like:
We got a beautiful cauliflower (J’adore), an acorn squash, a sweet potato, carrots, and a bulb of garlic. Not too shabby.
Since I was without my veggie lovin’ for a whole week, I got right to work. I drank some of my carrots, along with a beet or two and an orange. Breakfast of champions right here. Ironically, six months ago, I wouldn’t have touched this with a ten foot pole.
I also tossed some of the carrots and garlic into my chili. I know you can’t see the carrots, but I swear they are in there, and they are good. There’s nothing quite like a real carrot, and don’t even get me started on those franken baby carrots. What are those things? The dejected nub of a real carrot. All perfectly smooth and phallic, although let’s be real….way too small. Size does matter.
I’d like to say the cauliflower went into this soup, and it might have if Sandy didn’t get to it first. Instead, my replacement cauliflower was the base of this Cheddar Cauliflower Soup. It was heaven sent….rich, creamy and magically delicious.
The sweet potatoes got drizzled with olive oil and doused in seasonings and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese before making their way into the oven, and I wish my belly. They were enjoyed by others, so you can bet I’ll be making them again because I want to taste what I was missing.
I haven’t gotten around to messing with the Acorn Squash yet, and quite frankly, I now have a whole squash family: Mama Acorn, Papa Acorn, and little bitty baby Acorn. I’m waiting until they are juuust right…or at least until I have a plan.
I’m tossing around the idea of stuffing them and bringing them to Thanksgiving dinner this year. It sure would be dramatic, and you know how I feel about food drama: the sexier, the better. The butternut squash, the acorns distant cousin, will hopefully be making its way into some homemade ravioli this weekend. Wish me luck.
What are you making this weekend? Does you grocery store carry local produce, and do you try to buy local? Do you prefer your food to be pretty when possible? Or does that not even matter to you?