Last week, I skipped blogging about my CSA and talked about my Christmas tree instead, which means this week, I’ve got two weeks worth of CSA goodies to share. Try to contain your excitement.
Before we delve into my goodie boxes (yes plural!), let’s give a warm Clean Eats, Fast Feets welcome to our two lovely hosts. Say hello to:
With our standard, yet very important introductions, out of the way, it’s produce time.
Behold (the heavens open and the angels rejoice (I realize I’m a little dramatic; it’s cool with me)):
Week Six and Seven of my Winter CSA.
In the past two weeks, I received a bundle of red leaf lettuce, two more Acorn squash, sweet potatoes, “storage” onions (that’s their technical name; I’m not sure why, but I’ll eat them anyway), apples, apples, and more apples, beets, broccoli, another bulb of garlic, radishes, and some hoop house tomatoes, but I shall call them fatty boom batty tomatoes because…well, I can. Such freedom on the internet.
Before I share my general enthusiasm for what was a really great score, I have to explain why my produce is so dirty because there’s a fistful of reasons:
It starts getting dark at 4 p.m. here in Ohio, so you can pretty much kiss good evening or good afternoon lighting goodbye unless you’ve got some staged area in your home with backlights and flow charts….yes, I realize flow charts don’t make much sense here, but…well, I can.
My camera was in the shop when I took these pictures. Rest assured, he’s home now, where he belongs and just in time for the holidays. Plus, they fixed him for free; I love free shit.
As much as I wanted to wash my produce and shine him up real good for his photo-op, it’s bad for his health. I’m all about presentation and refraining from making my produce pretty for pictures is killing me, but to do so would shorten his life span, and I can’t justify that kind of inhumane treatment.
So there you have it. My produce is dirty, but delicious. That being said, I’m really excited about these two weeks for a number or reasons, which I shall also put in list form because…well, I can.
- In my two and half years of CSA participation, this is the first time ever getting some broccoli. Now me and broccoli go way back; it was most definitely my favorite vegetable growing up, likely because my mother always smothered it in a homemade cheese sauce. I also haven’t had broccoli in forever and a day. “Why,” you ask? To which I say, “Excellent question.” During the summer months when the CSA produce is coming fast and furious, you really stop buying all other veggies at the store. Even if you’re feeling broccoli, asparagus or pretty much anything outside your CSA, you’re not buying it and you’re certainly not eating it. Not unless you want some other veggies to go bad and when veggies go bad…let me just say, you want no part of that scene.
- The apples galore makes me happy since we haven’t gotten any fruit since…. I can’t even remember. I’d love to tell you I did something really exciting and creative with the apples, but I didn’t. Instead I just ate them with my bare (but clean) hands because…well, I can.
- Despite the fact, I have a ridiculous amount of garlic on hand, I could get it every week and be thrilled. Garlic instantly adds a punch of flavor, or an entire KO depending on how much you use, to any dish. You really can’t go wrong with garlic.
Now that you know way more about my CSA than necessary, I’m going to show you exactly what I did with it all. That’s part of the fun over here at Clean Eats. Not only do I share my weekly produce, but you get to see ’em in action too. Good times, I tell ya.
For the most part, I think you already know what I’ve been up to with my lovely veggies. I’ve blogged about my beet bubbly, more commonly referred to as beet juice mimosa. What you might not realize is, included in that magical concoction was carrots from week five of my CSA, and apparently, this drink sounds a wee bit odd to most of you, but I’d make it again in a heartbeat.
I used my fatty boom batty tomatoes, along with some radishes and a clove or two, or really three, of garlic on my artichoke pizza. Another winner.
Some of the red leaf lettuce got turned into a salad because, other than a sandwich topping, I don’t know what else to do with a head of leafy greens. Can you blend it into smoothies, the same way you would kale or spinach? I don’t know, but the rest of it is in my fridge slowly wilting, so I may have to give it a try, sooner rather than later.
Since I was already enamored with Jenn’s Cauliflower and Asparagus Pesto Soup, I decided to give her Sketch-Free Broccoli and Cheese Soup a try. With a name as brilliant as that, and when you factor in broccoli smothered in a cheese sauce….it’d be just like my momma used to make, “souper” style. Plus Jenn mentioned, it’d taste like Panera’s version, which I used to put down like a champ. Then I gave up meat, and then I realized they made their soup with chicken stock. Bastards, alright not really, especially since I now have this number to fall back on.
Into this creamy bowl of cheesy goodness was more CSA carrots (shredded this time), one of my storage onions, a couple of cloves of garlic, and of course, my broccoli. Four CSA items in one bowl is pretty impressive in my book. And this soup…spectactular.
This past weekend, I roasted the sweet potatoes in olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and yes more garlic. They were soft and buttery on the inside and crispy crunch on the outside. I paired these potatoes with fried eggs and a champagne cocktail on back to back mornings. It’s a rough life, I know.
Finally (aren’t you sick of me yet?), the last item on my agenda was the Acorn Squash. Now we can pretend, I used either one of the squashes in the pictures above, but really I used the acorn I got in week five of my CSA. “How can I be so sure?” you ask. To which I respond, “because like any good self-diagnosed OCD candidate, I numbered them as soon as I got more than one.” It’s first in, first out in this house because….well, I can.
I baked the squash in the oven with some butter, brown sugar and walnuts. Next time, and there absolutely will be a next time (hello, I still have two acorn squashes left), I’d puncture the inside of the squash with a fork first so it actually absorbs some of the butter. Not that there’s anything wrong with eating a bowl full of butter. Alright, there really is, but at least I ate it with a healthy stable veggie like squash, and I did it because….well I can.
There you have it: a double dose of my CSA. I hope I’ve inspired you to douse your veggies in butter, smother them in cheese, and drink cocktails for breakfast.
What’s you favorite morning cocktail? How do you season your Acorn Squash? Were you heart-broken when you discovered Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar soup was made with chicken stock? Or did you not know, and I’ve now crushed your dreams (fear not, make Jenn’s soup; it’s better than the original)