So it begins.
I picked up my first CSA share two weeks ago.
An occasion this momentous needs a little music, so I’m sharing a tune which exemplifies just how I feel about my CSA. Remember it’s early in the season, so I’m still enamored; in the honey moon phase if you will.
For anyone not familiar with a CSA, it’s basically my sanity, my self-imposed challenge, my summer lifeline, and my produce all in one. Still confused? I can’t really understand why since my description was so succinct and dead nuts (nuts, hee hee; sometimes my level of immaturity astounds even me).
Back to the nitty-gritty details, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and basically you purchase a share in your local farm. In return you get seasonal, local produce on a weekly basis for as long as your CSA program lasts. Mine started two weeks ago, which was two weeks earlier than I expected and I just so happened to have a fridge full of farmers market finds at the time; oops. It runs for twenty weeks, which puts me at mid-October, at which point I’ll likely sign up for a winter CSA because I can’t get enough or maybe I’m just sick. Perhaps a little bit of both.
I get my goodies through Geauga Family Farms, and I pretty much love them, almost more than life itself…almost; there’s still a shred of sanity left in me. By the way, they don’t know I’m a blogger, singing their praises in my very off-key voice. To them, I’m just the girl who gets really freaking excited to pick up her veggies each week. Maybe even a little too excited. Nah; no such thing.
The coolest part about Geauga Farms is they work with a wide network of farms in the area in order to provide a large variety of produce, although this time of year, nothing says northeast Ohio quite like greens.
Speaking of greens (pretty slick transition, right?), I got a bundle (more puns) in my first week. Along with a head of green leaf lettuce, we got some Romaine lettuce, a pile of Red Russian Kale, several stalks of rhubarb and a plethora of green onions.
We also scored two delicious hoop house tomatoes (add one more to the photo below and we’re good) and a dozen eggs. We started getting eggs this year, and we’re going to be getting twelve every week, which I can only hope is enough. Between the Hubby and I, a dozen eggs is chump change, especially since I have visions of yolk porn dancing in my head. Screw sugar plums; they’re totally overrated and since I’ve never had one, it makes sense for me to pass judgment.
I hope you’re ready to join me on my summer adventures as I eat and freeze my way through my local produce. The freezing part is new for me this year, so I appreciate any and all tips you can throw at me. In the meantime, I’ll just keep bugging this lady for advice; she won’t get sick of me, I’m sure of it. I’ll be like a permanent hangnail that never really goes away and pops up at the most inopportune times.
By the way, before you join me on my summer long pilgrimage to the CSA gods (is that sacrilegious; am I going to hell now?) you should know I often name my veggies, and I absolutely get competitive with them; highly, highly competitive. Maybe I am a carnivore at heart, but hey the competition is half (maybe even more) the fun for me.
You know what else is fun (another sweet transition; I’m on fire today), sharing not only my CSA goodies, but exactly how I got down and dirty with them.
Let’s begin with the bundle of Red Russian Kale. I drank him; all of him as a matter of fact on three separate mornings, in three separate smoothies.
I know these blenders of joy really look a lot alike. They are brothers from another mother, I swear. If you look closely, you can, in fact, see varying nuances. Yes, look closely into my smoothies, that’s it…closer now…ok, bark like a dog while eating all your veggies. Did it work? No. Oh well, it was worth a shot.
Moving on, I ate my new eggs, straight up with some roasted veggies and a mimosa because new eggs need celebrating.
Author’s Note: they fry differently (read quicker), which means true yolk porn has alluded me thus far. Have no fears because yolk porn will be mine. “Oh yes, [he] will be mine.” I will love you forever and a single day if you know where that quote is from.
I also scrambled a handful of eggs along with a little almond milk, shredded cheddar cheese and some of the green onions from my CSA.
Since we delved into green onion territory, I think it’s safe to share this next dish: Apple and Green Onion Pizza with an olive oil garlic base. You know what’s even cooler than that? I made the pizza dough myself. Two snaps and a twirl for me.
Full disclosure: this pizza has potential, but I pretty much drowned it in olive oil (oops), so it wasn’t a huge success. It can be though, and I plan to try again.
My lettuce got eaten the way most lettuce does: in a salad (I might have thrown some green onions from the CSA in there too). My tomatoes became a Raw Pasta Sauce created and prepared by the Beast herself.
To balance out all this veggie loving, I made cake. A Strawberry Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake using the rhubarb and eggs from my share. I thought my Strawberry Rhubarb coffee cake was good (and it absolutely is), but there’s no denying it; this cake is better, even though it loses value over time, which translates to you should eat the entire thing in one day. It will still be good on day two, but it won’t be as magical as day one. Day one I wept; day two I only got misty-eyed.
The cake is dense, heavy and yet still moist and supple (yeah, I said it and I’ll say it again: Moist, Moist, Moist). The sweet strawberries and tangy rhubarb seal the deal though, which comes as no surprise to me. I mean really, when do strawberries and rhubarb not seal the deal?
This cake is perfection and also the perfect ending for today’s post.
Are you doing a CSA this year? Would you be interested in one? Any tips for freezing produce?