Monday, June 29, 2009

Taste of Chicago (Localvore Edition)

So if you live in Chicago on the weekend of the Gay Pride Parade, Taste of Chicago, and the Cross Town Classic what do you decide to do?

If you're me, you drive 55 miles south of the city and tour the CSA farm you're supporting. Farmer Vicki hosted her annual potluck and gave a tour of her farm. About 75 shareholders from all over the Chicago area came to see the fields of onions, zucchini, etc, tour the greenhouses, meet the new kittens, and sample some delicious veggie dishes.

Very inspiring. I came home and weeded my garden.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Farm Girl

I grew up in the suburbs and have been living in a big city for the last 20 years. But I've never lived the rural life. Sometimes I think I might like to do that, as this woman did.

On the other hand, I could just read her blog and try some of her recipes.

Lots 'o Lettuce

The family we're splitting our farm share with doesn't cook with cabbage and is still making their way through the lettuce from last week. So they let us take all the cabbage and lettuce from this week's veggie box.

We now have a tremendous amount of lettuce in our fridge, and a monster head of cabbage.

Fortunately my book club is meeting this weekend, so I'll bring a big salad. I'll make Chinese noodles with the cabbage.

Also this weekend, a group of shareholders are touring the farm with Farmer Vicki. Hubby and I will be there with our daughters.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

If You Like Michael Pollan . . .

Here's a NYT article about David A. Kessler's work and new book "The End of Overeating." I saw Dr. Kessler on the news the other night, and then was talking to my father about it. Kessler's work examines our culture's "conditioned hypereating" and the food industry's role in "designing" or manipulating our food to encourage it.

Makes me want to eat my veggies.

And Then There Was One (Daikon Radish)

Here's what I'm making with all that remains of this week's farm share.

Otherwise, I would have eaten it raw (what they heck)!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I Didn't Make Salsa with the Cilantro (for Once)

It seems like people either love cilantro or hate it. I love the stuff, and one reason I frequent this Mexican restaurant is their lovely cilantro salad dressing.

I was trying to find a similar recipe online last night, so I could use my fresh cilantro. I found this recipe instead, and I decided to make it because I had all the ingredients on hand. It was delicious and worked really well with the chipotle chicken we grilled.

Note: A friend of a friend owns a lavender farm, which is why I actually have a stash of lavender buds.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Teenage Grazing

Hubby and I are always accusing each other of eating all the food. Of course, it's really our daughters eating everything. My precious chocolate milk - gone. Pudding mixes, muffin mixes - all gone. Bowls of cherries, gallons of milk, lunch meat, frozen waffles, et cetera.

They ate 11 cheese sticks in two days??

However, I can pretty much guarantee that they will never, ever touch the veggies from the farm share. And so, because we've been busy, this week's produce is still sitting in the fridge:

bunch kale
bunch spinach
head leaf lettuce
fresh cilantro
daikon radish
strawberries (FRUIT! Gobbled up as soon as we opened the box)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

'Cuz People Asked What I Do with the Turnips

I enjoy reading cookbooks more than I actually enjoy cooking. Likewise watching cooking shows. Here's a recipe I thought I found in a 700+ page cookbook someone gave me, but turns out I googled it.

Nice essay on gratin dauphinois in the cookbook, though, in which I learned this technique: "Pour heavy cream over it and bake."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

And This Kid-Friendly Pasta, Too

Also, my daughters are very enthusiastic about these noodles.

For obvious reasons. Peace out, rock on.

CSA - Week 2

In her weekly email, Farmer Vicki says she had to cram some of her early crops into smaller spaces because of the wet soil. She apologizes for another light delivery. This week's box contained:

head of leaf lettuce
head of bok choi
fresh oregano

I happened to be talking to my excellent friend (and excellent cook) yesterday and asked her if she had any yummy recipes for bok choi. Of course she did, so I made it for dinner.

I love when people are excited to share a recipe. This one fills all my requirements: easy, delicious, few ingredients, easy to make substitutions.

Yummy! And I've discovered my girls love udon noodles.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

For My Girls Who Love Biscuits

We've eaten all the produce except the thyme. Right now I'm making Honey Thyme Butter for breakfast tomorrow:

1 stick butter
3 T honey
1 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Serve with biscuits.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Too Booked to Cook

Eating dinner out with family and friends tonight and tomorrow, so no homemade dinners this weekend.

I have decided to wash all the greens and have them ready in a bowl. Today's and tomorrow's lunch will just be garbage salad. (I need to clean out the fridge anyway.)

Also, last night hubby and I ended up at Cafe 28 for drinks/appetizer/
dessert. They placed some fantastic salty/spicy butter on the table with the bread, and I was reminded how much I love herbed butters. I think this is one way I will use Farmer Vicki's herbs this summer. The other way is in dressings, as I have been wanting to break myself of the habit of bottled salad dressings for many years.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wine & Radish

After work, I sliced the radishes and set them out on a plate, but I have nothing to serve with them. (Wish I had olives and feta and pita bread, oh well.) I guess I"ll just squeeze lime over the radish, and have a glass of wine while I watch the news.

I have chicken in the oven now, and I'll serve it with the purple asparagus for dinner.

FYI, teenage daughters declared Kale Krisps "interesting". And spent much time cleaning the green stuff out of their braces!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pretty Purple Asparagus

In her weekly email, Farmer Vicki says that because of the late spring, the box would be light this week (and that she will make up for it in next week's box). When I opened the box, I thought it did seem light, especially since we are sharing the box with another family. But after dividing everything in two, I think it's safe to say the Broderick family will probably be just fine with the following produce for the next six days:

3 radishes
bunch kale
bunch spinach
mesclun lettuce mix
bunch thyme
bunch purple asparagus
(I gave all the rhubarb to my friend, because I harvest my own rhubarb from our garden.)

We ate the sweet strawberries with breakfast this morning. I will make Kale Krisps tonight, as recommended by Farmer Vicki.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Farm in St. Anne, Illinois

We bought a share in a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm for the summer—Genesis Growers.

“Our pledge: We will do our utmost to provide you with a wide variety of fresh, chemical free produce weekly, but please remember crop failure can occur, and while this rarely affects our boxes, there is a certain risk involved in farming.”

The summer season begins today and goes for 21 weeks until sometime in October. We decided on the summer season, since grilled veggies are yummy and that’s when we’re most likely to grill. We went with the medium share, rather than the large share, and we decided to split the cost of the share with another family of four. Cost per family is $14.29/week. Since we paid for the season back in February when we signed up, it now feels like we will be getting free organic veggies through October.

I’ll pick up the box after work today.