Friday, June 1, 2012

CSA Summer 2012 - The Goods - Week 2

Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA

For years now, I've spearheaded this CSA thing at Saturdays Mouse HQ, and beyond the CSA part, the change in how we buy and cook food in general.  Sometimes I get all gender-role irritated about it, wife's gotta cook and shop and all of that, but mostly, I'm just glad we get such good food.  

This year, things have shifted.  The one drawback I see to our CSA this year is that Sous Chef Brian has to pick it up, so I'm never actually there.  Yesterday, he came home with the produce and told me it was, "magical."  Not the produce, which, from what I can tell, looks pretty magical, but the picking up.  Going to the farm and choosing the asparagus and interacting with other members and all.  I'm so jealous!

But it's especially awesome, because as I've hinted before, the farm market is wonderful until it's crowded and angry there and sometimes it's hard to go there on the weekend, knowing I'll be elbowing for asparagus.  Sous Chef Brian has opted out of that this season - he really hates it.  So if picking up the produce at the CSA gives him that wonderful farm market experience without the hate, everyone wins.  And I don't have to go to the market on the weekend. 

So yesterday, Sous Chef Brian went to the magical farm with the pig and the chickens and picked up all this gorgeous veg.  Honestly, the first time I saw the veg was when I was uploading these pictures.  Photo credit to Sous Chef Brian. 


More berries.  The berries are amazing and they're almost over.  We've been warned.  After a winter of a lot of the same veg (root veg, dark greens, etc), it's new and different and not-awesome to be in a place where the produce is only around for a couple weeks and then we're on to something new.  Sure, that keeps it exciting, but I'm going to miss the berries. 


Zucchini.  I picked some up at the market a couple weeks ago and I was surprised it was already time, and getting it in our CSA pickup sort of confirms that... zucchini really is happening.  I think zucchini is one of the more flexible veg... we use it in stir fries and curries and fajitas and bread it and bake it and top it with parmesan


Asparagus, which we've been warned is coming to a close, and snap peas, which I much prefer to carrots and celery in the just-grab-a-handful-from-the-fridge style of eating.  Also garlic scapes!  Garlic scapes!



Broccoli.  This is a whole thing, with leaves and all.  The leaves can be bitter so I think I'll cook the heck out of them like I do collards.  



Dainty farm carrots. 



Seitan and cheese.  I had finally run out of seitan from that time when I bought it in bulk, so this was perfect timing. The cheese, called "OlĂ©" is a soft, herby cheese made of food, but has a fantastic junk food flavor, perfect for crackers and couch. I know because I tried that and it worked. 



Sous Chef Brian bought the tomatoes, and the kale was part of our regular pickup.  Nothing like having a farm market at your pickup site so you can fill in the gaps. 



Let's avert our eyes from the cost of the lettuce. 



We've been getting milk in a glass jar ever since the end of Winter Harvest, just picking it up at Whole Foods.  This is the same dairy as that milk, the only difference is that now they'll actually take back our glass jars, so we don't have them accumulating around the house to be re-purposed or sitting guiltily in the recycling bin. 



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