CSA Weeks 7 & 8

Week 7 (last week) was a bountiful share to begin with, and then I decided to order bulk blueberries. Lettuce, summer squash, kale, onions, rainbow carrots, bell peppers, tomatillos, green beans, purple cauliflower, tomatoes, fennel, eggplant, and dill. Plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots. Eggs (under all  that fruit).

I’ll post pictures of some cooking adventures involving last week’s share in the next few days. I will share one ultimate summer breakfast picture, though…

Blueberry pancakes on a bed of peaches. Yum.

That brings us to yesterday, week 8:

We’ve hit the point in the season where the share looks smaller (for now) in the pictures, though it’s actually larger in amount of food. The key difference? The heat has knocked out the lettuce for now. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my salads, but I’m so ready to be focusing on other things.

One week until Littlest Chef gets to try food, and I’m glad we’ll have such fresh choices readily available. I was thinking that as I munched on my green beans last night.

Cooking posts coming soon, I promise.

Summer 2019 Begins

Longtime readers will recognize a pattern: “real life” gets full, and my blog goes silent. Then, I come back with a summary post, which tends to begin with “So…”

So.

Little Chef graduated Pre-K on the 18th! They had a pizza party, ice pops and sprinkler play, and a “bridging up” ceremony. It was a beautiful day, and thanks to my amazing baby-sitter, I got to spend the whole day there for my older son without the baby in tow.

For those of you keeping score at home, that was a Tuesday, which is also CSA day. We also had OT and Littlest Chef’s 4 month pediatrician appointment, all in the same day. Blog posts were certainly not happening. I consider myself lucky that I got the haul into the refrigerator. However, I did get a picture of the share for the week:

Lettuce, Spinach, Salad Turnips, Scallions, Summer Squash, Peas, Bok Choy, Swiss Chard, Cilantro… Apricots, Blueberries, Cherries… A dozen eggs, a broiler chicken, and a pound of ground turkey.
The first week of summer vacation proceeded to be… rainy. Very rainy. So, Little Chef, with children everywhere, was climbing up the walls. To top it off, I was still seeing students – the public schools didn’t end for another week. So, still, no blogging.
We tried several times to get to pick strawberries, and we were foiled by the weather until the 24th. (How was that only 5 days ago?) We headed up to my old stomping grounds, Sussex County. Little Chef was much more enthusiastic about picking than in previous years.
Tuesday the 25th, we got our CSA share again.
The flowers were a gift from a student. The vegetables and fruit were:
Lettuce, Beets, Snow Peas, Broccoli, Garlic Scapes, Summer Squash, Kale, Escarole, Dill, Dandelion Greens… a dozen eggs… and Blueberries and Strawberries. (Apricots came in our share, but I left them for the food pantry. We’re not really big on apricots, and we got them the week before.)
I haven’t done anything particularly out-of-the-box the past couple of weeks. I did make a tasty pasta with summer squash and pesto. Thursday night, I made a fritatta with the escarole, garlic scapes, summer squash, and cherry tomatoes that I got at the strawberry farm. We had Asian-style noodles on Wednesday, which Spouse ended up cooking, since I was stuck in traffic after going to Crayola with my kids and their grandmother. That dinner used the broccoli, snow peas, more of the garlic scapes… I also made a spinach quiche for coffee hour at church last Sunday.
For these down times, if you’re interested in seeing snippets of what I’m doing, I highly recommend following me on facebook (Omg, CSA!), Twitter (@omgcsa), or Instagram (@omgcsa). I’ve been posting real-time pictures of many of these adventures.

Pancakes, logistics, and real life

Lest you find yourself under the (incorrect) impression that I’m some sort of magical unicorn that can be raising a four-year-old and get everything done that I set out to do…. it’s confession time. My Bloomfield-Montclair share sat in a heavy-duty cooler bag with a bunch of ice packs overnight, and I’m just getting to it now.

And, you know what? That’s okay! Everything is perfectly perky and I actually got to collapse into bed at a reasonable hour. Things will get done today.

I did make pancakes last night with the first bit of my blueberry order. It was an investment in my morning happiness. It was very, very worth it. (Fun tip – if you make the pancakes ahead of time, you can heat them in your toaster in the morning. They freeze well if you want to plan ahead further than just the night before.)

Ever wonder what 20 pounds of blueberries looks like? This. This is what 20 pounds of blueberries looks like.

And, while we’re at it, here’s the share from Chelsa this week. It’s not as great of a picture, because I was rushing.

We had a great opportunity to talk about the fluctuations in the seasons – we’re now hitting the long, hot stretch of the summer where the salad greens taper off for a bit, yet we’re in the brief period before the tomatoes and other deep-summer vegetables have ripened up. It’s interesting to me (though I’m sure frustrating for her) to see the natural progression play out in a small-scale, brand new farm, as opposed to being a little cushioned by the size and experience in Farmer John’s operation. It’s also fun that I get different things from Coeur et Sol than I do from Circle Brook, despite both being North Jersey farms.

This is eating with the seasons. We didn’t always have the option of on-demand access to whatever type of vegetable we desire.  This is part of getting back to eating locally, with the seasons, and sustainably. It often turns out that nature has better ideas in mind than I would have in the grocery store, anyway.

I have some interesting meals planned, so stay tuned.