My musings…

CSA shares 1 and 2

Our first CSA share was ready on May 24.  I wasn’t in the area, though, so this Saturday I picked up a double share.

It was our first time out to the farm, so I was surprised by the number of people there!  Many folks were out in the fields picking extra strawberries and doing other work. Both the boys were asleep and I don’t really know what I would do with extra strawberries right now, so I just headed to the barn and picked up the veggies for the two shares.

This is what I ended up with:

CSA1

 

2 pints of strawberries

1 pound of lettuces and arugula

1/2 pound kale

1 pound turnips

1/2 pound garlic scapes

2 basil seedlings

a few pinches of cilantro and chives from the herb gardens by the barn

 

I made strawberry shortcake for dinner on Saturday night, using the recipe here. It turned out okay, but a bit dry.  If we have more strawberries this week, I might try it again.

The lettuces will be going into salads this week and the kale into smoothies that I have been making for breakfast.

I’m not sure what I will do with the turnips, though several suggestions have been made including roasted, pickled, scalloped, and soup (http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2012/11/silken-turnip-and-potato-soup-and-how.html).

The garlic scapes are also new to me.  Suggestions include seared over pasta, pesto, frittata, and using them to replace regular garlic.

Stay tuned to find out what the final decisions are!

 

We decided to purchase a share through a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for this summer. I am pretty excited about it. We get a box full of local, non-GMO, organic produce every week. We have the opportunity to go out to the farm to pick additional fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. I know that some weeks it may be a challenge to use everything in the box, and we will probably receive some new foods we have not tried before.

One of the benefits of a CSA is that the farmer receives the money up front which allows for him or her to plan better. The farmer receives 100% of the money instead of the grocery store and the middle men taking their share out of it. We can spend time out at the farm walking around and meeting the farmers, etc.  All of the produce, therefore, is local, so it should be fresher and better tasting since it doesn’t need to be shipped from California or Florida to Maryland. It does limit the selection, though, to what can be grown in the area and means we’ll have to figure out what to do with crops we haven’t really eaten or cooked with before!

One of the reasons I am excited about this is because growing our own food was a big thing during my childhood. Sure, it was a pain – when the other kids got to sleep in during the summer, we had to get up early to work (have to get the work done before it gets too hot, right?). When the other kids went on a road trip over Memorial Day weekend, the fourth of July or Labor Day, we were in the gardens planting, weeding and harvesting, consecutively because these were days Dad had off work. Now, though, I miss that. The produce at the grocery store just doesn’t taste the same. I miss doing physical labor (occasionally) and getting dirty. I hope that this experiment for this year works out well and the boys are able to have a similar experience growing up. Hopefully we’ll also move somewhere where we’ll be able to have a small garden as well, but for now this should work.

The particular farm I chose is Clagett Farm (http://www.cbf.org/about-cbf/offices-operations/clagett-farm). The farm is owned and operated by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. It is about 20 minutes away from where we live. One of the things I like about this particular option is that there are pickups on Wednesday and Saturday. They allow you to switch between one and the other. And, if you are going to miss a share, you can pick up a double share the week before or the week after. This is particularly important for me as I travel a lot for work and we occasionally travel out of town on the weekends. We can also volunteer and work on the farm in order to get extra shares.  Actually, if you have enough free time (which I don’t!) you can volunteer the whole season for your shares instead of paying for them!

I am going to try to keep up with this blog over the summer with what we get in our box and how we use it. We’ll see how this goes!

What we ate this week

I had to go into the office 4 out of the 5 days this week because my boss and colleagues were in town. I had dinner mostly made every night, though so my husband.didn’t have to worry about it.

Sunday
Mexican take out

Monday
sloppy joes
French fries
Corn

Tuesday
chicken taco Chili (crock pot)

Wednesday
meatloaf
Crockpot scalloped potatoes
Broccoli

Thursday
Leftovers (yep, for out anniversary)

Friday
Turkey tetrazzini

This week’s menu

Sunday
Turkey
Stuffing
Mashed potatoes
Gravy
Broccoli and cauliflower

Monday
Leftovers

Tuesday
Turkey tetrazzini

Wednesday
Pork chops
Butternut squash ravioli

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Chipotle (I had a buy one get one free coupon)

Saturday
Birthday party with friends

Turkey Tetrazzini

I hate it when I log into a recipe website and see that everyone has rated a recipe with 5 stars, but then to read the comments and see all of the changes that people made.  The original recipe, therefore, shouldn’t have 5 stars, it should have 3 or 4 and a new recipe should be created which incorporates the changes you have made.  Anyway, that was the case with this recipe. It was loosely based off of one I found online.  This is how I made it and we loved it!

Turkey Tetrazzini

Serves 8 – 10

2 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped,

8 oz mushrooms, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

4 c cooked turkey, chopped

2 c frozen peas, thawed

1/2 c butter

1/2 c flour

3 c chicken stock

2 c milk

8 oz shredded Parmesan

2/3 c seasoned bread crumbs

1 lb spaghetti noodles, cooked

 

Saute garlic, onions, celery and mushrooms in olive oil.  When cooked, add in turkey and peas to heat.

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add flour, whisking constantly.  When the roux begins to smell nutty, add in chicken stock and milk, stirring until it reaches a boil.  Add in all but 2/3 c of Parmesan, stir until it melts.  Pour over vegetable and turkey mixture. Add cooked spaghetti noodles and mix. 

Pour into a 9×13″ pan.  Mix bread crumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese together and sprinkle over top. Bake at 350* until bubbly and lightly browned on top (about 20 minutes).

Alternatively, divide in half.  Put half in 8×8″ casserole dish, top with half of the bread crumbs and Parmesan and bake.  Freeze the other half in a casserole dish or a freezer bag, reserving bread crumbs and Parmesan, thawing and baking as normal.

Busy week!

Well, it was my first week back at work and we were in PA last weekend, so no time to go grocery shopping. It was an “eat what we have” week which worked out fine and didn’t really make a dent in our pantry.

Sunday
Sausage, potato and egg skillet

Monday
Taco casserole (from the freezers)

Tuesday
Chicken soup

Wednesday
Tuna noodle casserole
Broccoli

Thursday
Slow cooker quinoa chicken chili

Friday
Tamales

I decided to try something different this week and it seems to have worked well! I picked up a ham and made it on Saturday, then used the leftovers in several additional meals throughout the week. I think I could do something similar with turkey, chicken, and a beef roast and would love to do that to make my life easier in the coming months as I go back to work on Monday.

SATURDAY – Roasted ham, cheesy cottage potatoes, broccoli
SUNDAY – leftovers
MONDAY – stuffed shells, salad, garlic bread
TUESDAY – ham, green beans and potatoes
WEDNESDAY – chicken cordon bleu casserole
THURSDAY – beef stirfry
FRIDAY and SATURDAY – with family

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