Blog: Food

Most of these posts were originally posted somewhere else and link to the originals. While this blog is not set up for comments, the original locations generally are, and I welcome comments there. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Ugly CSA week 12 (final)

The final week of the 412 Rescue Ugly CSA:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 5 medium-large yams
  • 1 large tomato
  • 8 Bosc pears
  • 3 heads garlic

Weight: about 10.5 pounds.

Definitely all stuff I can use! Winter squashes and root veggies are my favorite season.

The end-of-season survey included a question about interest in a winter share. Winter shares are uncommon, but the one my previous CSA did (before they shut it down) was very nice. I'd be happy to join one this year.

Ugly CSA week 11

  • 1 large green cabbage
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 2 medium-large tomatoes
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4 Crimson Crisp apples
  • a dozen small red potatoes

Weight: about 10.5 pounds.

Yay, more squash!

The cabbage weighs about 4 pounds. Some of it will become cabbage soup (beef). Some will probably become coleslaw. That won't account for all of it unless I make a big batch of soup and freeze some. Which I might.

I hadn't heard of that apple variety before. The wisdom of the Internet suggests it's a good one to eat straight and doesn't talk about cooking with it. I can do that.

The folks running the CSA have kindly agreed to an alternate pickup day for those of us who can't pick up next Wednesday, Yom Kippur. Good; I was hoping to not have to miss the final share.

Ugly CSA week 10

  • 2 bell peppers, 1 medium green and 1 very large half-orange (hoping it'll keep going)
  • 1 zucchino
  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 8 medium Bartlet pears
  • 7 medium-large Macintosh? apples

Weight: about 9 pounds.

I like fall squashes -- butternut, acorn, delicata, all good! I would be happy to get more of those. (And I wouldn't say no to more onions; a singleton surprised me a little.)

The manifest said Macintosh apples. Most images I found are redder than these, but maybe that's an effect of when they were picked.

Last week's apples were very good as apple crisp. I might do more of that, or make applesauce, or maybe it's time to dry some. (I like dried fruit, but last time I made it I had a working dehydrator. Time to learn how to do that in an oven.)

Ugly CSA week 9

  • large head leaf lettuce (email said red leaf but this is green, so not sure what variety it is)
  • 12 medium (on average) Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 enormous tomato (more than a pound!)
  • 2 medium red beets
  • 10 medium-large carrots, about 2.5 pounds
  • about half a pound of green beans

About 7.5 pounds.

I roast root vegetables a lot when they're in season, so that's easy. (Some are in the oven now for tonight's dinner.) The tomato needs time to ripen, but I have some other tomatoes to go into salads with the lettuce. There might be some carrot-raisin salad. There might also be stew, though that's usually for colder weather than we have at the moment.

Ugly CSA week 8

  • a bunch of kale
  • 5 Ginger Gold apples (they're more green than gold)
  • 4 medium yams (the perfect size to have one of as a side dish)
  • 12 banana peppers, mostly large, in various stages from green-yellow to almost-complete red
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 head garlic

8.5 pounds.

Last week I said I hoped the balance between fruit and veggies would shift some; this week it sure did. (That's good, because I still have pears and apples from last week.) That's a lot of banana peppers, so I'm going to pickle some tonight and then distribute the rest among various meals (stuffed, on pizza or in pasta, not sure what else). Some of the kale and one of the peppers went into a curry tonight along with other veggies and some Thai basil that desperately needed to be pruned.

Ugly CSA week 7

Fruit is good, but I do hope the balance shifts a little more toward the vegetable end of the spectrum next week! (For this purpose, we can count tomatoes as vegetables.)

  • 3 small and 3 medium Bartlet pears
  • 5 Gala apples
  • 3 nectarines (not yet ripe)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 medium green peppers (here's hoping they'll ripen)
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce

Weight: about five pounds.

I also harvested my second red pepper tonight. (It was delicious in a stir-fry.) There are eight more full-grown ones on the plant in various stages in the journey from green to red. I lost one in a storm. For a long time it's looked like that was going to be it -- 11 peppers -- but in the last few days some new ones have started. I count seven, and there might be an eighth in a hard-to-see place. They're in the rapid-growth phase, so it should become clear soon. Nice -- a second round!

Ugly CSA week 6

  • 3 ears corn
  • 2 largish tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large zucchini (zucchinus?)
  • 2 peaches
  • 9 Bartlett pears

Total weight about 7.5 pounds.

Two peaches aren't enough to make cobbler; we'll just have to eat them straight, or grilled -- so not a hardship! That's a lot of pears; I should look for a pie recipe or make pearsauce, maybe. (Are Bartletts good in pies? I think I've usually baked with Bosc, though I don't have a ton of experience either way.)

Ugly CSA "week 5"

Earlier this summer I found out about 412 Food Rescue, a local non-profit that tries to mitigate food waste by collecting what would otherwise be thrown away (e.g. by caterers) and distributing it to people in need. That's a worthy cause on its own and they'll go onto my year-end-donations list, but I also noticed that they run an "ugly CSA" -- food that local farmers can't sell to grocery stores. (They note that there is non-ugly produce too; it's a CSA, working with local farms, but they'll explicitly take the unsellable stuff first.) It was too late to join this year's, but I signed up for the waiting list for next year.

A couple weeks ago I got email that there were new spots in this year's and would I like to join for the rest of the season? Why yes, I said; this is an easy way to check it out at a slightly lower cost, and then I can decide about next year. Their site says to expect 10-15 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies each week.

Today was my first share. It included:
- a pound of green beans
- one giant tomato (about 12oz)
- three large ears of corn (had some tonight - tasty!)
- one large cucumber
- three nectarines
- one large and two humongous green bell peppers (oh well - can't win 'em all)

The humongous peppers weigh about a pound each, so while I didn't weigh the entire bag, this probably isn't far off from the low end of the predicted volume.

The peppers I'm growing are finally starting to turn red, so in a few more days I should be able to use a home-grown red pepper and the smallest green pepper to make stuffed peppers for us. (He doesn't mind green peppers; I do.) We had two of the ears of corn tonight and we'll split the other one soon. Aside from the remaining green peppers, I know things I can do with all of this.


Shabbat afternoon there was a brief but fierce storm here. I don't know about other parts of the city, but from my house, it was about three minutes of heavy wind and downpour and otherwise a typical summer rain. It was enough to knock our power out for the afternoon and evening, which was disruptive. Also, I think I was about to turn around that game of Through the Ages when continuing became impossible. We got power back just as we were going to bed; this morning Internet was still out, but we were able to get that resolved in under an hour on the phone with Verizon, which is above par. And, fortunately, we didn't lose any food -- went out for ice as soon as Shabbat was over and the meat in the freezer was still solid when I opened it to add the ice.

The garden, on the other hand... I have a large cherry-tomato plant in a large pot; with all the dirt, it's not trivial to move. It was sprawled across the patio. (I didn't think to get a picture before cleaning up.) That pot had been in front of a trellis that I'd been training the plant to climb, but once wrenched free, it wasn't going back. I had to fall back to an, um, "engineering" solution. I hope this works; the plant can't stand free any more even with the cage, so I couldn't just leave it on the patio away from the trellis.

ring of cage tied to trellis with twine

I also lost a pepper. I have no idea if it'll ripen after being disconnected, but green peppers are foul so I'm not going to eat it as-is. The plant is supposed to produce sweet red peppers.

all the survivors, including a pepper sitting on the ledge

In case you're wondering, the cilantro was pretty much done before the storm finished it off, and the attempts to grow a second one from seed didn't work. So that's what the two empty pots are about; just waiting for them to dry out before putting them away.


A week before Memorial Day -- so, a bit over two weeks ago -- I bought some seedlings and put them into pots.

Tonight, I changed dinner plans because holy smokes some of that needed to be harvested. I made a vegetarian larb for the first time, because one of the over-achievers was Thai basil, which I got for the first time this year to see how that would go. Didn't expect it to outpace my regular Italian basil!

Pictures behind the cut: Read more…