The weather here is still all over the map but my mini-greenhouses are doing pretty well. I had to cover everything recently for a flash flood-type of thunderstorm that, in reality, only lasted a few minutes, but would have devastated my tender little plants if they had been exposed. The overnight temperatures haven’t been too bad. However, it does flirt with the freezing mark on a regular basis despite hitting near 90 the other day. I live in a crazy dry … and very wide ranging little climate zone.
So, every little success must be celebrated. Today, we celebrated GREENS. Mmmmmm. There were just enough greens for me and the Fresh Hubs to each have a big, green salad for lunch today. Lucky us.
Squash season continues! This box has some delightful fall goodies in it. What did I get this week?
- Speckled hound squash (that’s the pumpkin-looking thing … that I have no clue what to do with, by the way)
- Butternut Squash
- Tango Lettuce (my hubs favorite)
- Dried flowers from the fabulous Debbie Colbentz (she did the pepper ristras last week, too)
The dried flowers were perfectly cute and just the right thing for this box of CSA-happiness. I hung them in my kitchen right next to the peppers. Thanks, Debbie. This made me smile.
There’s only one more week of veggie boxes, people. What am I going to do after this is all over for the year? I imagine there will be a long list of things that I am thankful for with the holiday next week. I am definitely thankful that I tried this whole CSA thing. The organic farms in my area are the best!
OH — bonus, this week! Check out my nuts:
This bag of walnuts is not from my CSA but, even better, these walnuts are from a friend. My husband brought them home last night and I thought would share it with the blog-o-sphere. (hahaha … omgawd … I just realized that I am posting a picture of my husband’s nuts on the internet! He will be so proud.)
OK, juvenile humor aside, does anyone have any ideas for what I should do with these nuts? Any walnut fans out there?
Sometimes, you don’t have to be a culinary genius to get the job done here at Fresh Veggies in the Desert. Just cut up some carrots and turnips (or other random root vegetables) and sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Bake at 400 for about 45 minutes.
The rest of dinner looks pretty good, too. But, the carrots are awesome. Not awesome enough to make turnips my favorite but awesome enough to get me to eat a couple of them.
The winter veggies are definitely here. It even snowed a little bit last week! And, of course, the high today is supposed to be 70 so you never can tell what you are going to get weatherwise. I’m just glad we don’t have hurricanes and, even when it does snow or rain, we usually have big blue skies the next day.
So, what veggies did I get? First, I was super happy to see one of these pretty hiratake mushrooms from Sierra’s Edible’s:
Then, there’s the rest of the goods:
Starting from the top left there is a stripetti spaghetti squash — wha?whoo? According the newsletter/instructions, that is a cross between a delicata and a spaghetti squash. Still has the spaghetti texture with the striped outer skin. Who knew?
Then, we have the mushroom, a bag of potatoes, mixed lettuce greens, carrots, yellow onions, a big butternut squash, purple basil (can you smell it?) and a nice bag of shallots. And, yup — that’s all certified organic stuff. For reals.
Does anyone know how long squash will keep? I have a couple still sitting around the kitchen from last week. I need to figure something spectacular to do with them for this weekend. Ideas?
It is the dog days of summer here in Northern Nevada and it just keeps getting hotter. The forecast last week was 95-100 everyday and it looks like it will continue through next week as well. I’m sure it’s taking a toll on the farmers out there but this week’s box of goodies still looks wonderful.
What’s in there? All organic, of course: ambrosia cantaloupe, yellow crookneck and patty pan summer squash, armenian cucumbers (what’s that? check here), romanian peppers, white and purple japanese eggplant, lettuce, purple basil (which smells like what I imagine heaven is), carrots, tomatoes (that look like apples!), garlic chives … and … oh thank you fruit gods … another yellow doll watermelon!
And, because I love big salads, this is what we had for dinner:
It is sort of a buffalo chicken mix salad with all kinds of crunchy veggies and even BBQ’d corn off the cob.
And, for those who have been following along, here’s how I get my little dude to try new veggies:
He’s not a super picky eater but it does help to make him a nicely separated buffet.
My husband was feeling left out because all of the refrigerator pickles that I have made to this point have been bread and butter style. So, today was dedicated to DILL.
I tried to follow this recipe HERE but it was in completely different measurements so it’s going to be a crap shoot to see if I did it right. I’ll wait until they are taste tested by the Dill Connoisseur and let you know later. Either way, they looked and smelled good.
Then, I totally lost my mind. I just pickled the biggest jug of carrots I have ever seen. What was I thinking? WELL … I was thinking that I have a ton of big carrots that aren’t quite as tasty as the baby carrots that I was loving in the spring CSA subscription and I didn’t want them to go to waste. And, I love pickled stuff. Seems like a match made in heaven, right? I really like the pickled carrots and jalapenos that they always have out on the salsa bar at Mexican restaurants. And, we are planning another camping trip in a couple of weeks so (worse case scenario) we can snarf these guys up with bloody marys around the campfire one morning.
If you would like the recipe that I started with and (of course) modified: click THIS.
I peeled and cut the carrots into pretty little sticks. This requires a lot of patience. Really.
Then, everything was layered into the huge pickle jar that I kept for no reason until now.
Isn’t this pretty? Now, all I have to do is let the vinegar do it’s magic. Patience, patience, patience. Maybe, I’ll test them in a couple of days just to be sure.
Summer CSA Week #4
Holy Hot August Nights. It is too warm outside. Summer is definitely here. Let’s see what they have been growing out in Fallon:
That’s a pretty beautiful bounty, isn’t it?
This week’s box of garden goodness from the desert includes:
an arava melon (that cantaloupe looking thing), slicing cucumbers, a mini-peck or plethora of peppers (I like alliteration. Sue me.), sweet corn, patty pan summer squash (I started to rhyme with the peppers on this one but decided that was just silly.), cherry tomatoes, red slicing tomatoes, mixed Japanese eggplant (no clue what that means–mixed? They look the same to me.), parsley, lettuce (perfect for decorating a sandwich), carrots, broccoli and a yellow doll watermelon (if you have been paying attention to my other posts, go ahead and assume that I will eat this for dinner. By. My. Self.) This week is an off week (there are two) for the full fruit shares so the watermelon and arava melon are part of the regular share.
My husband loves corn. These wonderful ears of summer didn’t even make it into the house before he was scooping them up to put them on the grill. They were tasty-licious good. I like them plain. He likes a lot of butter and does this to it. I am posting this picture just for InHerChucks. See?
Either way, the corn was good.
At any rate, while I was typing this post and thinking of a wonderful corn-related titles or witty corn things to say, I read the ‘instructions’ for this week’s CSA loot.
“Note–We have bagged the broccoli for travel. Once you get home, remove from bags, allow to breathe in the refrigerator.”
Panic! I was a bad broccoli owner and foolishly just shoved the broccoli into the fridge. Was it suffocating? I ran downstairs and poked a big hole in the bag. Whew. That was a close one.
Then, I closed the refrigerator door.
Another week of summer veggies and another new box of never before tried greenstuff for my family.
I think this week’s box is also the heaviest to date!
What’s in there? Summer squash, carrots, watermelon!, tirreno melon (cantaloupe), romanian peppers, japanese eggplant, slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, tomatoes (cherry and slicing), arugula, basil, cauliflower, cherries and apricots (fruit share)
Whew! That’s a lot of produce!
This weekend was a big travel date for us so it was a little bit of a challenge for me to clean, pack and prep it all.
Thankfully, my resident cherry snacker was on hand to help …
Before you get all excited or impressed by my vast knowledge of purslane, I will confess that tonight’s dinner masterpiece was a total cheater. Technically, I cooked it. Technically, I have used the specified ingredients. But, don’t be fooled. It was too easy to be very gourmet or epicurean or any other ‘chef’ type of word. This was a complete Rachel Ray short cut move.
- Turkey tenderloin ala Costco and Foster Farms, pre-marinated. All I did was put it on the BBQ and flip it
- Carrots and honey in a foil pouch. Put it on the BBQ. (That is Fallon, Nevada, honey, though. Bonus points.)
- Repeat with the peas.
- I chopped up some purslane and sprinkled it on the turkey.
- Done. Weeknight meal plan–viola!
Now, here’s some stuff you can be impressed by:
Purslane is high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. That’s good for you stuff. Purslane is a noxious weed that you can eat. Go figure. Purslane is most commonly used in salads, kinda like parsley. And, to me, purslane didn’t really taste like much. It is just a ‘green’ flavor. Not like lawn clippings but juicier than parsley, if that makes any sense.
OH. And, a couple of other bloggers told me that purslane is common in Greek diets and there was some kind of study out there on interweb machine that indicated a group of people in the Mediterranean somewhere all lived to be well over a hundred and ate purslane everyday. Hmmm. There might be something to that one.