April 26, 2010

It's CSA Delivery Day

This delivery was so over the top, I couldn't even fit it all on the table, and you can't really see the absolutely ginormous stalks of swiss chard in the back because they're covered up by the kale and golden beets. It took me about an hour just to put all this away, because I had to trim the greens off the beets and the swiss chard off the stalks, because otherwise it wouldn't have all fit into the refrigerator.

My husband watched me while eating his portion of the walnut brownie treat that came with the delivery, and he said, "Let's be honest. Not everyone could do this. It's a lot of work."

I told him I had mentioned that before, but in case it's been awhile, I have to admit it IS a lot of work to keep track of all of this, plan menus around it, and make sure we use it all up. It's worth it, mostly because it tastes so good, but also I like knowing that we're eating local and organic and I think it's much healthier for us. But I just wanted to give full disclosure about it - my husband and I have flexible schedules and we can swing it, but it would be very difficult with two people working full-time jobs. The delivery is a convenience, but the rest of it is a project.

I'm not complaining, mind you. Just telling you how I see it. I'm always very happy to see some of my favorites with each delivery, and with a few exceptions, I've discovered several delicious new recipes planned around an item we were previously unfamiliar with.

This week we got (roughly clockwise from the back): Bloomsdale spinach (our current favorite), kale, swiss chard, golden beets, some kind of beans, zucchini, maui onions, broccoli, navel oranges, fuji apples, artichokes, potatoes, grapefruit , sweet potato, cabbage, strawberries, snap peas, green garlic, an unidentified bunch of herbs and a walnut brownie (not pictured).

I'm a huge sweet potato lover, and am excited to eat possibly my first local, organic sweet potato. For dinner tonight, I'll get to that swiss chard right away with our new favorite Guadalajaran Swiss Chard Quesadillas, and tomorrow I'll make a potato/leek/broccoli pureed soup. That leaves a lot of other dinners to figure out!

Click here to learn more about CSA and find one in your area. And feel free to leave your thoughts in the Comments section, along with recipes for anything you see in the photo.

14 comments:

JennH said...

I'm just curious, are you getting a whole share or a half share? When we had a CSA a couple of summers ago we had a half share & that worked great for just my husband & myself. Just something else for people to think about if they want to try it but are a little scared by the size of your weekly bounty!
JennH

Angela said...

JennH- This is a "small" delivery, and we only get it every other week. It's still a lot for us to go through...

Thanks for your comment- it's true that people can usually get what fits their needs...

Wanda said...

I just love seeing your csa posts. The food always looks so wonderful.

CrazeeTeacherLady said...

I don't even know what swiss chard and kale are - besides vegetables, so I sure wouldn't know how to cook with it! Wait, I also have no idea what a leek is. I guess I need to keep coming back to learn about these unusual foods!

Laura said...

Everything looks so GOOD, and those artichokes look especially tempting! I'm going to have to try the Guadalajaran Swiss Chard Quesadillas. Just the name sounds yummy, and we are getting a LOT of greens out of our garden now.

I also love sweet potatoes. I'm making Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos tonight and will post the recipe on Wednesday on my blog. You could put grated zucchini in enchiladas or make a fritatta with them.

Alea said...

Wow, what a wonderful delivery! I love that your husband lets you have his share of the sweets!

The broccoli and zucchini could be used in this vegetable lasagna: http://www.premeditatedleftovers.com/2010/04/vegetable-lasagna.html. It is good, but chopping the veggies takes a bit of time.

I also like making strawberry spinache salads with raspberry vinaigrette.

How do you prepare your artichokes? I have never prepared them before.

susan said...

beautiful beautiful veggies...question/comment?...about cleaning & trimming beet greens and swiss chard...everything about both of them is edible...i am not sure what you took off to put them in the refrigerator...hopefully just wilty bad stuff

Angela said...

Crazee Teacher Lady- Swiss chard and kale are delicious greens. They can be boiled, sauteed, added to soup, or put in a stirfry or frittata- lots of options. I love both of them. And leeks are kind of a mild onion, used for cooking. I'm making potato/leek soup tonight- it's a puree.

Laura- I love the sound of the sweet potato burritos, and yes the swiss chard quesadillas are delicious. I've posted the recipe a couple of times- recently on a CSA post as well. Good idea for the zucchini, thanks.

Alea- I am just waiting for a day I have enough time to make your delicious-sounding lasagna. Your question about artichokes reminds me of when I was in my 20s and hardly ever cooked but I would buy artichokes in season, because I love them and because they're actually cheap for a couple of weeks. People would ask me how to prepare them when they would see me buying them. They're the easiest thing in the world- you just boil or steam them. That's it. I usually cut most of the stem off, but it is edible although bitter. Fancy restaurants trim the leaves, but that's a lot of work and completely unnecessary. After you steam it maybe 10 minutes (check that the base is soft) you let it cool and serve with melted butter/lemon or mayo. It's time-consuming to pull off the leaves, but you eat them as you go (scraping the good part with your teeth off the leaf) and then when you get to the heart, you peel off the fuzzy stuff and it is delicious.

Susan- I saved the beet greens in a bag because they are delicious, but I peeled the leaves off the stalks of the chard. The chard leaves were literally about two feet long, and the stalks were incredibly thick. When they're smaller, I will eat them.

Thanks for all your comments!

Anonymous said...

Altho you have plenty of greens to use, swiss chard stems can be used like celery - raw, sauteed and are particularly good in a 'chop salad'. Friend of mine would spread them with peanut butter for her kids after school snack.

Do you make sweet potato oven fries? Tried them for the first time last week - loved them but hubby refused to even try one. His loss, my gain.

Angela said...

LOVE sweet potato oven fries, and it's the only way I've gotten my husband to eat sweet potatoes. I'll eat them practically any way at all- I love them!

Beth said...

You've convinced me. I'm looking for a local CSA, but I'm finding that they don't farm from July through September. :(

Thanks Auntie!

Marie-Josée said...

That delivery looks wonderful, I'm so jealous of you Californians! It was snowing yesteday in Montreal, Quebec after several days of 70 degree weather! My husband and I decided to join a collective garden this year and we're really excited about it. It works a bit like a coop: We donate four hours of work each week and decide as a group what we will be planting. There are two scheduled weekly meetings, we chose Wednesday's from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. We bring a cold meal and take a break from gardening to share a meal together. Everyone will share the produce and part of it will be donated to a charible organization. I am hoping we will like the experience.

Angela said...

Beth- I hope you'll like it- I know Parker will! Ha. Yeah, I don't think anyone could be outside doing that kind of work in 110 degrees.

Marie Josee- That sounds like a wonderful experience- let us know how it goes.

Forest Parks said...

It looks awesome and way worth it!!! If I could get CSA here in Cairo I would more than jump at the chance....

Forest.
http://frugalzeitgeist.com