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Fall Week 2

The contents this week:

Lots of little baby carrots

3 little peppers (hot or not? TBD)

3 tomatoes

Arugula

Pole beans

Sweet Potatoes

Turnip greens

You can see the dirt in the picture from the sweet potatoes. Should have thought about that before I just dumped the bag out on the counter! Oh well.

C. is super excited about those sweet potatoes. I’m not a huge fan…which is kinda weird. I’m going to tell myself that I like them. Maybe that will do it?

 

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For the Top Chef DC finale I decided to pull a little fancy dinner of my own. And of course, I had just returned from the land of enchantment with lots of chili powder.

I made the sauce from the powder and one from sour cream and then stuffed CSA peppers with chicken and cheese.

I didn’t wipe my plate before I served, so sadly, I did not win Top Chef DC. I know, I know. Next season!

After the stuffed peppers, we enjoyed another treat from my trip, chocolate elixir from Kakawa Chocolate house. This is seriously one of the best tasting things I have ever had to drink. When I walked into this little chocolate house in Santa Fe they welcomed me with a taste of EVERY flavor. I brought home several of the dry wafers flavors to make at home…

To grate:

To whisk:

To enjoy:

This stuff is so intense and delicious. I don’t like coffee (as traditional supertasters go), so this can be my espresso. Thank you chocolate gods.

A perfect end to a perfect meal.

Super tasting has given me quite the refined palate. For example, I can differentiate between green giant and del monte canned green beans. Leading to much eye-rolling from my mother.

Sorry, Mom! My super palate bends to no sale on canned goods! Even if they are buy one get one free!

But, now, I’m trying to be a big girl and eat the fresh ones.

I froze a bunch of beans last weekend and have been using them in our meals this week, adding them to anything from boxed TJ’s soup to fried rice.

Blanching is crucial! It stops the enzymes and keeps everything crisp tender.

Another important step is to freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet first, so you can use them as needed.  No frozen green bean bricks to contend with later.

I must admit, I would still prefer green giant to the fresh version. I love the soft texture and salty non-green flavor. For a long time, this was the only green veggie I would touch.

Here I am at Costco, fawning over the super sized can:

C. had to perform a quick intervention to keep it out of our cart.

But…but…its so pretty!

I had to get up early this morning but it was made totally okay by the topic of my morning podcast…TASTE.

So, I have a love affair with Josh and Chuck of the Stuff You Should Know podcast and listening has become my commute routine (along with stuff you missed in history class). I have become very good at jeopardy and trivial pursuit because of this habit.

This morning’s podcast was SO interesting it woke me right up and started my day off right. It was like coffee for you normal tasters!!

Super tasting was even mentioned several times. I learned so many things that I didn’t know, I can’t even recount them all here. But if you have any interest in how taste/flavor, etc work, I highly recommend listening to this 35 minutes of awesomeness.

A few things that resonated with me:

1.  You can taste carbon dioxide. Blech! I hate carbonated beverages. Validation!

2. Your gut can taste and trigger vomiting and tummy aches. I get really bad stomach aches after eating lots of greens…especially after drinking green juice. In fact, I’ve had a few not stay down.

3. The gene that determines how/if you taste bitter is so prominent that for a time it was used in paternity tests.

Yes, my friends. So much cool information. And as my buddies always say at the end of their podcasts, you can go HERE and type taste in the ‘handy search bar’ and…

Your search for “taste” returned 1,653 articles.

The first page alone…(must.do.work).

Okay, so now I’m off to write Josh and Chuck my first fan email. I feel like a school girl with a poster of JTT in her locker. (Throwback!)

OMG! They are so cute and smart…!!!


One veggie that I have always loved (that may or may not qualify as a veggie to normal people) is pickles. I’m not really into canning, its a lot of work in a tiny kitchen. But, with all of the cukes I got, I really wanted to make some delicious pickles. So, I thought I’d try my hand at fridge pickles.

No pain in the butt canning, just pickles.

I sliced up the cucumbers (about 4) and put in several cloves of garlic I got from the CSA.

Next I made a fridge pickle preservation concoction of vinegar, water, sugar, red pepper flakes, peppercorns. Oh! and SALT. Of course. Boil until salt and sugar dissolve.

I dumped over the bowl of cucumber and garlic and let it sit a little to let them get soft.

Then, I put (stuffed) them in a jar.

P.S. I now have more cucumbers….sigh.

P.S.S They are really, really good. I keep stopping by the fridge and eating them. I’ve actually just left a fork in the fridge next to the jar. Don’t hate.

I mentioned before that my first impressions of our CSA was the strong community of people involved. I got to see this first hand this week! I’m so grateful that the coordinator of the program was willing to meet me this morning after I got back from LA to hand over the bag. So…good news! I still got my blue bag!! With Corn!

In the bag:

2 Cucumbers

1 summer squash

1 big, 1 small zucchini

2 ears of corn (!!)

New Potatoes

Lots of carrots

Chard

Basil

Mint

2 tomatoes!!

Wow! I’m so glad my awesome little sister is coming this weekend to help me eat up all of these veggies. She did not get the super taster gene and so she is really looking forward to trying these local goodies.

As you can see from the pic…summer is definitely here!!

Week 6!

In the bag:

2 summer squash

3 zucchini -2 little 1 huge

Bunch of Basil

Chard

Head of garlic

4 cucumbers

2 sweet onions

1 bulb of fennel

I actually didn’t mean to cover up the fennel with the little zucchini. I think it was my subconscious trying to save me from it. Right now its all bagged up and headed to best bud’s kitchen. Maybe next time, fennel, maybe next time.

I’m planning some chard bread, fridge pickles and a squash/pesto thing from the CSA newsletter.  Good thing, since I made more pesto last night!

Fennel. Fennel is number one on the scary list. Numero Uno.

The last time fennel bit me in the rear was when C. was visiting. We went to our super favorite restaurant, Montemarte. They had a cold sweet pea soup on the menu. I ordered it because C. didn’t want to share the salad special with me because he wanted escargot (see how this is his fault?).

I love peas, so when the soup came I fearlessly–overcoming all my super tasting tendencies–put a big ole spoonful in my mouth without the traditional pinky dip and taste.

Um.

Um.

AHHHH. FENNEL SNEAK ATTACK.

Not cool fennel. Ruined my soup. Made it inedible. Now why are you in my CSA bag? WHY?

Numero Uno…

I would be completely amiss if I didn’t mention another strange eater that lives with me, my kitty, Alcy. She is 7 years old and has had this habit since she was a kitten. I almost said tiny kitten, but this baby was never tiny. The doctor actually said that she was only fat shelter kitten she had ever seen. Ha!

This sweet kitty hides a horrible secret. Like I am a super taster, Alcy is a wool-sucker. And it sucks, literally. She eats ANYTHING on the floor made of almost any material. Pillow corners, sheets, blankets, sweaters, socks. Its gross. The only good thing is that we must keep our house clean! We have to warn guests when they come over because she will go straight for their jackets if not hung up. I don’t have a lot examples any more because we’ve become so good at keeping stuff out of her little mouth.

Tank top that she had for about two seconds. I can hear it happening, so stopped it pretty quickly. And this blanket is another example.

In her 7 years she has never gotten sick from it. I hope it stays that way!

I love fried rice. I had it for the first time in 8th grade. I ate only white rice previously. I went to a hibachi restaurant for a friend’s birthday and there was no choice but to eat the rice with that scary brown stuff on it. But, surprise! Scary brown stuff was salty and delicious (see yesterday’s post).

However, it still wasn’t totally safe to order, some places added vegetables! Or little shrimps! And I wasn’t comfortable making it at home, since I didn’t have a hibachi grill and all. Ha.

By the time I got to college I learned to add an egg to the white rice, then soy sauce, then chicken and recently, frozen peas and carrots. And I changed to brown rice.

What I made last night was NOT safe fried rice. And it was a challenge to eat, to be totally honest.

That’s chard, summer squash, garlic curls. I eventually added the greens and removed the mixture from the pan. Then I scrambled some eggs. Took those out, fried the rice with some soy sauce and then added the components back in:

It was very pretty rice.

But, like I said, I had trouble eating it. The squash was quite delicious, and the garlic curls added an onion-y tang that was very nice…but the chard. I didn’t like the texture or the taste. But I ate it. Like a champ. The whole dish tasted so…GREEN.

It was a little disheartening. I just hope I adjust to these flavors if I keep pushing myself.

The Story

I'm skeptical of vegetables and joined a CSA to see if I can make friends with them. This blog exists so that I can hold myself accountable to eating what I paid for and document what I can do with lots of local produce!

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