The other blogs…

September 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm (Uncategorized)

Yes, I’ve been horribly negligent, but my plan is still my plan. Here are the other blog addies:

http://enjoythescenery.wordpress.com

http://spatulasandfryingpans.wordpress.com

http://seamsandselvage.blogspot.com

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So here is the blogging plan

April 17, 2010 at 1:29 pm (Uncategorized)

In the beginning, this blog had no theme – I wrote about whatever came to mind. But, because I did that, I was very inconsistent in posting. Last year, I started participating in a CSA, and thought it would be fun to chronicle those adventures. It was tons of fun and I did a (fairly) good job of keeping up with it. At the same time, I wanted to write about other topics of interest to me, but it seemed weird to just interject those into all the food talk.

After a lot of thinking, I decided the solution is multiple themed blogs. I guess lots of people do this, but it seemed strange for me to do this. But, now I’ve caved and am going to break out posts among multiple blogs:

The Pointy Stick – My original blog is going to focus on miscellaneous musings and comments on life as well as any book commentary.

Spatulas & Frying Pans – I’m going to shift all food, CSA, farmers market, restaurants and anything similar to this blog.

Enjoy the Scenery – Anyone who knows me knows how I LOVE to travel. Love, love, love it. Did I say I love it? I also love taking pictures. I think that sums up this blog pretty well! In 2010, one of my goals is to learn how to really use my camera, and I’ll be talking about this here as well.

Seams & Selvage – Another 2010 goal is to learn how to sew – I’ve been talking about it for years, and have been too scared to try. Mostly, this blog will be about sewing (hence the name) but I wouldn’t be surprised if I verge into other creative endeavors now and again. This new blog is also going to start out on Blogger, rather than WordPress. We’ll see how I like the format. I chose to do this because there is a huge sewing community out there that I want to link to, and Blogger will let me do that a bit more easily and more creatively (or at least, I think it will). I might change my mind!

We’ll see how this works out – I may shift this around again if I feel it still isn’t quite right or is too much to keep up with. I’ll be making it easy to access all of these blogs from any of the others, once I get everything squared away.

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It’s been a long while

April 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm (Uncategorized)

Ah… yeah. A very long while. Apologies for that  – not that I have dozens of people clamoring to read my non-existent posts! But still, for the few who wander over here on occassion, I think they deserve an apology.

Anyway, I’m going to kick this off again soon, though I’m probably going to be making some changes to my approach so people can read what interests them most and ignore the rest. And also prevent my blog from being rather fragmented and confused.  I’ll explain what I’m thinking once I actually have an actual plan, rather than unformed ideas.

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Recipe Roundup

September 18, 2009 at 2:55 am (Cooking/Recipes, Uncategorized)

I’ve tried out a few recipes that I forgot to chronicle (not sure why, I think I just didn’t have the camera handy when I did these recipes), but I thought deserved mention. One surprising tasty recipe involved summer squash in a stir fry. I never would have considered it as a possibility, but I needed to use a very large, mysterious summer squash that appeared in my CSA box when I came across a recipe that intrigued me. Of course, I can’t seem to locate it now – if I do, I’ll add in the link.

I’m also bummed that I didn’t photograph the scrumptious Blueberry-Cream Cheese Coffecake that I made for a work function. It was gorgeous – the almond topping really elevated it to a whole new level, visually. It turned out a bit thin and somewhat like a strange Danish-cake, but it was tasty and I would totally make it again, especially for a brunch or special occasion. It took quite a number of steps and bowls, but wasn’t too difficult.

Pork and Edamame Fried Rice was an excellent way to use the edamame in a recipe – we’d mostly been boiling it and eating it out of the pods, but I wanted to expand into using the edamame as a component in a bigger recipe. It was yummy, but next time, I think I would leave the pork out. Both my husband and I agreed that the pork didn’t add a whole lot to the dish.

I did manage to take pics of some of my recipes in the past six weeks. Currently, I have an enormous Thai basil plant taking over my balcony, and was in desparate need of an excuse to use up some of it in one fell swoop. That’s where Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp came into play. I used this recipe as a base for mine, though I doubled the sauce, added a lot more basil, and substituted chicken for the shrimp.

Mmm... curry!

Mmm... curry!

Lasagna isn’t usually a big deal, but my husband and I tag-teamed to make an absolutely incredible one that included Swiss chard (mixed in with the ricotta layer) and an incredible sauce my husband made with Italian sausage. I’m drooling just thinking about it!

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Goodbye, peaches (CSA Pick Up 15)

September 12, 2009 at 2:09 am (CSA, Uncategorized) (, )

I was prepared to be all disgruntled at this week’s pick up – the weekly newsletter implied that certain u-pick items would only be available during the week (edamame), while others were on the weekend (potatoes), but I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the farm and we were able to pick both! Woo hoo! I love those edamame! It was an overcast day, so the usual morning crowd wasn’t around, which was nice.

In addition to the u-pick potatoes (around 3 lbs) and edamame, our box included more Swiss chard, squash, tomatoes, the last ears of corn, the last of the peaches, and additional potatoes. I have to say – the Swiss chard from the past two weeks has been so much better than the chard we received earlier in the season – gorgeous. And, I can’t say even describe how happy I am that the peaches are done! It was great for a while, but I am ready for something new.

Peeking in the box

Peeking in the box

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So behind…. will be catching up…

September 6, 2009 at 1:15 am (Uncategorized)

I was on a good run for a while, blogging about my pick ups (which have continued!) but I’ve gotten very behind… I’ll be back dating some posts to ensure I’ve covered everything. Hopefully I’ll be caught up by the end of the Labor Day weekend!

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Potatoes and Pancakes (CSA Pick Up 14)

September 5, 2009 at 2:47 am (CSA, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

This week was rather different for us, in terms of the CSA.

Great Country Farms

This has been our regular CSA – and we’ve been fairly happy with it, with only a few snafus and frustrations. This week, we headed out for their ‘Potatoes and Pancakes’ festivities. Basically, it’s when they start harvesting the potatoes, and they do a free pancake breakfast for CSA members. Even with my cold, which has really been doing a number on me, we headed out. I wanted pancakes, and potatoes!

We arrived pretty close to opening, and already there were tons of cars. That should have been an indication of how busy it was going to get! We made the not so wise decision to pick potatoes first because the line for pancakes seemed long. The potato picking was great fun – they made it super easy by ripping up a few rows with a tractor. The potatoes literally were littering the ground and were so easy to find. The husband and I loaded up the half-bag of potatoes that came as part of our half-share, and then filled a few other bags. The potatoes were a great deal – basically 52 cents a lb, and I intend to store the many extra. With monitoring and proper storage, they can last quite a long time.

Heading to the potato field

Heading to the potato field

Those aren't rock... they are potatoes!

Those aren't rocks... they're potatoes!

Potatoes up close and personal

Potatoes up close and personal

Getting back to the farm, the pancake line had gotten much, much longer, but we were good natured about it and enjoyed our free breakfast when we finally got to the end of the line. Afterwards, we picked a few Mexican sunflowers and headed out.

Our box from GCF contained two surprises this week – some banana peppers and a small personal-sized watermelon! In addition we had some lovely Swiss chard, tomatoes, a squash, and more peaches (!).  

This week's box

This week's box

Our u-pick bonus potatoes

Our u-pick bonus potatoes

 

Our extra potatoes for storage

Our extra potatoes for storage

Star Hollow Farm

Less than midway through our regular CSA season (see above) I started to get bummed out thinking about the fact that our CSA would end in mid-October and if we decided to re-up with GCF next year, wouldn’t start until June. Sure, I could go to the Farmers Markets, but many of them taper off during those months, and I really have loved knowing exactly where my food was being grown. I started doing some research for late autumn/winter/early spring options, and I discovered Star Hollow Farm, which is located in PA but does organized drops in the DC area. This CSA operates a bit differently than most – basically, they have a preset # of CSA members, each of whom pay $300, which makes them members of the CSA. However, this is where the similarities end.

 SHF doesn’t guarantee a harvest box to every CSA member – instead, they open up their online store on Wednesday with a preset number, and lucky souls get to order one. You also have the option of adding additional quantities and items – basically, you can customize your order with a range of items – free range eggs, dairy projects, more fruits and veggies, etc. The total value of your order (whatever it might be) is debited from your $300, with the harvest boxes being between a $15-18 value.  It’s really quite a flexible model especially when you might travel a lot, like me. Plus, they work year-round!

Since the husband didn’t go into work late, we decided to order a box this week to augment what we got from GCF – while I intend to use Star Hollow more once the GCF season ends, I did want to see how their box compared to a GCF one. I thought it might be fun. Anyway, we got out to the Adams Morgan neighborhood of DC around 12:15, which probably wasn’t the best idea for finding parking (it’s never easy, but noon on Saturday probably didn’t make it easier!) Box pick up was easy, and I was impressed that Randy, the farmer, put a note on our box for us to go talk to him. He just wanted to welcome us to the CSA and say hi, which made a positive impression on me. It really made it more personal and I appreciated the effort.

The box itself was nice – we got some variety that augmented the GCF box well as well as a few overlapping items: 1 pint snacking peppers, around 2 lbs of Carolina gold potatoes (more potatoes!), an onion, a head of garlic, Swiss chard (can never have too much of the chard), a head of broccoli, plums (a different variety than I’ve had before), a cantaloupe, 2 ears of corn, and some Roma tomatoes. In addition the harvest box items, we had added two others to our pickup: 1 lb of mushrooms, which I use for bulking up my breakfasts, and lacinato (or black) kale. All in all, I liked the experience and am feeling much less angst about the end of the GCF season, as I have now found another farm that I’m pleased to be able to support.

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Berry surprised! (CSA Pick Up 13)

August 29, 2009 at 2:45 am (CSA, Uncategorized) (, )

This was a nice week for the CSA pick-up: a large, unidentified summer squash, lemon balm plant, a cantaloupe, tomatoes (cherry and regular), a lot of peaches, and 5 ears of corn, and a bunch of concord grapes. My husband enjoyed the grapes – they were too ‘grape juice’ tasting for me.

A surprise treat was a pint of blackberries as part of our u-pick options! I hadn’t expected another week of blackberry goodness. In addition to blackberries, there were more peaches (6) and a small bag of edamame, which are my new favorite thing. Seriously, I could eat these all day.

Our bounty

Our bounty

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Fat tomatoes (CSA Pick Up 12)

August 22, 2009 at 2:43 am (CSA, Uncategorized) (, , , )

After taking a break in our pick ups last week (we were in Arizona visiting family – hence the uneven numbering for the pick ups!) I was eager to pick up our box today. We were not disappointed! The peaches were back again, though they were accompanied by a half-dozen nectarines, a huge head of heat-tolerant lettuce, delicious tomatoes, a small bag of green beans, 4 ears of corn, and squash. In addition, we were able to pick a nice sized bag of edamame (sweet soy beans) and some additional peaches.

 We’ve got an extra box coming to us sometime before the end of the CSA season for the week we missed– I think we will be holding off on that until October, when the fall goodies should be appearing!

In the box
In the box
This week's haul

This week's haul

 

Tomato close up!

Tomato close up!

 

Edamame!

Edamame!

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What was I thinking? (CSA Pick Up #10)

August 8, 2009 at 2:41 am (CSA, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 There was a ton of fruit in this week’s pick up and u-pick bonus, including more peaches, another batch of plums, a cantaloupe, and two more pints of blackberries. On the vegetable side, we received corn, cucumber, squash, and a small chive plant. 

Peeking in the box

Peeking in the box

Plums and peaches galore

Plums and peaches galore

Cantaloupe, corn, and other goodies (side view)

Cantaloupe, corn, and other goodies (side view)

Ahh... peaches!

Ahh... peaches!

I’m not sure what posessed me, but I decided – in addition to the bazillion peaches I received from the box and the u-pick bonus – to harvest 13 lbs of additional peaches to can. This was an especially insane prospect given that I would be leaving in a few days for Arizona and really could have used the time to pack and get organized. Instead, I wound up canning an amazing amount of peaches. Seriously, we are set for the year. As tiring as it was, it was a ton of fun and I got to try out my new big boiling water canner. It was extra nice, because I could can some sugar-free preserves for my parents. But I definitely could have done without all the peeling and chopping. Next time, I need someone to help with the chopping!

Almost forgot – I got some delicious heirloom tomatoes  on the way home from the farm – aren’t they gorgeous?

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