Archive for the ‘CSA’ Category

Episode V: The Entropy Strikes Back

September 8, 2010

The semester started out so well! I put on my grown-up costume and brought my lunch and everything!

This is my grown-up disguise.

I apparently took pictures for step-by-step instructions for building my lunch:

Step 1

Black bean soup from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.

Step 2

…and a cheddar chive muffin. It’s the “cheese muffin” from Joy of Cooking but with fresh chives added (and, as always, made with GF flour).

Step 3

A donut peach from the CSA and local gouda-esque cheese from the farmer’s market. The donut peaches are odd and flat, but very tasty!

Step 4

AND. An apple. I’m pretty sure it’s a Gingergold from Black Diamond farm.

So as you can see, I meant business! I continued to mean business when I made another beans and greens thing from MRCaH and roasted several eggplants and served them with feta:

Veggie Plates

And when I made a Moroccan Fish Tagine (from Best-Ever Slow Cooker, One-pot & Casserole Cookbook). The harissa could have been spicier, truth be told. Mostly this tasted of lemons. Not complaining, though. It was deliciously lemony.

Moroccan Fish Tagine

And then I made the Tarragon and Cider Chicken from the same book. And it was astounding.

Tarragon Cider Chicken

Seriously, go make this right now! It’s so good!

But be warned, if you are like us. Be careful not to do this, as this was our downfall:

Too sexy for this table

Already you can see, around the edges of our balanced meal, the clutter is creeping. Near the salads, a book that has not yet been returned to its rightful owner. Near the nice bottle of Bellwether Cider, a problem set lurks. And so it begins people. Your life comes back and says: “YOU CANNOT HAVE NICE THINGS.”

And so I didn’t cook for a while, and we descended into eating leftover (which were thankfully plentiful) and Mr. Piggy groused much about all the CSA things that were not eaten. And then the heatwave came and sapped any desire I ever had to be anywhere near the stove. And then came the work. And the clutter, and the annoyance. And then came MORE veggies from the CSA

To Be Continued…

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

August 23, 2010

Although basically vacuous, I’ve always kind of liked that saying. It’s got so much hope. You can change the shit that goes wrong and you are not stuck in your patterns.

As perpetual students/people on the academic path, Mr. Piggy and I celebrate New Years in late August or early September. This is when we start over, get a clean slate, make our resolutions and take a breath before the year ahead. Things have not been easy. We were both in a set of bad patterns last semester and we have vowed to try harder and concentrate on life and not let it get away from us (and take our A-exams. We’re both going to take our A-exams. You heard it here first.) So we’ve lived this weekend as the beginning of the new pigs. New! Improved! Sty-cleaning! Less-procrastinating! Does-not-live-on-take-out-Thai-food! And we are trying very hard not to turn into this: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-is-why-ill-never-be-adult.html. It is hilarious, and genius and ENTIRELY TOO CLOSE TO HOME. But so far so good.

We brightened the sty up a bit. In the middle of cleaning, we went to pick up the CSA and found that they had Pick-Your-Own flowers (as well as cherry tomatoes) and we couldn’t resist. So even though the living room is still largely a mess, there are fresh flowers.

Flowers from the CSA

One of my most significant resolutions had to do with food. I have taken over the cooking. Sharing it was simply not working because Mr. Piggy doesn’t like cooking (although he loves baking) and would simply avoid cooking in favor of continuing to do physics until his hunger and exhaustion drove him to either order Thai food or cook pasta sauce at midnight. This made no one happy. Ben would rather do tasks I find abhorrent and disgusting than make dinner. So today, he fixed the broken toilet, and I went to the farmer’s market and made dinner.

Since it’s Sunday, I was a bit ambitious.

Summer Squash, Herb, and Rice Gratin

I absolutely adore Deborah Cameron’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I think if I had infinite time, I might try to make everything in that book. I made the gratin above to try to use up summer squash. I used yellow squash rather than zucchini, and, of course, made the bechemel with gluten-free flour. My first bechemel! I also used fresh herbs and shallots and the flavor was surprisingly mild as a result. I offer one correction to the description in the book. It describes this as “filling but not at all heavy.” That’s a lie. It’s heavy. Wonderful and amazing, but rich and heavy.

Vinegared Beets in a Nest of their Greens

To go with that, I made the Beets in a Nest of Greens from the same book using farmer’s market beets bought this morning. At the end, you sauté the beets in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and the vinegar turns into a glaze in the heat. They’re amazing, and you have just cooked and eaten a whole plant. Efficient!

I may have gotten just a tad carried away by the joy of being back in my kitchen after being away traveling, researching and helping out with Nana’s move. After dinner, I made muffins. 43 of them, to be precise.

Gluten-free bran muffins

They’re the Joy of Cooking bran muffin recipe, using Bob’s Red Mill GF flour and rice bran, and I added Thompson and golden raisins in equal amounts. Mr. Piggy says they are slightly better than “other bran muffins,” but I’m not sure whether to believe him since he hasn’t eaten a bran muffin in years owing to them all containing wheat. So if anyone wants to be a more reliable witness, we’ve got 30 of the suckers in the freezer and 8 on the counter.

While all the above food was happening, Mr. Piggy was fixing the upstairs toilet. Around 9pm, he announced that it was fixed. We rejoiced. At 9:45pm I decided I would clean the downstairs bathroom before I blogged and went to bed. At 10pm, the downstairs toilet broke. We had two functioning toilets for 1 hour. I guess we know how Mr. Piggy’s going to spend his Monday evening…