Thursday, May 26, 2011

CSA Week 3: Mystery delivery

 This week's haul, which I received early do to the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, includes another pound of sugar snap peas, 8 baby red potatoes, 2 cucumbers, 4 huge zucchini, 3 yellow or summer squash, 2 huge bunches of bok choy, 2 "round" zucchini and a "patty pan" squash. If you don't recognize some of those names, don't worry. I actually had to do some Googling to identify the odd squashes.

 Here's a close up of the round zucchini. I really was thrown by these little guys. I thought it was a melon up until the moment I cut it and half and discovered a squash interior:

Apparently it's related to zucchini. It grows into a round ball, with the seeds centered in the middle, like acorn squash. It's a summer squash, which is just a name for squashes that (surprise, surprise) mature in the summer and have a tender, edible skin. Other squashes - butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti, etc. - mature during the fall and have a tough, inedible skin.

 This beautiful guy is a patty pan. He's not quite as obvious of a patty pan, by he's definitely flatter and if you look at the yellow edge, you'll notice the scalloped edges that is fairly unique to the squash. You have likely seen his bigger, more popular brethren in stores or farmers markets in a seafoam green or tan color. I personally think these colors are much prettier.

I feel as though I've completely ignored the crown jewel of this batch, the huge bok choy bunches. Seriously, I've never seen bok choy in this size. Most grocery store versions are smaller and are often "baby" bock choy. Janice, the Clayhill Farms owner who delivers the bags, handed out two recipes that I'm eager to try. One is for a classic chicken stir fry (which I'm sure the peas will make an appearance in, as well) and the other is for a cole slaw. I'm foreseeing Asian-inspired pulled pork and bok choy coleslaw sandwiches in my future.

Price comparison
This week was really difficult due to the uniqueness of the items. Plus, potatoes, peas and bok choy were not available in organic. I may have to check out Trader Joes or Fresh Market in person just so I can start collecting prices on some of the basics that I can't find organic versions of at Harris Teeter. I had to price the patty pan and round zucchini on normal zucchini and summer squash. So this week isn't quite accurate yet. I hope to edit it and get you a better comparison.
  • 8 baby red potatoes: $3.87
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas: $3.99
  • 2 cucumbers: $3.18
  • 4 zucchini + 2 round zucchini: $9.16
  • 3 yellow squash + 1 patty pan: $8.41
  • 2 bok choy (I priced for 4 since each is about double the size of a grocery bok choy): $5.07 
          • Total: $33.68
I saved at least $12.68 this week, though I bet it's really more. If I ever make it out to the local organic groceries, I'll update all the posts.

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