Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CSA Week 16: Blame Irene

OK, I have bad news. I've been a bad blogger. Not only have I not post in nine days, I haven't even managed to  give myself much to blog about. See, I've gotten increased duties at work that have double my workload so I have less time and inclination to do "work" outside of my job. Then an earthquake hit. And then there was this little hurricane named Irene. And we were without power for three days. So cut me some slack, please?

Thanks! Alright, so my cardinal sin this week might have been the fact that even though I received a CSA delivery (a few days early so we wouldn't have to travel during the storm), I never took picture. And I've already eaten or given away half of the delivery. Lame. Teaches me not to put off taking the dang picture, that's for sure.

Anyway, here's my breakdown anyway:

Price Breakdown

  • 1 cantaloupe: $3.69
  • 1 head of cabbage: $6.27
  • 4 tomatoes: $7.98
  • 1 eggplant: $1.79
  • 6 yellow squash: $10.09
  • 2 cucumbers: $3.58
      • Total: $33.40
    • Total savings: $12.40

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jewels of the sea

I never used to be that interested in collecting stuff on the beach. But since I married into a family of collectors (my father-in-law has a growing collection of arrowheads and my mother-in-law decorates the house with a variety of shells, sea glass and recovered bits of ceramic from the beach), combing the beach for little jewels of the sea has become a constant pasttime. On a recent trip to the in-laws, we went out on the Chesapeake Bay to visit some of the sandy isles near Crisfield, Md.:

We also brought Miyagi along, although he wasn't very much help when it came to hunting for artifacts. He spent most of his time in the water, waiting for us to join him.

Anyway, I've generally been focusing on sea glass during our outings. This recent trip turned up some of the best in my collection:

I'll point out that among the basic white glass, there is green, purple, cobalt, light blue and amber. See if you can see the little piece of sponge coral I discovered dried up and  lodged in a broken bottle that I left on the beach to get a little more wearing down from the waves.

Anyway, I keep most of the glass in a bamboo bowl, along with my Coca-Cola bottles I brought back from Morocco. Like so:

I'm not sure if the tableau makes any sense at all, but it does make me smile when I see it. Call it my little memory corner.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

CSA Week 15: Challenges

I used to think that getting items that I've never or rarely cooked with would be the challenge of getting CSA deliveries. Not so. Turns out it's a whole lot more difficult to be creative when you are faced with using the same vegetables over and over again. That's how I ended up throwing a few yellow squash and a whole lot of cucumber away a few weeks into the program. I know, I know. Shame on me. But I suppose this week's delivery is an opportunity to make up for it:

That's right. 4 yellow squash and 3 cucumbers. Plus, I'm finding it hard to think of anything but corned beef and cabbage to utilize that admittedly gorgeous head of cabbage. But why fight it,  right? My husband is a fan and it's kind of in my blood. I suppose I'll be picking up corned beef at the grocery store today.

Price breakdown

  • 1 head of cabbage: $5.92
  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes: $7.98
  • 10 ears of corn: $9.18
  • 4 yellow squash: $6.73
  • 3 cucumbers: $5.37
      • Total: $35.17
    • Total savings: $14.17

Saturday, August 13, 2011

CSA Week 14: Decisions

This week's delivery was exciting not just because of the gorgeous vegetables, but because of a simple piece of paper that announced that we have the chance to continue getting deliveries through the second week of December.
My first instinct was to celebrate. My second instinct was apprehension, mostly because I've already had a bit of trouble trying to use everything from my deliveries. We have until September to make the decision about whether or not we want to extend our program, but I'm already leaning toward getting it. That's because we can expect broccoli, kale, winter squash (like butternut) and sweet potatoes, and all of those items are super exciting. Plus, the deliveries are the same price ($21 per week, or $147 fro 7 weeks) and I've pretty much proven that the CSA saves me a boatload on veggies. I think this week and next week will help make that decision by acting as a test of whether or not I can make these deliveries worth it, i.e. whether or not I can actually eat all that food.

So here's this week's delivery:
Big excitement of the week: an onion! I know, it seems a little silly to find something so simple like an onion, but it's a very essential item and I never seem to remember to buy them. Plus, I've never actually tried a fresh-from-the-farm onion.

Price Breakdown

  • 1 watermelon: $5.99
  • 1 onion: $1.34
  • 2 eggplants: $3.58
  • 4 tomatoes: $7.98
  • 5 green bell peppers: $9.95
  • 6 yellow peaches: $7.85
      • Total: $36.70
    • Total saved: $15.70

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    CSA Week 13: More chances to experiment

    There were a lot of repeat items in this week's delivery, but they are favorites that allow me to do some experimenting with cooking.
    So far I've used two of the eggplants and the pink-eyed peas. The peaches will be meant for peach crumble and I'm thinking of roasting the tomatoes and tossing them with feta cheese and balsamic vinegar.

    Price Breakdown

    • 1 watermelon: $5.99
    • 1 cantaloupe: $3.99
    • 8 peaches: $10.47
    • 3 tomatoes: $5.99
    • 3 eggplant: $7.98
    • 1 lb. of pink-eyed peas: $2.78
        • Total: $37.20
      • Total saved: $16.20
      Note on the pictures: The tomatoes were slightly under-ripe (hence the orange color) and the peaches were really dusty. A quick scrub for the peaches and a two days on a sunny windowsill fixed these babies right up and they look just as a good as they taste. Often with fresh, farm-grown fruits and veggies, they really don't have to perfectly formed for them to be tasty and healthy.