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Box 6 – Week of August 11

I finished off (almost?) everything from the last box before this one arrived! But more on that in another post. Here is what we are looking at for the next two weeks.IMG_6850

 

This is what we are seeing:
Melon (cantaloupe-like), arugula, yellow squash
Okra, butternut squash, onions
Sweet potato greens, basil, carrots
Eggplant, pepper mix

I am very excited about the carrots, I realized with the last bunch that they are ridiculously good with just some olive oil. I hope we’ll see some actual sweet potatoes soon, too. 

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Posted by on August 12, 2014 in Box contents

 

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Box 4 Report Card: C

Awwww, it’s so sad that I failed some of my poor vegetables AGAIN! It was the sweet potato leaves that met the trash this time. Although I got more this week that I plan to throw into smoothies and devour after sautéeing them in bacon grease. Mmmmmm!

Box 4 reportI also ended up tossing a banana pepper from who knows when and two little squash guys. Maybe this box itself is better than I am thinking right now and my attitude is just affected by forgetting about the veggies that got soft and fuzzy.

Here is how I ended up using this box:

Basil – part of it was dried and stuck into the cabinet, another part was in tomato sauce

Cherry tomatoes – all eaten quickly!

Eggplant – more zaalouk! It’s my Designated Dishwasher’s favorite.

Watermelon – drank. Went down wonderfully. 

Okra – Oven roasted

Pepper mix – Some eaten multiple ways: With hummus, with tuna, with salad. Some still waiting for its chance in my belly.

Arugula – This stuff is SOOO much stronger than what you get in the store! It’s great, but needs to be tamed by other greens. I tried to have an arugula salad the first day and it was a bad plan. I was getting sick that day and the arugula did not help it. Bad thoughts just thinking about it. But tasty stuff, and amazingly still looks edible, yay!

Sweet potato greens – Some eaten with rice and chicken, some… met the trash can after they got brown. Sad and gross. Their friends from this week have already entered a smoothie, though. Progress!

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Box report card

 

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Mint, three ways

Some ingredients ‘three ways’ or ‘eight ways’ always sounds pretentious to me. Like restaurants that serve you tiny bits of things and call it food or the contestants on food network that try to do too many things and fail. I went to one of those restaurants once, it had rabbit seven ways and was supposed to be a major thing there. Nobody at my table was impressed, despite the fact that a lot of people love it. I guess me not going will just make more room for them.

But when some amazing smelling spearmint was in the CSA box, I was excited to use it. And also unsure of how. I know mint doesn’t last super long, and wasn’t sure what to use it on. I did have a bit on some lamb tagine, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be making salad any time soon. I could definitely use it all in tea, but I’m quitting caffeine for a while. So I looked up how to preserve mint and couldn’t decide between three options. So here they are:

First, mint extract! (or mint vodka or rum…) Mine will likely go into coffee or hot chocolate as a flavoring. And into brownies, yay! Once I tried to just stick mint leaves into brownies, it was kind of hilarious because they were full of green bits and barely tasted like mint. Not recommended. You can make your own extract by sticking mint into a jar and adding vodka or rum. Just be sure to cover the leaves with the alcohol or they can rot, ew. Shake every few days and strain out the mint when you like the flavor for your intended use.

Yay, flavored vodka! I mean... homemade extract!

Yay, flavored vodka! I mean… homemade extract!

Of course, an easy thing to do is to simply let the leaves dry and then store them, so these will do that.

My camera had trouble focusing on these, hope it doesn't give you a headache

My camera had trouble focusing on these, hope it doesn’t give you a headache

And finally, I liked the idea of freezing them. First, lay them out on a cookie sheet and then pop into the freezer. Move to a container once frozen.

Just the leaves, ready for the freezer!

Just the leaves, ready for the freezer.

 Do any of these look good to you? What’s your favorite use for mint?

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2014 in Using ingredients

 

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Watermelon Slush

I think this is my favorite way to drink watermelon. If it’s been a long day, you can add some vodka or tequila. If you are feeling fancy, add in some sparkling whatever (I bet club soda, ginger ale and champagne would all work.) On it’s own, it’s like a thick agua fresca.

You can see the 'pulp' from where I had a sip or two.

You can see the ‘pulp’ from where I had a sip or two.

Just remove the seeds and blend! If I put the watermelon into the fridge before blending, then I don’t think it needs ice, but if it starts at room temperature I definitely drop in a couple of cubes.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Using ingredients

 

Box 5 – Week of July 28

When my box came today, I had to do a sad thing. Go to the fridge and make room… because there were things that had become inedible hiding in the vegetable drawer. That’s why my mom calls in the “vegetable rot drawer” – when it’s closed, sometimes it’s easy to forget that they are hiding in there. Today it was a banana pepper, two little squashed, a bell pepper and sweet potato greens that were sent to the dumpster. This blog is supposed to remind me not to do that! I’ve put updating this blog on my calendar now, so maybe that will help?? We can hope.

Today’s box is beautiful! Do I always say that? I may need more adjectives… It smells fantastic due to the spearmint in it. 

More eggplant, yay!

More eggplant, yay!

Today we have: 

Canteloupe (still muddy!), okra, sweet potato greens
Onions, jalapenos, sweet peppers, butternut squash
Spearmint, eggplant, yukon gold potatoes

I know that the last sweet potato greens died, but it wasn’t because they were bad, I just forgot about them. I ate some! I’ll do better this time, I swear.

Any ideas on what to do with the spearmint?? It smells wonderful, I want to think of something fun.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2014 in Box contents

 

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Roasted Okra!

I am ashamed to admit that our next box comes tomorrow and the okra that I was so thrilled to receive 13 days ago was still in our fridge tonight. D. Dishwasher has been working ridiculously long at work, so I’ve been cooking for myself and never remembered to pull out the vegetables down in the drawer….

Luckily they had not gone bad! Well, 3 or 4 of the little guys had, but out of a pound that is not much. So I looked up a recipe that would be similar to the grilled okra that I loved on the 4th of July, but wouldn’t require a grill.

Just okra, oil, salt and pepper!

Just okra, oil, salt and pepper!

If you are interested in trying it out, just chop okra, dry it, add oil and seasonings, then cook at 450º for 25 minutes!

Recipe I used is from here and a slightly different take on it is here.

If you’re curious, the brown ‘sauce’ on the rice and chicken is Madras Lentils. It reminds me of chili and is one of my favorites to use in a super-quick dinner.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Using ingredients

 

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Box 3 report card

Box 3 Report Card

Basil – Used some, dried the rest. Waiting in the cabinet for me.

Onions – Used one of them, but there is another left… at least they save well!

Watermelon – Sliced and eaten! Half way. Some is left in the fridge…

Cucumbers – Drank some as part of an agua fresca (I should have added mint!) The rest are in the fridge as refrigerator pickles (I added some of the serranos from the basic idea found in this recipe and this one, but this one looks good, too!) I realized I hadn’t tasted them yet, so I just made a quick test and they are tasty! The skin is a bit thick, but I think that is just the kind of cucumber. I also used some dill that I had dried from a previous box. I may try this with Box 4’s okra, too…

Spicy Garlic Dill pickles

Spicy Garlic Dill pickles

Peppers – Banana peppers and bells eaten with hummus. Serranos used in foods and slipped into the pickle jar.

Tomatoes and eggplant – Used up in zaalouk!

Okra – Grilled!

Squash – partly used…. one of those little guys may be going bad, though…

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2014 in Box report card