06 June 2009

Week 3 Pickup and Recipe Planning

The animals at the farm were active today. The turkeys were particularly vocal. I think one of them freaked J out a bit with his gobble gobbles. The goats were climbing everything in sight. One little white goat flopped onto his back and rolled around on the ground like Holden does when we let him outside. Ah, the joy of rolling in the dirt!

There were two mud-spattered pink piglets frolicking in a penned-in area next to the CSA cooler. I watched them while waiting for the cooler to empty out (the guy ahead of us had NO idea what he was doing – hello! – it’s not brain science!). Of course, the piglets made me feel a bit sad. J tried to cheer me up by insisting that the pigs were not for food, but instead for “the whole agricultural experience” – not buying it. There’s only one reason to keep pigs, and it’s not for their cuteness or manure. I then had to explain to my dearest husband that the turkeys were being kept for Thanksgiving, reminding him of the story of the barn fire taking last year’s harvest. My big, tough guy gave me the saddest little boy face when he finally got it.

When the cooler finally emptied out, it was time to assess our goodies for the week:

Veggie Share: 1 head lettuce, 1 bunch leeks, 2 bunches asparagus, 1 bag spinach, 1 bag pea shoots

Fruit Share: 2 quarts strawberries, 2 stalks rhubarb

Egg Share: ½ dozen eggs

Flower Share: 2 nasturtium plants (there were more sunflowers and cosmos, but they let us choose from the other flowers for sale

There are still pea shoots and apples left over from last week’s share. Two eggs remain as well. They will be added to this week’s haul, which I’m really excited about cooking up this weekend. We also scooped up a pint of peas and I’m looking forward to shelling them (strange, I know). A quick stop at Briermere farm next door tortured J with too many pies to choose from, so we settled for a baguette and a bottle of fresh strawberry juice (too tart for drinking straight, but will be great in this weekend’s desserts and cocktails).

Before I start planning for this weekend, I should tell you how we used up some of last week’s share during the week. On Tuesday I sauteed the rest of the young shallots with some garlic and onion and the spinach (J cleaned the spinach this week!) and cracked some eggs into little wells I made in the bubbling mixture. We scooped the greens and aromatics and just-barely-cooked eggs onto thick slices of toasted batard from Tom Cat Bakery. While I was cooking, J attacked a new wedge of Parmesan with the vegetable peeler and made a bowlful of long, thin shards of salty, pungent slightly grainy cheese. We broke some of the longer strips into smaller wafers and sprinkled all of this umami-riddled goodness onto our eggs and greens. We always take our first taste of food in the kitchen to check for seasoning. J and I ended up eating in the kitchen, standing at the counter, because once we started digging into the creamy egg yolks and garlicky greens atop the crunchy bread we just couldn't stop. Before spinach goes out of season, I’m going to have to buy up a lot of it, saute it with tons of onions and garlic, and freeze it so we can enjoy this dish in winter, when it would surely bring back spring in quite a delicious way.

Tonight’s dinner will be a low-key production highlighting one of my newest internet culinary finds: Baconnaise. Have you heard of this stuff? It’s bacon-flavored mayonnaise. It’s vegetarian and kosher and delicious! More vegetarians are lost to the lure of bacon than any other meaty substance. I totally get it. There’s something about the smell of bacon that beckons me from my happy vegetarian place. I miss bacon. When I see cute little plump pink piglets frolicking on a farm, though, I don’t want to touch the stuff. J & D’s (www.baconsalt.com) has a line of bacon-flavored sprinkles, Baconnaise, and (yes!) bacon-flavored lip balm – all vegetarian and kosher – to bring the happiness that is BACON back to my life. J and I taste tested the Baconnaise on a breakfast sandwich this morning. We pronounce it delectable! So, tonight will be soy-bacon and Baconnaise sandwiches on the baguette we just purchased. We’ll use some of the lettuce from the share and lots of Morningstar Farms soy bacon. I’ll toss the pea shoots and some mint from the garden with some olive oil and lemon juice and serve my little salad with a dollop of my homemade yogurt cheese and some shavings of Parmesan. It’s too bad tomatoes aren’t in season yet, because a BLT would be so good right about now. I’ll be patient. It will be worth the wait for the first BLT with all local produce and a schmear of Baconnaise. Oh my, I’m beginning to feel a bit flushed!

I’m super excited about the two quarts of strawberries we’ve got. I think I’m going to bake some cream scones tonight. J loves scones for breakfast, but I’m going to serve scones with fresh strawberries and a bit of honey-sweetened whipped cream for dessert tonight. Top this with a chiffonade of mint, and my strawberry shortcakes should knock his socks off. He might eat the same thing for breakfast tomorrow.

We’re out and about running errands now. I’m typing on my Netbook in the car while J attempts to navigate and yells at the dogs for shedding in the car. The radio is way too loud, so my concentration has reached its limits. I’m going to shut down for now and enjoy the scenery and the company of the pups on this beautiful sunny end to a rainy week.

I’ll let you know how dinner goes and what I plan to do with the rest of the goodies tomorrow.

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