Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 7 weeks since I last posted an update on my CSA experience. That must have been just about when work got really busy and the summer finally kicked in.
The summer is just about over (remember it doesn’t officially end until September 21) and life is slowing down a bit. And, so unfortunately are the veggies. Although we’ll get something each week until Thanksgiving I don’t expect to get the kind of bounty we had in the summer months.
So, how did I do? Well, I did find it was tough keeping up with the veggies some weeks. But, I did learn a few tricks—a little late—along the way to help me use up what I’d gotten.
I now have some corn, green beans, and carrots in the freezer for this winter’s stews and soups. And, I will definitely make more Maple Corn Fritters because they’re sooo good. I’ve also got some frozen soup (Jane’s Garden Minestrone) and ratatouille which will make nice lunches on cold days. I learned to make a big pan of all types of veggies mixed together to have with grilled chicken or fish. Or, on cooler days I roasted them with potatoes for a one pot meal.
The most important thing I took away from this experience was to let go. That’s a tough one for someone like me who’s a planner. I make a list when I go to the grocery store and in my head I’ve planned what I want to make the upcoming week. You kind of have to do that, right? Well, with the CSA, Mother Nature is doing that planning for you. You can kind of get an idea of what’s in season and get a jump on it but for the most part you get your veggies each week and then decide what to do with them. That’s just the opposite of what I’ve always done. I think I’ll be better at it next year.
Anyway, we got Brussels Sprouts Greens this week. OK, could you have planned for that one? Not me. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! Well, I just jumped in and here’s what I came up with.
Brussels Sprouts Greens with Penne
First, I sauted a half an onion (chopped) and a clove of garlic in olive oil. I added two beautifully ripe diced tomatoes. Topped it all with the chopped greens (without the woody stems) and simmered it until they were wilted. A little more olive oil, some chicken broth, cooked pasta and some diced cooked chicken were mixed in. Served with grated cheese and, boy, was it was heaven!! The greens were sweeter than expected. I like them!
Tonight’s dinner is Cottage Pie. I’ve been trying to use up all those veggies that are a staple each week. You know—carrots, potatoes, onions, green beans, and peppers. The combo seemed perfect for a one pot meal and Cottage Pie struck me as a good option. It’s a nice hearty meal for the first really cool night of the impending fall season. It’s in the oven now and it smells amazing.
I sauteed the onions in a bit of oil and then began to chop and add the veggies. Out came the corn that had just been frozen a week or so ago and it went in with the other vegetables that were happily dancing around in the hot pan. A few tablespoons of chicken broth and things began to hum along. I removed the veggies to a plate (there was about 2 cups total) and added about a pound of ground turkey. Once that was browned I sprinkled it with 2 tablespoons of sorghum flour, herbs, and spices and a few more tablespoons of chicken broth. The herbs and spices were paprika, salt and pepper, sage, thyme, celery seeds and parsley. It simmered nicely and started to thicken. In went the vegetables. Meanwhile, I thinly sliced the potatoes and arranged them over the top of the whole thing. Pop in the oven at 350 degrees for about a half hour. A little bit of work but a very flavorful hot meal. And, I always feel so good when I know it’s all organic.
OK, well it’s just about done and we’re going to sit down to dinner. Later.