Monthly Archives: September 2010

Putting up with the CSA

I woke up this morning to the pounding rain outside open windows, a truly enthusiastic downpour. A perfect day, my groggy self thought, to stay indoors and catch up on some things around the house (why, after these weeks and months of not working full-time, there are still so many things to catch up on is anyone’s guess). As my recent blogging lapse may imply, things have gotten away from me a bit in the kitchen lately. I have noticed, these last few weeks, that our refrigerator is always packed with vegetables, even when it is Tuesday afternoon and our new CSA delivery is slated to arrive in mere hours. On this rainy Monday, I decided to break that pattern, to clear out some space in the veggie drawers for our new stuff tomorrow. It was time to put some veggies up for even drabber days.

I spent the morning washing greens, chopping the stems of Chinese broccoli, separating beets from their leafy tops, steaming those tops with the Chinese broccoli and some u-choy, packing delightfully dark and tasty steamed greens into freezer bags.

Then I broke out some more CSA goodies, chopped a few rough stems, and cleaned out the salad spinner to transform this:

into this:

It feels good not just to have some space in the fridge, but to have shiny new packages in my freezer, sturdy vegetables and fantastically vivid green sauce for winter months. The frozen greens will go into frittatas, turnovers, noodles, wherever fresh greens normally go. The arugula-dill pesto, bright and fresh with a slight bitter bite, would be tasty in gratins, on pasta, or slathered on fish. Mashed into cream cheese, it would make a lovely little tea sandwich. Instead of a fridge packed with veggies that I fear I will not eat in time, I have a freezer brimming with possibilities.

Arugula-Dill Pesto Recipe

What Goes In:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large bunch arugula
  • 1 large bunch dill
  • 1 handful (probably around 1/4 cup) toasted pine nuts
  • zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • a good glug of olive oil (again, probably about 1/4 cup)
  • salt and pepper

How to Do it:

  • Give garlic a head start by rough chopping in your food processor
  • Add greens, pine nuts, lemon zest and juice. Pulse. Pulse.
  • With the food processor running, add olive oil until nice and thick.

That’s it! Super easy! Get to it! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some adorable patty pan squashes to steam and scoop and stuff.

The Best Laid Plans…

I think that August is, by far, the juiciest month. Mine was filled with luscious peaches, tomatoes about to split with ripeness (and some that were not caught in time). July was juicy, too, hot early this summer season, our fruit CSA sending us home every week with at least one heavy bag of stone fruit. We’ve moved into apples now, and we even had pears last week, but the peaches persist despite the weather turning autumnal, handfuls of juicy brightness for these newly crisp days and cool nights.

July and August were full of other things, too, of summer colds and vacations and papers to write, of finishing school and taking a state licensing exam and waiting (I am still waiting) for the results, of cooking and canning and making some cheese, taking pictures of kitchen projects with every intention of blogging (the best laid plans) and then getting caught up in other things just long enough for those photos to feel untimely.

But I will be back with some pictures soon, recaps of things that feel worthy of recapping, new projects in the pipes to busy my hands as this waiting drags on, pictures and posts to make up for the unplanned hiatus at the juiciest time of year.