Thursday, March 5, 2015

What's In My CSA Share?: Spring Week 1

Today marks the end of our first winter of eating exclusively local produce. We joined a CSA last summer, and I preserved the excess produce through canning and freezing. This being my first time I wasn't certain how much I should be putting away for the winter, but I did know that I was getting way more than I could consume come midsummer. However, we made it to Spring without running out of veggies. In fact, I found myself scrambling to find ways to use up what was left this week. I wanted to make sure there was room for our share in the fridge.

I boiled down what apples were left into applesauce then used it to bake apple muffins, and Mike ate a bunch straight from the stove. We ate a mostly vegetarian diet this week so our fridge is starting to look bare; but there are still a couple bags of frozen kale and several jars of salsas, pickles, and jams.

I thought it would be a fun idea to post the contents of our share each week. Now that I'm a second year CSA member I think I have a better idea of what I'm doing. It might helpful to others who have questions about CSAs to see what we get and how we use it all.

Each share lasts for a season (spring, summer, and fall) allowing members to join for all or part of the year. Last year we joined in the summer, when the variety and quantity of crops is greater. Fewer things are available in the spring as plants are just starting to emerge after winter. Every week there's a little more, and by fall I found myself regretting not going in halvsies on our share with another family. I ended up giving half away to family and friends.

I give you the contents of Spring Share, Week 1:

  • Mixed salad greens
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Golden Delicious Apples
  • Rosemary

Certain foods I never or rarely cooked with before last year. I found pinterest to be a useful resource as I could type in any ingredient and find a wealth of recipes which I would never have thought of on my own. One such ingredient is beets, I've been pinning beet recipes like crazy since I know there'll be plenty of those in the weeks to come.
Salad of mixed greens, sliced apples, feta and homemade croutons with maple vinaigrette

Another great resource you may want to invest in is The Flavor Bible. It is essentially an encyclopedia of taste. Look up any ingredient and find combinations that work with it. I especially like this resource because, unlike other cookbooks recommended for CSA members, it is not meant only for vegetarians or followers of any specific diet.

With a glass of red wine this dinner was surprisingly satiating
I see some tomatoe-cream sauce in that rosemary's future, and I envision those potatoes becoming fluffy gnocchi. CSA season has provided fresh fodder for my culinary experimentation!

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