Archive for the ‘Food and Cooking’ Category

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This is soooo yummy.

Glazed Carrots with Bacon and Shallots

1 lb bag of baby carrots
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 strips of bacon, cooked crispy
4 medium shallots, minced

Cook the carrots in water until tender. Meanwhile cook the bacon until it’s crispy, drain, and crumble. Reserve the bacon grease and use it to sautee the minced shallots. Strain out the shallots and drain the carrots. Combine the carrots, crumbled bacon, and shallots with the brown sugar and simmer for a few minutes;.

Yum

Carrots provide vitamins A, K, and C, potassium, manganese, B6, molybdenum, B3, folate, B1, phosphorous, B2 and E.

applepear

I got more apples and pears than we can munch our way through this week. Here is what I did.

  • Get 4 pears and 7 apples (any sweet variety).
  •  Slice them up and remove the cores and seeds but leave the peels on.
  • Put them in a big pot and add 1″ of water.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 45 minutes.
  • Drain them and reserve the liquid.
  • Puree in food processor adding cinnamon to taste.
  • Pour into freezer containers and let cool.
  • Pour off excess water.
  • Freeze.

You shouldn’t need sugar if you use sweet varieties of apples. Only a pinch of cinnamon is needed. You can can the sauce but unless you are making a lot more than this it’s easier to freeze it. I will freeze the leftover liquid and use it the next time I make freezer jam. Or if you want you can just pour it over ice and  drink it!

Yum.

Apples contain vitamins C and A plus folate, iron, potassium, phosphorous, and calcium

Great Expectations

Posted: March 18, 2013 in CSA, Food and Cooking, Organic
Tags: , ,

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Here is what is predicted to be in our CSA box this week and what we plan to do with it.

3 apples
2 mangos
4 oranges
5 pears
3 lbs. tangerines
cilantro
dill
arugula
1lb baby carrots
celery
chard
garlic
lettuce
mizuna
mustard greens
3 lbs. yellow onions
1 lb. red peppers
3 lbs. russett potatoes
radishes
grape tomatoes
cauliflower

From this I expect to make chili, cauliflower-pepper soup, celery soup, carrot cake, sauteed radishes, candied citrus peels and several salads. I’ll have enough onions and garlic to add them to many things like stew, roast and chicken. I don’t particularly like muzuna in a salad but it works well in soup or chopped up and added to potatoes. Nobody in my house likes cilantro so I will give that away.

Yesterday I decided to just “wing it” and clean out the fridge. I cooked 1 lb of ground beef with chopped up green onions, garlic, and red and orange peppers that I already had chopped up in a container in the fridge. I melted in some grated parmesan cheese and served it with leftover noodles. It look 10 minutes tops and everyone loved it. Yum.

I keep several small containers of pre-chopped garlic, onion, and peppers in the fridge and toss them into pasta, omelets and anything else that sounds tasty. It’s a great time saver to do this once per week and have it all ready to go.

food

Today I made the short journey to the weekly Farmers’ Market. There are others during the week but this is the big one. Here is what I found

  • Locally grown, organic whole wheat flour from Grindstone Farm
  • Locally roasted, organic, fair trade coffee from Recess Coffee
  • Locally made cheese from Buttercup Cheese
  • Locally made (but not locally sourced) granola made by the Amish in Ovid NY
  • Locally raised, pastured, organic beef and chicken from Longhorn Ranch
  • Locally made pure maple syrup from Tully NY

I had no idea anyone here was growing wheat. We are largely a corn growing area. They tell me the wheat and is soft and sweet tasting and makes excellent pancakes. I will need to cut it with regualar wheat flour and I haven’t found that locally.

Maple syrup is something I never buy from the supermarket. If we do not support small producers all we will be left with is maple flavored sugar water from the big producers. Someone in my urban neighborhood has been tapping trees right here in town and is boiling up the syrup in his backyard a few blocks away. I love that.

I don’t use tremendous amounts of cheese but we do like it grated and it really isn’t too much trouble to grate it myself and keep it in a handy container in the fridge. I have a small food processor that  will do the job.

I got the coffee as whole bean. They offered to grind it for me but I own a grinder and enjoy it made fresh. This company is right in my neighborhood about a half mile away.

The granola is something I have been eating for years. I’ve never gotten such good granola anywhere else and I like supporting my local Amish community. It has coconut and raisins and almonds in it so it certainly isn’t local and isn’t organic but I love it anyway and at $3.50 a pound the price is right. They also sell a large variety of delicious baked goods and I sometimes buy their bread. Bread is something I rarely make from scratch for two reasons – I don’t have a bread maker and it is very time-consuming. I’m actually afraid that if I get a bread maker I will eat tremendous quantities of bread and gain weight!

The big experiment is the meat. I love, love, love that it is local, pastured, and organic. That combination isn’t easy to find pre-packed unless you want to buy half a cow. My neighborhood has enough power outages that I don’t really want 6 months of meat in my freezer. I got a whole chicken, which is thawing for tomorrow. That means tomorrow night I will probably be boiling up the carcass for stock. I got 2 lbs. of ground beef at $2 a lb. less than organic at the grocery store. I got a chuck roast to make in the slow cooker sometime this week. It is all vacuum packed and frozen solid so I will need to remember to thaw things.

Later today I plan to whip up some pear-applesauce with help from my daughter. It’s a good day.

Oh, and I saw a bald eagle on my way home. I figure it’s a good sign.

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Is is ever possible to NEED zucchini? Is there ever a situation where there isn’t ENOUGH zucchini? I am the only person in my house who likes it so what to do with the big CSA delivery of baby zucchinis?

I sliced them and ground them up raw in my food chopper, peels and all. I added a tablespoon of lemon juice and a couple cloves of garlic and ground them up some more. I put the resulting paste in a bowl and added 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese and 1/8 cup of melted butter and stirred it up. I used it as a sauce for pasta and served it with some browned lamb stew chunks and a green salad. Everybody ate it!

Yay!

Is there nothing that enough garlic and some parmesan cheese can’t fix?

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I got an extra large delivery this week of my regular CSA box, an extra fruit box, and some ground beef. I was expecting brocolli and cauliflower but instead I received tomatoes and extra lettuce and peppers. All part of the adventure. The mushroooms will be sauteed for tonight since they won’t keep well. I plan to make pear-applesauce over the weekend and I think the kiwis are going to be freezer jam. The green beans will be blanched and frozen. The yams will be boiled and mashed and appear in Molasses Yam Cookies. I think the turnips will be stir-fried with carrots. They sent me an abundance of shallots so I’ll have to do some planning there. The bananas that aren’t eaten will turn into banana bread as soon as they ripen up a bit. The ground beef and cherry tomatoes will become chili. I want to try making cauliflower-pepper soup so I may just go get myself a cauliflower. Hmmmmmm. They sent me Russet potatoes, which are great for making soups. This is the fun and adventure of CSA cooking!

eggs

Here is a little something to contemplate. It is “The Story of an Egg”.

I’m currently getting pastured eggs. I’m taking the farmer’s word for it that they are hormone and antibiotic free. Considering he is also Amish, and that he is vouched for by my CSA farm, I’m inclined to believe him. Many small farmers find it too expensive to obtain formal organic certification, so they rely on their good name.

The main differences I notice are that the yolks are a more intense color and the whites are less runny. The eggs come in various shades of brown and the sizes are not as well-matched as commercial eggs but that is ok with me. They are delicious and are cheaper than organic eggs at the grocery store.

I notice that some hens are being fed a “vegetarian diet”. I’m not sure why that is supposed to be better. Chickens are natural omnivores who love to eat bugs and worms. I’m not in favor of forcing a vegetarian diet on animals. Also, if the feed is not organic, but simply vegetarian, they may be getting a big dose of pesticides and antibiotics.

Even the stalwart USDA admits that pastured eggs are healthier.

‘Nuff said