Week 12 is here! So that’s three full months of a CSA share, and if you’re keeping track, here’s a refresher of what my overflow freezer currently looks like:
It’s stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey! It’s actually a bit fuller today because I made a gigantic batch of Spicy Vegetable, Chicken and Rice Soup and froze some leftovers.
I felt myself coming down with a bad cold on the weekend and in a sudden burst of energy, pulled it together enough to make this soup… which provided my meals for the week as my immune system did battle with the cold beast.
It wasn’t pretty. I’m feeling better, but not 100% yet. Still coughing like crazy, blowing my nose and oh yes, sounding like someone on the receiving end of a 1-900 number.
This Spicy Vegetable, Chicken and Rice Soup may not be fancy but it offered all the nourishment I needed: tons of vegetables (onions, carrots, zucchini, kale), organic roasted chicken I cooked the night before, brown rice, turmeric, sea salt, paprika, chile powder (great for sinus congestion), a ton of garam masala and extra ground cumin.
Super hearty and easy to digest. Just what the holistic nutritionist ordered! Well, enough about me — I know you came for something much more exciting: this week’s food share! Oh, the vegetables (and some fruit)!
From top to bottom, left to right (mostly): My nemesis (bok choy), romaine lettuce, green onions, eggplants, tomatoes, pears, spaghetti squash, turnips, cucumbers, zucchini. I scooped up all the tomatoes on the counter and in the garden and made a crazy good tomato jam.
Oh yeah. Beefsteak tomatoes and a few cherry tomatoes thrown in for good measure, Vidalia onions, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and the most unique Alderwood smoked sea salt by a Toronto-based company called Just a Pinch. And there were pears, for sweetness, because we don’t do the whole refined sugar thing around here.
The flavour was more savoury than sweet because I really wanted to highlight its “smoked” quality.
It’s not an understatement to say that it was the salt that made this tomato jam into something extra-special.
IThis tomato jam made everything it touched taste sublime, and that included my morning omelettes, which were transformed. The good news?
The leftovers went into the freezer so I have something incredible to devour come January. For…
“Patience is the key to paradise.” – Proverb
In addition to patience, pears have been on the menu. I’ve been refining this delicious tea-soaked oven-poached pear recipe and it’s almost ready for prime time. I’ll share the details when it’s ready for you to peruse (and polish off!)
A few kitchen tips for this week:
- How to core pears without a melon baller: The common way to core pears is to use a melon baller, but I don’t have one. So, the easiest thing to do is slice the pears in half and then use a metal spoon or metal measuring spoon (my favourite because they are often just the right size) to gently cut around the core and then use the spoon to lift the core out… works effectively without leaving the pears a mangled mess.
- How to maximize flavour when making tomato jam: The key to maximizing flavour in tomato jam is to cook it low and slow… for a long time. There’s no getting around that if you want it to taste rich, deep, and not too acidic. This week’s batch was fairly small so it only took about 2-3 hours, most of which was largely unattended.
What are you eating and loving this week?
Life is a plate… Eat up!
P.S. Need to catch up on this summer’s riveting CSA bounty?
- Week 1 Community-Supported Agriculture Box (plus how to store fresh asparagus and crisp up romaine)
- Week 2 Community-Supported Agriculture Box (plus how to make vegetable stock, freeze bok choy & kohlrabi recipe ideas)
- Week 3 Community-Supported Agriculture Box (plus how to roast vegetables)
- Week 4 Community-Supported Agriculture Box (plus delicious pickled radishes and how to blanch vegetables)
- Week 5 Community-Supported Agriculture Box (plus how to freeze green onions and fall in love with chickpea flour)
- Week 6 Community-Supported Agriculture Box (plus how to season salad dressings, use Napa cabbage in wraps, & a recipe for potato curry)
- Week 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 Community-Shared Agriculture (CSA) Boxes