May 22, 2008
Organizing the loot
Organization is a large part of being a CSA member, and part of the reason why Ruth and I wanted to start this blog. It might seem really daunting to have to 'deal with' fresh-with-dirt veg and de-stemming and chopping and drying, etc. I remember when I was thinking about signing up - I would grill Ruth about how much washing and salad spinning was involved and whether there was dirt caked on to every little thing. It's not bad. Trust me. We both have kids, we both work a lot - but we can still make this work.
Here we go - box contents and what I did with them and what I plan to do with them for the week:
1. Beets. They come with their tops on which are not only incredibly tasty and healthy - they turn to slime in like 36 hours. I separated the tops from the root. Roots went into a ziploc and the greens (snipped off with kitchen scissors - $2 at Ikea) went into a plastic bag and into the crisper. We'll make them tomorrow and either eat them right away or I'll use them in a lentil salad (awesome combo - lentils & beet greens). The next time I have the oven on, I'll roast the beets and we'll use them in salads.
2. Stir-fry mix. A mix of chard, kale, collard greens. I'll wash it right before eating. That entails putting in the salad spinner. Soaking. Removing from water w/o spinning - the water helps the saute/steam process. We will probably cook this with the beet greens.
3. Spinach. To eat sauteed one night with loads of fresh garlic (see below). Will wash right before eating. The spinach takes about 3 water changes. It's really not a big deal as I'm in the kitchen doing other stuff, I swish it, dump the water, repeat.
4. Swiss Chard. See stir-fry mix.
5. Asparagus. Nothing to do until I'm about to cook them. My favorite way is roasting. Snap off the bottoms, peel the stalks (these are thick) and throw into a hot oven after tossing with salt, pepper and olive oil.
6. Radishes. The bunch we got this week is BIG. The leaves are no good - they get composted right away and the radishes go into a bowl in the fridge. I basically eat these on my own, with bread, butter and salt as an appetizer almost every night. I really look forward to this simple pleasure!
7. Garlic. Nothing to do except eat them. :)
8. Cherries. See garlic.
9. Strawberries. See cherries.
10. Mint. Place in jar with a little water. Covered with a plastic bag. Put in fridge. Will use for tea, fava bean spread, in dessert, mojitos, ...
11. Lettuce. I keep it in the bag until I'm ready to use it - then I wash and spin it. It takes about 2 rinses.
Tonight I spent about 30 minutes total disassembling the box and putting things away. All while dinner was getting made. Pretty painless!