Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I cook food

Well, that experiment in consistent blogging didn't last long, did it? I've been sitting on a bunch of food pictures, from CSA weeks 1 and 2, with no good reason not to post them, except that it seemed daunting with no apparent cause. Well, actually, I know the cause. The pictures are all on my phone and Phredward's camera. Now that my phone pics are syncing automatically to Google+, it should be easier to get them. Phredward's pictures may be lost forever. Anyways, without further ado:

This is a crazy-amazing soba noodle salad that I made with the last of Week 1's mizuna, radishes, and garlic scapes. I should point out that I discovered only recently that they are garlic scapes and not garlic scrapes. I don't know what a scape is.

Here is Week 2's haul:

The contents are:
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Red sail lettuce
  • Escarole
  • Radishes
  • Summer squash (4)
  • Summer spinach
  • Garlic scapes
  • Oregano
I swapped a head of butter lettuce for an extra summer spinach. I also managed to score a free half-gallon of whole milk, since I was on work-shift and a bunch of people didn't pick their milk orders up.

I sauteed the escarole and the radish greens with the garlic scapes, and cooked them with a can of white beans. It was more or less this recipe, but halved since I only had one head of escarole, plus I added lemon to cut through the bitterness a little. I turned the radishes into radish and parsley salad, of my own invention. Pretty much what it sounds like -- radishes, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice. This is what it all looked like as dinner.

I turned the spinach and some of the whole milk into this spinach souffle, but the pictures are on Phredward's camera, and therefore lost forever. I used more of the milk to make this amazing raspberry cake. It turns out, if you don't have a mixer, you can use a soup zuzzer. You can't say I'm not resourceful.

I cut up and froze the squashes, and we ate most of the red lettuce in some kind of boring salad at some point during the week. The romaine, sadly, did not get used.

Then I promptly left town for two weeks, skipping CSA Weeks 3 and 4. Ok, enough blogging for now. Next time, maybe I'll review some of the books I've been reading. Exciting, isn't it?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Those are the chemicals!!"

No code today. Instead, I spent the day at Hudson River Park, volunteering with my team as part of GoogleServe. (That link is from last year, since I guess this year's blog post isn't ready to be written yet.) We spent the morning seeking out and destroying mugworts, slaughtering them and their children, and piling their leafy corpses on wheelbarrows and in a dumpster.

Umm. Sorry. I think I got a little too caught up in the mugwort genocide narrative that I was spinning in my head all morning. The contents of my brain are sometimes strange. This shocks no one.

Anyways, we weeded all morning, and after lunch, planted some non-invasive plants to replace the ones we had torn up. Here's a picture of some of my teammates with a pile of mugworts.

But food is much more interesting. Here are the things I've made so far with the CSA vegetables:
This is soup. It looks pretty much like a bowl of soup. To make it, I chopped up two small onions and four red potatoes that had been sitting around the refrigerator for a while, and sauteed them in a little olive oil. Then, I dumped in most of a box of arugula, the radish greens from the CSA, and a few leaves of sage. I covered it all with water, salt, pepper, and let it cook until mushy. Then I zzuzzed it with my soup zzuzzer. It didn't taste like much of anything until I topped it with parmesan cheese, and then it tasted delicious.

This is exactly the chicken salad that I planned in my last blog post. Phredward broiled two chicken breasts in the oven, and we put them on a salad with buttercrunch and red sail lettuces, radishes, red pepper, green grapes, and sage blossoms. Honey-mustard dressing was made by mixing honey and mustard.

And finally, rhubarb-streusel muffins:
Now, here's the problem with me and baking. I don't like to measure things. Like, I'm fine with scooping flour by the half-cup measure, but when it comes down to the difference between a half and a quarter teaspoon, or 3/4 of a cup of sour cream versus a small container of greek yogurt.. I just can't bring myself to care. Phredward freaked out a little when he saw me measuring baking soda in the palm of my hand. "Those are the chemicals!!" he said, "They're what make it react properly!!"

Also, since I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream, when I got done mixing the wet and dry ingredients, the batter looked way too dry to me. It looked like a very sticky bread dough, and not anything like a muffin batter. I thought for sure I had forgotten something, like oil or a second egg, but no, the recipe really calls for what seems like too little wet ingredients. I added milk until it looked better to me -- probably about 3/4 of a cup.

The muffins turned out perfect.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CSA Week #1

Check this out, an actual blog!! If you're reading this, you almost certainly know who I am, so I'll skip the introductions and jump into the content. Today was the first pickup day for the West Village CSA. Here's what we got:

  • One bunch radishes, with greens
  • One bunch rhubarb
  • One head Red Sail lettuce
  • One head Buttercrunch lettuce
  • One bunch Mizuna
  • Two bunches Suehlihung mustard greens
  • 6 garlic scrapes
  • One bunch sage with edible flowers
It actually should have been two Red Sail lettuces and only one bunch of mustard greens, but I swapped since I doubt we'll make it through the lettuce.

Here's a tentative plan for using it up:

I'm currently making a pot of potato soup, with the radish greens chopped into it, and the rest of a box of arugula I wanted to use up. It's experimental and I made it up, so who knows how it will turn out, but I'm hopeful that it will be good cold, too. Today is in the 60s and rainy, so it's a good soup day, but I know this is just a pause before the rest of No-Pants Summer, so I don't want to count on wanting hot soup.

Dinner tonight is going to be broiled chicken breasts on mixed lettuce salad, with red peppers, grapes, radishes, and sage flowers. Maybe red onion. I'm thinking honey-mustard dressing. Tomorrow or at some point later this week, I'm going to saute the mustard greens with the garlic scrapes. One more salad dinner will be needed to use up the lettuces. I'll probably dry most of the sage.

Then, for the mizuna and the radishes, I was thinking about making this soba noodle salad. And finally, rhubarb streusel muffins.

So far, this blog hasn't mentioned any of the things in the title (although I do plan to drink coffee while eating the muffins, of course), so here's a picture of Cookie for your enjoyment: