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: