CSA: Charleston – giving it all away

Some weeks, there’s just no way we can eat all of the CSA goodness that comes in our box, and this was one of those weeks.  Jon was gone for most of the week, and I was out of town over the weekend finding us a place to live in Little Rock (mission: accomplished!).  So I gave away most of our veggies to neighbors and coworkers so the food wouldn’t go to waste.  Here’s what we got:

  • strawberries
  • 3 carrots (gave away)
  • 4 onions
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 head romaine lettuce (gave away)
  • 1 butter crunch lettuce (gave away)
  • 4 zucchini (gave 2 away)
  • 8 squash
  • 2 bunches beets (gave away)
  • 2 bunches chard (gave 1 away)
  • 1 bunch cabbage (gave away)

As you can see, I gave most of that away.  Here’s what I did with what I kept:

One night, I seriously ate a plate full of spinach sauteed with garlic, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice for dinner.  So good!

I also baked Smitten Kitchen’s Poppy Seed Lemon Cake, which was AMAZING, and I served it with sliced strawberries soaked in a bit of sugar over night to make them nice and syrupy.  She adapted the recipe from one at Cafe Sabarsky, which is a cafe inside the Neue Galerie in New York, and Jon and I actually have been there! Here’s what we had when we were there:

And for our first meal back home, together, after all our traveling, I made a pasta using the chard and onions with a little bacon, garlic, olive oil, red pepper and parmesan cheese.  It was inspired by this pasta recipe which I use a lot with collards.  I also sliced up the squash and zucchini and made Baked Summer Squash, which turned out pretty good as well!

We’re looking forward to picking up another box of goodies this week and getting to eat most of them this time! It turns out I’m not crazy for thinking we’re getting a ridiculous amount of veggies in our smaller-sized (compared to the last season we did) boxes– in this week’s email, the farmers told us that they’re having a bumper crop, and they’re passing on the bounty to us.  No complaints here! I’m always happy to find a friend to share some local veggies with.

CSA: Charleston — I will not be defeated by fruits and veggies!

I was a very busy beaver on Tuesday when I picked up our latest CSA box from Pinckney’s Produce at the Glass Onion.  I had yoga class after work, then stopped by to pick up the box, then zipped home to lay everything out and see what I got. Here’s the bounty:

It included:

  • 3 heads lettuce
  • 2 bunches mustard greens
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • beets
  • turnips with greens
  • radishes
  • strawberries

The sheer volume of produce seemed greater than our first few boxes, and I was slightly concerned that we wouldn’t be able to eat it all. Again, I can’t freeze any of it for later, because we’re moving at the end of the season. This week was an Iron Chef challenge for sure! Continue reading “CSA: Charleston — I will not be defeated by fruits and veggies!”

followup on “saving slow food for retirement?”

Yesterday I responded to a DoubleX piece that called home cooking a waste of time and which suggested that people like me should be spending all our time on our careers instead of in our kitchens.  Today, another writer at DoubleX tackled the issue.  While Meredith Simons at least allows that for some, cooking can be as enjoyable a hobby as curling up with a good book (I happen to love both cooking and good books), she still misses the point. Continue reading “followup on “saving slow food for retirement?””

CSA Charleston: BEETSFAIL and collards FTW

another bounteous harvest
another bounteous harvest

Yet another gorgeous week’s worth of deliciousness from our Pinckney’s Produce CSA!  Here’s the breakdown:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch collards
  • 1 bunch lettuce
  • 5 ears corn
  • 5 large carrots
  • 4 bell peppers
  • 3 turnips
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 5 radishes
  • 2 winter squash
  • 3 ears decorative red corn

The first night I used the tomatoes and bell peppers to make a variation on shakshuka (which involved some canned tomatoes, an onion, and garlic which I had on had), which was served with a salad made from the lettuce, some of the radishes, and a carrot, and some Shorter No Knead Bread.  Jon has now taken to calling shakshuka his “favorite.”  We had the leftovers the next day. SO GOOD. Continue reading “CSA Charleston: BEETSFAIL and collards FTW”

CSA Charleston: mustard greens SUCCESS!

Another delicious week with our Pinckney’s Produce CSA!


This week we received:

  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 3 winter squash
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 3 turnips and greens (in addition to 3 large turnips left over from last week)
  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 5 ears corn
  • 5 tomatoes
  • lots of little okra
  • 4 large carrots
  • 4 radishes
  • 6 banana peppers
  • 1 bunch lettuce

The first night I roasted the squash, and made them into a puree, which I added to last week’s saved squash puree and made into a soup (no real recipe, I sort of made it up, but leave me a comment if you want me to detail the process).  I served the soup with a salad made from the bunch of lettuce, 1 banana pepper, 1 carrot, 1 radish, and 1 tomato, along with some No Knead Bread.  I also saved the seeds from all the squash, rinsing them and getting all the squash gunk off, and I tossed them in olive oil with some Greek seasoning and toasted them in the oven.  Never knew you could toast and eat winter squash seeds just like pumpkin seeds, but you can! They made a nice snack for a couple of days!

The next night, still smarting from last week’s mustard greens FAIL, I decided to attempt this frittata recipe.  I figured I can eat anything if it’s covered in yummy fontina cheese, and I was right.  It was delicious served with some homemade No Knead Bread toasts.  It was also a super quick meal on a night when I volunteer and don’t get home until after 7:00.  I am so happy to know that there is at least one way I will eat mustard greens, and I imagine the recipe would work well with other greens too. Continue reading “CSA Charleston: mustard greens SUCCESS!”

CSA Charleston: the great mustard greens FAIL, food, and faith

All the goodies we got this week!
All the goodies we got this week!

As you can see, we got another cornucopia this week.  To break it down:

  • 1 watermelon
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 bunch greens (more on this in a minute)
  • 3 winter squash
  • 5 ears corn
  • 6 banana peppers
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 3 turnips with greens

Right off the bat, I have to confess that not only have I STILL not used last week’s beets, but this week’s turnips didn’t get used either.  The watermelon was enjoyed as a beach-day snack, and the cantaloupe is sliced and in a box in the fridge for snackies.  The tomatoes, banana peppers, and corn were grilled and eaten with steak with guests Saturday night. The squash was roasted and pureed and was made into soup along with the squash we received in our box yesterday (that box will be the subject of next week’s post).

Which leaves the greens.  I thought they were just greens, like kale or something, so I made some salmon and sauteed the greens with garlic and olive oil, for a little yummy wilted greens action.  Internet, I took ONE BITE.  My nose started to burn, my throat refused to swallow.  I had to spit them out.  It turns out they were MUSTARD greens, which, as a blogger friend helpfully informed me, turn into mustard gas, that great WWI weapon.  They were inedible.  I will have to do some research to figure out what to do with them, because we got more in the next week’s box.

Now that I’ve described the contents of the box and what we did with it all, I thought I’d share a little more about how I feel about this little experiment in eating. Continue reading “CSA Charleston: the great mustard greens FAIL, food, and faith”

CSA: Charleston, in a pickle

Recently, I tried to search WordPress for “CSA” and got nuthin’.  So, in an effort to create something other people can find when looking for information about Community Supported Agriculture, as well as a desire to document our experience, I figured I’d start doing a weekly post about what we got in our CSA box and what we did with all of it.  This is what we got this week: DSC05621To break that down that’s:

  • 3 turnips, with greens
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 4 beets
  • 8 cucumbers
  • 4 zucchini
  • 4 small green peppers
  • 4 small ears corn
  • 2 large winter squash
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 3 “decorative pumpkins”
my refrigerator pickles
my refrigerator pickles

Each week when we get a box, I lay everything out on the kitchen table, determine what is preserveable and what will need to be eaten within the week, and what we can actually manage to eat in a week.  Looking at this spread, I decided the corn and zucchini could be frozen for later.  I usually shred the zucchini and freeze it in bags in quantities conducive to zucchini bread.  The corn just gets shucked and frozen whole in bags as well.  I also decided to make spicy refrigerator pickles with the cucumbers, which is super easy and something I just throw together on the day we receive our produce.  Our fridge is slowly filling up with yogurt tubs of pickles, but they are SO GOOD! Continue reading “CSA: Charleston, in a pickle”


a typical weekly delivery from our CSA
a typical weekly delivery from our CSA

We’re not quite as good looking or well lit as CSI:Miami, but CSA:Charleston is a very colorful, sometimes frightening, often entertaining experience.  Of course, by CSA:Charleston, I mean our recent adventures in Community Supported Agriculture.

After seeing Food, Inc., I mentioned that my husband and I could no longer ignore what we’d known for a while: we needed to radically change the way we eat.  Within a week, Jon had signed us up for a CSA share from Pinkney’s Produce, we had vowed to eat MUCH less meat, and we started to think about what our new, more sustainable food life might look like.

Not too long after that, our first box of produce was ready to be picked up at the Glass Onion.  Here’s where I should mention that my husband? He signed us up for a family-sized share, because it was a better deal (about $30 per week).  So that first box of produce? It was ginormous.  You can see pictured above a typical spread from our CSA, meant to feed us for one week, but really enough to feed us for like 3 weeks.  And we’ve now been receiving these huge boxes for 3 weeks. Continue reading “CSA:Charleston”

a quick bite

As an update to my recent post on making changes to the way I eat now that I can no longer plead ignorance, I thought I’d share that today my husband signed us up for a CSA through Pinckney’s Produce.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  From Pinkney’s website, here’s the rundown:

How a CSA works: based on a seasonal commitment, community members pre-pay for shares of the seasons’ harvest. Members then receive weekly, a box of fresh vegetables. This method assures a variety of products picked at the peak of ripeness and flavor and delivered to a convenient location in your neighborhood.

Conveniently for us, our pickup point will be at one of our favorite restaurants right around the corner from our house, where we like to buy our local eggs.

Our first box of goodies will arrive next week, and I’m pretty excited.  This will mean that I can’t just eat whatever I want, but will have to plan my meals based on what is seasonal.  In many ways, this will be familiar to me, as I grew up eating fresh, home-grown produce from my family’s garden, helping my mom can the extras, and enjoying what each season had to offer.  I expect that I’ll be sharing further about our new little eating experiment as we go along, and I encourage you to check out CSAs wherever you are.

you(r values) are what you eat

I consider myself pretty well informed about food issues.  My upbringing was decidedly unconventional concerning food, though I didn’t really know it until I went to college.  My parents were rather prolific gardeners, growing most of our produce organically, though at the time I never really knew what “organic” meant.  We had our own chickens from whom we gathered our eggs.  We even briefly raised our own pig.  The first taste I ever got of a frozen vegetable was in a cafeteria, and no lie, I called my mom to ask her why the green beans there didn’t taste right.  She laughed at me, perhaps realizing she’d ruined me for life. As an adult, I try to frequent the farmer’s market, or at least buy organic produce at my grocery store.  I thought I was informed, making wise choices, doing what was right for my body and the planet.

I even read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  So I really thought I knew.

Food IncBut there is something different about SEEING it.  We saw “Food, Inc.” this weekend and afterward, as I headed off on my bike, a backpack full of reusable bags, to the grocery store, my husband asked, “What are you going to buy?”  “Oh, just some veggies and some yogurt.”  “Good, because I’m not sure I can eat any meat today.”  We’ve decided it’s time to get serious about our food choices after watching this film.  It really affected us.  And I hope you will see it too.

There are just too many reasons now for me not to do the right thing in my food choices.  Because I care about the way farmers are treated by big companies like Tyson and Purdue and Monsanto.  Because I care about the way workers are treated by big companies like Smithfield and Pilgrim’s Pride.  Because I care about the way animals are treated, all along the food chain.   Because I care about the way the land and the water are treated all along the food chain.  Because I care about the impact on world hunger.  Because I care about the way consumers are treated by large companies and the regulators who fail to protect them.  Because I care about the health of my body and my community.

Now, I have friends who are already saying things to me about how they don’t want to watch this film because they don’t want to have to change the way they eat.  This shows that they already know there is something wrong with our food system.  They just don’t want to put in a little more effort, maybe cut back on spending in other areas in order to be able to afford more ethical food, maybe spend less time on the couch and more time in the kitchen.  But we can’t sit here with our fingers in our ears singing “La La La La La, I can’t hear you” for too much longer.  Because we KNOW something has to change. Continue reading “you(r values) are what you eat”

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