Week 28: December 1 – 7

This was the first week of our winter CSA.  We’ve done a summer CSA for years with the same farm, so we know pretty much what to expect for that.  The winter CSA is new to us.  What we got was kind of what I was expecting.  Amazingly, there was no squash this week! 

We’re splitting a large share with another couple who did a different summer CSA.  Some of their end-of-season surplus is different from ours, and that helped to determine who got what this week.  For example, they still have lots of sweet potatoes left, but our summer CSA doesn’t grow them at all.  So, we got all of the sweet potatoes in this week’s winter share.  Conversely, we still have lots of carrots, so the other couple got all of the carrots in this week’s share.  I can’t eat onions, so the other couple got all the onions, which I guess is why we got the one large turnip, because both couples still have turnips from our summer CSAs.  We also got the only cabbage.     Other things were split more obviously:  there were two kinds of kale so we got one and they got one.  They got the arugula and we got the mustard greens.  We split the apples and oranges, and also the thyme

Yes, we got oranges because they have some relationship with organic growers in Florida.  Some of them had stickers on them, which felt very odd coming from a CSA.  It’s less farm-direct than I’m accustomed to.  Also odd, the thyme was in a plastic box. 

Some of the produce is from their own farm (the greens), and, aside from the oranges, everything else was from farms in our region.  I wonder if they’d tell us where?  Maybe they’re getting odds and ends from lots of farms that are done for the season, and amassing enough to give some to all CSA members. 

What does one do with thyme?  It’s an herb I almost never cook with.  I’ve certainly never used it fresh.  Even splitting it with another couple, there’s an awful lot of it. 

Of the new CSA items, all we’ve eaten so far was some of the fruit and the mustard greens.  As usual, the mustard greens became curried mustard greens and chickpeas from Joy of Cooking.  We used a two-cup-lump of stewed tomatoes from our freezer.  We also added carrots because we have lots.  They worked well, adding a nice bit of color and a sweet flavor.  The key was to not over-cook them.

I noticed that some moisture was accumulating in the crisper drawer that has all the root vegetables we saved from summer.  That meant it was time to sort through and cull the ones that were soft, damp, or a bit moldy.  They got cleaned up (well trimmed), cut up, and oven roasted.  Before roasting I cut them into bite-sized pieces of varying shapes – wedges of beets and turnips, rounds of carrots and parsnips, and halves of radishes.  I tossed them with oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a blend of herbs de provence from the Herb Lyceum in Groton, MA.  The result was a colorful and tasty accompaniment to Thanksgiving leftovers.

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3 Responses to “Week 28: December 1 – 7”

  1. mangochild Says:

    I love getting my winter CSA too, here in central Connecticut I have been somewhat dreading the winter and the lack (or hard-to-find) local produce. But seeing the good food continue, and knowing of the winter markets, make me optimistic somewhat that we’ll be okay until spring comes again.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe for the mustard greens – those are ones I tend to fall into a rut cooking with, but the addition of chickpeas and carrots sounds intriguing. Its on the to-cook list for the coming week, as I too have a lot of greens and some dwarf carrots I’d like to play with.
    On the thyme, I recently incorporated it into a kale, red onion, and potato soup. Not really a recipe, but I just dry roasted the potatoes until soft, blended them bit with some local milk, and added them to a pot with the kale and red onion. Seasoned with the thyme and a bit of black pepper, it was really good.

    • vegyear Says:

      I have kale and potatoes. I’ll have to try your thyme soup idea. I was also thinking about putting it into a split pea soup with carrots and turnips.

  2. V Says:

    thyme is great. some things you could do with it:

    – herb gravy (a vegetarian gravy that actually tastes like something) — try it with biscuits or in a pot pie.
    – put it i cheddar-scallion pancakes
    – saute with zucchini + potatoes
    – there are lots of recipes for sweet lemon-thyme things

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