Posts Tagged ‘black-eyed pea’

Week 18: September 23 – 29 (with a catalogue of apples)

September 25, 2008

In retrospect, it should have been a no-brainer that leaving black-eyed peas (still in their pods) in a plastic bag in the fridge would cause them to get slimy and moldy on the outside.  It took a week and a half before we had the right greens to use them with.  I had been hoping for collard greens but had to settle for turnip greens.  In the end, it worked out fine.  I washed the pods to get the mold off, and the black-eyed peas inside were almost all perfectly fine.  We boiled them for about 10 minutes in enough water to cover but not much more.  Then we seasoned them with cider vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, and rosemary.  The greens, all chopped up,  went in last, a bit at a time, because each pot-full had to wilt down and make space for the next pot-full.   Stems went in, too, and because they didn’t get over-cooked they had a delightful crunch.  We ate the beans and greens over brown rice for not just one delicious meal but two, because it ended up making four servings.  I think we started with about a pound of beans (before shelling), and one very large bunch of turnip greens. 

The turnip greens, with three small turnips attached, were in out CSA share this week, along with one bunch of carrots, one bunch of beets (with unimpressive and scant greens), two bunches of scallions, one bunch of tatsoi, two pints of tomatillos, two pounds of tomatoes, ten aneheim peppers, four bell peppers and one head of cauliflower

Most of this weeks tomatoes were so ripe already that I diced and stewed them along with last weeks four pounds of tomatoes.  They had all of a sudden gone from underripe to nearly-overripe that I had put them in the fridge.  Normally I’m a strict no-tomatoes-in-the-fridge type, but I figured these would end up in the freezer, so why not?  I ended up with nearly 8 cups of stewed diced tomatoes.  The whole pot spent a day in the fridge, and then I decanted it into two pint yogurt containers.  Because I’m likely to want the tomatoes only 2 cups at a time, I ladled each yogurt tub about half full, then put a big square of plastic wrap so that it rested on the tomatoes already in, but reached up and over the rim of the container on all sides.  Then I ladled more tomatoes on top of the plastic wrap to nearly fill the container, put the lid on (holding the plastic wrap still folded over the rim) and put the tub in the freezer.  With a contents-and-date label, of course. 

The tomatillos and anaheim peppers were, as always, inspiration to my husband to make salsa verde.  I’m guessing that 2 or 3 of the peppers will go into the salsa and the other 7 or 8 will get diced and frozen for things like chili this winter.  My husband made sure to get cilantro for the salsa when he went to the mid-week farmers market.  

His main concern at the farmers market was getting apples:  some to eat fresh, some to store.  We’re still having fun with our neighbor’s dehydrator, so there are rings from 7 apples drying in there even as I write.  We think the apples are McIntoshes, but the 10-pound bag wasn’t labeled.  At $7.50 for 10 pounds of local, IPM apples, who cares what kind they are?  If the apple rings don’t work, then the rest of the apples will become sauce. 

The $2.50 per pound fresh-eating apples that he brought home this week are Elstar apples.  They’re very flavorful, sweet, and crunchy.  I wonder how well they’ll last.  The Mutsu (also called Akane, I think) apples from last week were very crunchy, and likely to stay crunchy for a very long time in the refrigerator (one of the things I like about them) but they had very little flavor.  I remembered them being nicely tart, but not this year apparently.  One of the Ginger Gold apples from two weeks ago was still in our refrigerator, and when I cut it up today to throw in the dehydrator, I discovered it was still nice and crunchy, although not as crisp as when they were truly fresh.  Ginger gold apples are sweet and unusually crisp.  I already reported that the Zestar apples we got in week 13 were tart but unlikely to stay crunchy, and that the Gravenstein apples we got in week 14 were apple-pie flavorful and excellent for apple rings but not a good texture for eating fresh.  Our apple season started early, in week 8, with July Red apples whose main feature is that they’re early.  They’re also tart, but don’t have a good texture.  I’m looking forward to Macoun and Baldwin apples later in the season.  Every year we try different apples, and sometimes we’re really impressed and sometimes we’re really not, but we can’t usually remember from year to year which was which.  So this year I’m trying to write it down and keep track!


Week 16: September 8 – 14 (Part II)

September 13, 2008

Corn season is now over.  We went to the farmers market this morning.  We didn’t need anything, because we have plenty of vegetables from our CSA and plenty of apples from my husband’s mid-week farmers market trip.  We like the Saturday market, though, because it’s nearby so it’s an easy walk and we always see lots of people we know.  Today was no exception.  We spent most of our time socializing, but we also did some shopping.  We look for things that we aren’t getting from out CSA.  Today we came home with four ears of corn, four small Green Zebra heirloom tomatoes, four very small Asian eggplants, and somewhere between half a pound and a pound of black-eyed peas, still in their shells. 

The corn and tomatoes were for lunch today.  I’ve been waiting for weeks for heirloom tomatoes to come down below $3.50 per pound, and they just haven’t.  So I succumbed, and splurged on some Green Zebras, which I recall being one of my favorites.  I ate two at lunch, and was very disappointed.  The other two aren’t ripe yet, so I’m optimistic that I can catch them at just-exactly-ripe and they’ll be delicious.  We bought corn because we figured it was getting to be our last chance.  It looked good (no tip worms – how much pesticide does that mean?), and had a nice texture, but it had very little flavor.  I guess that means corn season is over. 

The eggplants were to join mizuna and tofu in a stir-fry for supper tonight.  The black-eyed peas will go with whatever greens we get next week in something southern-style, probably with honey, cider vinegar, and cayenne. 

I froze a lot of food today, but didn’t do any blanching.  That’s because two of the things I froze–bell peppers and parsley–get frozen raw, and the others–applesauce and diced tomatoes–are juicy enough to stew. 

I cut this week’s four green bell peppers into bite-size pieces and froze them in a single layer in gallon bag.  They’ll probably turn into the Tunisian vegetables that I gave a recipe for in week 15

I coarsely chopped the parsley and packed it, with a bit of water, into two sandwich bags.  Each of them will go into a batch of tabbouleh

I diced all four pounds of tomatoes (minus the one that went into ratatouille) and stewed them for the usual ten minutes.  I packed them into three 2-cup glass storage bowls.  When they’re frozen, we’ll transfer all three blocks of tomatoes into one gallon bag, with squares of wax paper between them, so we can still get out just 2 cups (equivalent to one can) when we need it.  The Green Guide magazine warns that plastic containers that are safe for cold food might leach chemicals when hot, so it’s better to put the hot tomatoes into glass.  Besides, we don’t get takeout to end up with plastic 2-cup tubs.  Yield:  6 cups of cooked diced tomatoes in juice. 

I turned the 10 pound bag of Macintosh apples into applesauce.  There were a few spots that I had to cut out (bruised to the point of rotting) but mostly they were fine.  I don’t worry about a bit of bruising in my applesauce because the apples are going to get brown and mushy anyway as they cook.  I cored and quartered the apples, but left the skins on because they contain so many nutrients, and besides I’m too lazy to peel them.  They filled my 3 gallon stock pot.  I added half a cup of water to keep the bottom from burning, which would have worked if only I remembered to stir the sauce more often.  I was distracted by cutting up peppers and tomatoes while the applesauce cooked.  I added about 3 tablespoons of cinnamon and about 1 tablespoon each of nutmeg and cloves.   I should have used even more cinnamon.  The flesh of the apples breaks down into sauce very nicely.  The skins don’t.  If I had wanted chunky sauce I would have diced the apples instead of merely quartering them, mostly to get the skins cut up.  Because I was happy with smooth sauce this time, I ran everything through my food mill.  It’s the food grinder attachment for a KitchenAid stand mixer.  It pureed the skins and trapped the tough bits from around the seeds.  (The seeds themselves I had gotten out.)  Yield:  4 quarts of applesauce. 

Stockpot full of quartered Macintosh apples. Stockpot half full of Macintosh applesauce.