Simpaug Farms CSA: Week Five

Summertime… and the living will be easy in 19 days, when our beach vacation begins. Until then, we’re motoring along at full speed.

We’ve kept up quite well with the CSA, having used almost everything we’ve received to this point. The exceptions are cabbage and fennel – we just haven’t gotten around to work of processing them as I keep wishing to. That changes this week; my parents are coming back to town on Friday, so I’m planning a bit of a too-hot-for-frying at-home fish-and-chips supper; we will shave all of our fennel bulbs into a fragrant bed over which to grill a variety of lemon-thyme fish, and will turn the now four cabbages (two pointed, one red, and one savoy) into a giant batch of slaw. (We’ll eat some over the weekend, I’m sure, but will then send half of what remains home with Mom and Dad on Sunday.)

We received an additional bounty today, and somehow it seems easier to manage.

What’s In The Week Five Share:

Vegetables

  • Summer Squash, 36.5 ounces
  • Pickling Cucumbers, 13 ounces
  • Zucchini, 11 ounces
  • Peas, 9 ounces
  • Savoy Cabbage, 28 ounces
  • Rainbow Chard, 10 ounces
  • Fennel, 6 ounces
  • Assorted Peppers, 12 ounces
  • Summer Onions, 13 ounces
  • Cherry Tomatoes, 14.5 ounces
  • Rosemary, 1 ounce

Other

  • Eggs – one dozen

Once again, these are all “standard veggies” that are easy to store in a summer kitchen, so there has been very prep work required.

What To Make With This Week’s Share

Salted Sesame Quick Pickles

I turned our cucumbers into quick pickles yesterday afternoon, and they are divine.

Rosemary Oil

I grow my own rosemary, so don’t have need of fresh sprigs on this week’s menu. Instead, I tucked the clippings we received into a bottle, filled it with oil, and will allow it to steep in the pantry for a few months – it will make a perfect flavoring agent for autumn dishes. (Seriously; saute onion and butternut squash in this stuff before making a butternut-pumpkin pureed soup – it’s divine.)

Zucchini Bread

I turned the zucchini into another loaf of the bread I’ve made for the last few weeks, though I tested replacing 1/3 of a cup of all-purpose flour with an equal amount of cornmeal – since squash and corn go together. We’ll see how it turns out when I get to the office and take a bite for breakfast.

Fresh Pasta Saucy-Salad

With onions, peppers, and tomatoes – and a mess of garlic and basil from the pantry – I can’t refrain from making a glorious pasta dish. We’ll roast and skin the peppers, roast and smash the garlic, char the onions, rough chop the tomatoes, and toss it all together with the slightest hint of olive oil. Clay makes a fabulous butter-lemon sauce for fettuccine  – we’ll serve this saucy-salad alongside the pasta in the same bowl.

Squash-and-Greens Casserole

Over the weekend we made a terrific casserole of squash and kale with cumin, black pepper, and cheese. It was fantastic – so much so that we both ate every morsel from our plates. I’d like to try it again, but with a few variations: a cheese sauce rather than grated cheese and slightly smaller pieces of squash. We’ll make that on Saturday, to have with fabulous burgers.

That leaves me with fennel and cabbage (for which I’ve already identified a plan). peas, and eggs. The peas were husked and added, raw, to Clay’s lunchtime crudite container. We never have a problem using eggs – these have been used in bread batter, hard-boiled for take-along breakfasts, and will be Saturday brunch.

The Bonus Round

Back when I first decided to catalog this year’s adventure in a real way, I mentioned that one of the reasons we love our CSA is because spending money on vegetables far in advance saves us from the real-time market in the summer and leaves more room for little splurges. Today was all about those little splurges.

First, I bought the beautiful loaf of bread in the photo at the top of this post from the stand next to Simpaug at the Farmer’s Market this morning, Whole G Bakery. It’s a sesame semolina loaf, and has a stunning texture for toast with salted butter and a little drizzle of jam. For a week when doing “just one more thing” might send either or both of us to the looney bin, buying hand-made artisinal bread was a splurge worth every penny.

Second, I bought a gorgeous (and spendy) bouquet of basil. This has been a tough year for basil – very rainy weather with very high-temperature/high humidity days that yield overcast skies rather than full sun do not make for plump, fragrant basil leaves – so I anticipated an expensive and not-quite perfect treat. But with onions and tomatoes and peppers in the Share box, I couldn’t resist.

Third, I brought home almost a pound of pulled-this-morning fresh mozzarella from our local dairy.

So there will be caprese sandwiches on sesame bread in our lunchboxes tomorrow, and we will be savoring every little bite.

What’s your food plan for the week?

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