Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Weekly Local Booty 8/18-8/23/08

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Weekly Local Booty 8/18-8/23/08

We didn't get too much from our gardens this week, as was expected. I think, unfortunately, the squash bugs have won. We are, however, still getting a nice harvest from our Roma tomato plant, and the Better Boy looks like it will produce at least half a dozen tomatoes before the end of the season. The container garden peppers are really starting to move along, since we picked all the jalapenos and serranos off the plants, they have been producing blooms like crazy. And the rest of the plants (with the exception of the dud poblano plant) have peppers at various stages of growth. It looks like we can expect to get quite a few more peppers before the end of the season as well.

Here's what we got from the container and community gardens this week:

Here we have a jalapeno, a petite bell, and a "regular" bell pepper.

Another butternut. Brett calls this our "naughty" butternut, 'cause, well, it resembles a.... Just use your imagination. ;-)

And here we have a banana pepper (from the community garden), and lots of tomatoes. These bad boys are hogging space in our windowsill to finish ripening

Here is this week's CSA. If it looks a little skimp compared to the previous weeks, that is because it is. The weather around here has been a real bane to farmers this year, but it's still a lovely little load of goodies.

Here we've got (starting from the left): onions, small cherry tomatoes of all different colors (!!), 2 large, lovely tomatoes, a cucumber, basil, and a couple of carrots.

Onto this week's farmers market booty. All this stuff cost us a whopping $21. I love the farmer's market. (Oh, and we got some special stuff this week, so there will be individual pictures as well.)

Starting from the left we've got: a loaf of ciabatta bread from a local bakery, Uprise Bakery, a HUGE flippin' cantaloupe, 2 ears of sweet corn, a yellow summer squash, a small eggplant, a large yellow onion, a quart of small "boiler" onions, purple potatoes (!!!), a pasilla pepper (!!!!!), an orchid pepper (!!!!!), 2 "fish" peppers (!!!!!), and 2 Peruvian yellow peppers (!!!!!).

We got some really awesome peppers from the market this weekend, we're going to save the seeds out of them and try our hand at growing some of these beauties next spring. These are so gorgeous that they needed their own individual photos. We've never had any of these peppers before, but once we do, I will update the Pepper Guide to include them as well. My only complaint about these peppers, which has nothing to do with them, is that the purveyor had no clue about any of these! Not what to do with them, how spicy they were or anything! How weird is that?! I think there is a market for a knowledgeable "pepper person" at the farmer's market, not only are there not many people that sell peppers beyond bells, most aren't really "fluent" in peppers, that's where I might be able to come in a few years from now. :-)!

These are the fish peppers. Notice the gorgeous striping? They are about the size of serrranos.

The orchid pepper. This is a funny looking little guy; it reminds me a little bit of a patty pan squash.

A pasilla pepper. These guys are a staple pepper in Mexico, here in the States we generally use Anaheim's in place of them since, well, they aren't widely available.

Here are the lovely Peruvian yellow peppers. Now this is just speculation, but with their lantern-like shape, very thin stem, and also thin skin, I am assuming that these are going to be very fiery little peppers. Maybe that is just wishful thinking, but we'll see.

This cantaloupe is HUGE, seriously. It was as big as a lot of the watermelons at the market. Brett said he wouldn't be surprised if it weighed more than 8 pounds!

A happy cantaloupe! We did this to give you all an idea of the size, and well, also to be cute.

And here is an individual picture of the purple potatoes. I've seen a few posts on other blogs about these beauties, but never saw them at the market until this weekend. They are just so vibrant and pretty. These bad boys are going to be turned into fried potatoes to go with a meal of Snobby Joes from Veganomicon and we'll be having some corn on cob as well. Lindsay (aka the Happy Herbivore) posted about the Snobby Joes a couple of days ago and they looked fantastic, so I decided to pull out my dusty copy of Veganomicon and test it out. Now I know that Isa and Terry are supposed to be the "goddesses" of the vegan cooking world, but I have to be honest, I am in no way impressed. Their baked good are alright, though I always have to modify their recipes because they are so unnecessarily unhealthy (white flour is NOT food guys), and their entrees - BLECH, all too salty, and really, they just don't send me. Nothing against them personally, or anyone who likes their food, it's just not for me. But I trust Lindsay's taste, so I'm going to give the Snobby Joes a shot.

Finally, I will end this post with some pictures of the annual hot air balloon festival that is held here in Columbia. The balloons were a lot closer than they seem in the pictures. A few times a year we are lucky to see the balloons flying around as they launch from fairly close to our apartment. These are some brave folks; let me tell you, I'm not sure I could do this! One of the "smoking ladies" I talk with regularly on break at work (but sadly, I don't know her actual name), is part of the crew on one of these balloons.

'Til next time!


selina said...

hmmmm... you should move by me & be our pepper expert. there aren't any at the farmers market. i mean there is an amish guy that sells chili peppers. another amish family sells poblanos. but other than that there is mostly the generic green, red & banana peppers & jalapenos.

plus we have a decent sized spanish community around here. about 20% i believe with lots of authentic mexican restaurants & supermarkets.. :)

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Selina - Hahaha, that IS pretty tempting! I notice that a lot of the stands at the farmers market here sell pretty much the same things, where is the diversity? When we do our community garden next year, we are going to try growing ALL SORTS of different things, and screw the "row planting" noise!

Ok, you are REALLY tempting me to move to Indiana now! You've got the Colts, and all those restaurants and supermarkets.... ;-)

VeggieGirl said...

Ahhh, SO MUCH FRESH GOODNESS!!! I'm quite envious. And that smiling melon is too funny :0D

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I love those purple potatoes! Hope you like the snobby joes. I like that recipe for a sweeter sloppy joe, and we have a different recipe we like (New Farm) when we want a tangy sloppy joe.

Courtney said...

All of your tomatoes and that cantaloupe are making me VERY jealous!! Yum!

I know what you mean--I always expect the people at the farmers market to be knowledgable about the produce they are selling too. Surprisingly, they are not! I once asked one of the vendors about their beans, as in, "what kind of beans are these?" and got the reply--"beans." kidding. When I explained that I knew they were beans but wanted to know what kind they were, she told me she didn't know. Sheesh! You would think you would know what you are growing...


Bianca said...

Damn, I wanna find some purple potatoes. And how funny that Brett pointed out the, um, phallicness of that squash. Dirty vegetarians...

VeganCowGirl said...

I love your orchid pepper - really pretty!

Sorry that your squash bugs won the garden battle.

You and wet blanket have totally inspired me to start container gardening in my back garden. Thanks so much!!!

Bobbi said...

Excellent booty this week!

jessy said...

what beautiful peppers, Jennifer! sorry about those darn squash bugs, too. they stink! :(

that local ciabatta bread looks sooo good! and i love your happy cantaloupe! he made me smile! :D

Liz said...

Oh, I'm growing pasillas this year and need to know how to feature them best. They tend to get lost in a dish when I use them. What's your favorite use for them?

ps- my squash bugs won, too.

shellyfish said...

Everything looks so good! I wish I was your neighbor...I'd mooch off of you!

And ciabatta is so good! I just made some for the first time and it was out of this world!

Cookiemouse said...

Love the peppers from the community garden. The tomatoes also look great.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Veggie Girl - I know, I am going to be sad come November when the market closes for the winter.

I thought people would get a kick out of the melon. ;-)

Lisa - The purple potatoes were really tasty. The Snobby Joes were alright, but I can't say much beyond that. Is New Farm a cookbook? I'd be interested in the tangy sloppy joe recipe.

Courtney - Are 'maters and cantaloupe unavailable where you live? That would be awful! They are two of my very favorite things.

Most people I've met at the market are very familiar with what they sell, but there are a few vendors that I have to wonder about. That is funny, but had to frustrating about those beans. You SHOULD know what you are growing.

Bianca - I saved a couple of the potatoes to let them grow "eyes", so that I can plant them somewhere in our winter garden and see if they grow.

Leave it to a man to notice that one, eh? ;-)

Vegan CowGirl - That pepper caught my eye at the market before the rest of them. I guess Brett should consider himself lucky that my impulse purchases seem to be limited to odd peppers rather than something expensive. :-)

Eh, we haven't finished with the squash bugs yet, but they have done irreparable damage.

Oh wow, that is wonderful! I'm so happy you guys are going to start gardening, and we are honored that we helped inspire it. You'll have to keep us up-to-date on the progress of the garden, and you may just have to start your own garden update!

Bobbi - Thanks, we've enjoyed eating it!

Jessy - I know, they are gorgeous, I really hope we can keep the seeds stored properly so we can grow them next year. There is only so much space in our apartment for indoor winter produce, and we are quickly reaching our limit!

They do stink!

The ciabatta WAS really good.

I'm glad you liked the happy cantaloupe.

Liz - I would recommend trying out our Green Chile Taco Sauce and using your pasillas instead of the Anaheim's (you lucky girl you). Beyond that, they are excellent for enchilada sauces, salsa verdes, roasted, sliced and put in burritos, enchiladas, tacos, you name it. They are incredibly versatile and I cannot wait to have a yield of my own.

Bummer about the squash bugs, though I am a little relieved we aren't the only ones battling them. We have some ideas to combat them next year though, so we'll see who wins the battle in 2010. Mwahahahahaha! ;-)

Shellyfish - Hahaha! We always have too much food so a spicy vegan Mexican food loving neighbor would actually be quite welcome a lot of times.

WOW, you MADE your OWN ciabatta bread. I am IMPRESSED, I am so scared of bread making that I, of all people, still haven't tried making my own tortillas. I really need to get over that.

Cookiemouse - That pepper from the community garden (along with a fish pepper and a jalapeno from our container garden) made it's way nicely into a batch of refried beans. Yum!

The tomatoes are insane, they just keep coming. The indoor winter garden starts are fighting for space in the windowsill with the ripening romas!

Courtney said...

No, no, tomatoes and cantaloupe are definitely available at the farmers market here! I am totally getting tomatoes next time, but since I walk to and from the market, I have yet to get a cantaloupe there...they are pretty big and kind of heavy along with everything else! This may be the weekend I break down, though...:o)