Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Weekly Local Booty 9/21-9/27/08 and An Award!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weekly Local Booty 9/21-9/27/08 and An Award!!

It has been a beautiful week here in Mid-Missouri. I would likely enjoy it more without a cold, but I am doing what I can to reduce the duration and intensity of the dang thing. Thanks for the well wishes and the advice - I eschewed citrus instead choosing local orange veggies which are packed with Vitamin C, and red bell peppers (thanks Courtney!) which are too. Sweet potatoes here we come! After going to the market and doing a few chores around here though, I am feeling pretty crummy, so aside from a little cooking, I'm taking it easy. I'm going to play in a Pot Limit poker tournament online, read, and snuggle with the kitties (and Brett too if he's lucky). Oh, and I think Brett might be coming down with my cold too (probably from continuing to snuggle with me). Hopefully I'll be good to go for work on Monday. Blech.

Enough of my whining. The weather has been consistently warmer and sunny for the past week or so, and the peppers really seem to like it. We got some peppers from the container garden this week - with more on the way!

Here is what we got from our container and community gardens this week:

A Roma and our first Better Boy! I can't wait to eat it!

Starting from the left: jalapenos (!!), petite bell peppers (they are really small), and 2 "serexican" chile peppers.

Here is this week's CSA. It is hard to believe that there are only a few weeks of the CSA left. We're going to miss Dan, and his fine, fine produce. Dan is an awesome guy, he grows incredibly high quality fruits and veggies, and I would dare to say he is one of the more enlightened people I interact with. This was our first year subscribing to a CSA, and we just wish we could have done it sooner. It has been a wonderful experience and we recommend it to anyone who has the means to do so.

Starting from the left: Gala apples (I finally remembered to ask! I've had "grocery store" Gala apples before and they don't hold a candle to these, they taste [oddly] a little like banana), some Roma tomatoes (!!!), a zucchini, a cucumber, and a sweet potato (!!!!!!!!!!).

Here is this week's farmer's market booty. This load ran us $45, we picked up 7 squash to put up for winter and found some great variety. Oh, and we stocked up on some more organic potatoes too.

Starting from the bottom left: a white eggplant (!!), a Poona Kheera cucumber (!!), local hot salsa (with habaneros - !!!!!!!!!!), local pickles (wahoo!), rainbow chard, a 5 lb. bag of organic red potatoes, sweet potatoes (!!!!!!!!!!), a mini Hubbard squash (!!), 2 acorn squash, 4 delicata squash (!!), some organic grass fed beef for Brett, and a "regular" eggplant.

I got close-up pictures of the things I was really excited about. I love how produce can be both beautiful and so darn yummy!

A couple of acorn squash. We will probably get a few more of these as we really like acorn squash. I've never had this variety before. The only kind we've had are the dark green ones (we would like to pick up some of those next weekend, our bags were really full). The farmer said they didn't really taste any different, they just looked different. I think they look really cool.

A mini Hubbard squash!! This was a really exciting find. I didn't think we would ever get to try Hubbard squash - which is one of the older varieties of squash, acclaimed for its flavor. Why did I think we would never get to try one? Because the "non-mini" variety are usually 15-30 lb squash. They are flippin' huge. People use saws to get them open! The mini variety is about the size of a small pumpkin. Hubbards keep really well, if stored in a cool, dry place, they can last for 6 months or more.

A Poona Kheera cucumber. This is an heirloom Indian cucumber. The purveyor said it was very crisp, like an apple. They contain more mature seeds, so they need to be seeded before slicing. I wish I was more inspired, since this is such a rare treat, but all I can think to do with it is put in on a bagel sandwich and that just doesn't seem right. I am going to hold on to it until tomorrow in case someone can give me some ideas as to what I could use this beauty in. I've never seen anything like this! The purveyor also had some rare varieties of radishes too, they were gorgeous. Just white and plain looking on the outside, but with a burst of vibrant purple when you cut in to them. We don't like radishes, so obviously we didn't pick them up, but we will definitely be on the look out for his stand from now on. We love the opportunity to try some of the prized veggies!

A white eggplant. Brett thinks that the white ones are where they get their name from - 'cause, well they do look a little like really large eggs.

This week's "installment" of Leng's Fried Rice (I told you we ate this all the time) will include the white eggplant, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and edamame (and lots of sriracha on mine). We're going to have B's Eggplant Steaks and Lentil and Potato Tacos again too. Those tacos are one of our favorite meals. I've got some ideas for those potatoes and sweet potatoes though.

I am moving a little slow because of the cold, so please don't be upset if the updates and monthly introduction for the Unplug Yourself initiative are just a little late. I should be able to get the permaculture post done soon, and can work on the alternative news one early next week. Brett has finals next week, so he will be pretty busy, but I think he'll have the introduction out before Friday - his update might be more like a week or two. Basically, by Friday, my updates and the introduction will be up. Sorry about the delay.

I was also planning on making tortillas this weekend! Excuses, excuses...

Update: The lovely and green-thumbed Daphe, from over at Daphne's Dandelions passed on the "I Love Your Blog" award to me. This is a high honor coming from her - her blog is excellent and her garden makes me dream of bigger and better things. So thank you so much Daphne, you've made my day - and with this cold it really helps!

Now, per the award, I get to pass this on to seven of my very favorite blogs. Wahoo! I like the opportunity to thank folks who brighten my life and inform me as much as these people have. You all rock. And if you desire, you can pass the award along as well.

Here it goes:

Jessy from Happy Vegan Face - Hers is one of my very favorite blogs. Not only is her food drool worthy, I know I'm always certain to get a smile on my superhappyawesomeexcitedface. ;-) But she is about more than just food - she and her husband try, in their daily lives, to live how they think they should, always striving to live better, to live more sustainable and just lives.

Selina from Vegans Rock!! - Her blog rocks!! She shares her food adventures, her cute pup Piper (and her kitties too), and her trials and tribulations in her garden. I also appreciate her tackling challenges head-on, when she decides she wants to do something, she does it with a passion. We have a lot to learn from people like her.

T from Vegan Soul Power! - I still love the name of this blog! That is, in no way, the only reason I like it. This girl has spunk, class, brains, and knows her way around the kitchen. She's had a rough year but has managed to transition to what sounds like a wonderful new neighborhood and she ditched her car - all while trying to make her way through law school. T you rock!

Ilex from Homesteading in a Condo - She tries to live sustainably in Detroit and documents it with eloquence. I almost don't even need to say anymore about why I love her blog!

M from My Face Is on Fire - M is never afraid to tackle uncomfortable topics, expose hypocrisy, teach us a thing or two, or inform us about things that we might not otherwise know. She speaks with authority and acts as our media really should - with a critical eye and quick wit.

Theresa from Pondering the Myriad of Things - Her blog provides intellectual and even spiritual stimulation. I've gotten angry with her as she tried to do what she could to make sure a wetland was not illegally sucked dry; I've sympathized with similar repressive and draconian governments though we live in different places; I've felt despair with her as if no matter what "they" always win; and she has reminded me of the small things in life, those little things that help us go on. Thank you Theresa!

And last, but definitely not least is DP from Square Foot Gardening in Nashville - I love this blog! I have really enjoyed reading about her adventures in the garden. But my favorite part about her blog is that she names her fruits and veggies. It's like watching a child grow when the cantaloupe isn't just a cantaloupe, it's Betty. ;-)

'Til next time.


Anonymous said...

Everything looks so delicious! Wow! And I must admit, that white eggplant does look like a dinasaur egg!

Kristin said...

For the cucumber -- have you ever had fattoush? It's my favorite salad ever. There are tons of variations out there -- here's one:

Daphne said...

That's interesting. What your vendor called acorn squash, mine called delicata. Those were the same as what I bought last Wednesday at the farmer's market. You will have to tell me if you think they taste like delicata or acorn squash. Of course I'll probably go back and buy the other two that were labeled delicata anyway to try. Whatever they really are, they are awfully tasty and sweet.

Daphne said...

And I suppose I should have added the following in my last comment. So I love your blog, so left you an award over at my blog. If you aren't a meme type of person, feel free to ignore it.

Anonymous said...

I hope you feel better soon! Take the time to rest up and relax...that is what weekends are for sometimes :o)

Your produce looks so fresh and good--especially those tomatoes! I am going to the farmers market tomorrow, and I plan on stocking up on tomatoes...and squash. Yours looks great!


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

Shellyfish - Wahoo for the farmer's market and our CSA!

Haha, it does look like a dinosaur egg!

Kristin - I've never even heard of it. Thank you very much for the idea and the recipe link!

Daphne - Here is a good site about the delicata:

The delicata's have a deeper orange flesh than acorn squashes do, and their flesh is a little sweeter and more moist, like a butternut squash. They are also elongated.

I've seen acorn squash in a few different colors, deep green, the mottled color we got, and even white. If the farmer was correct, they all taste about the same.

Haha, I've felt that way about some things I got from my CSA - whatever this is, it rocks!

Thank you so much for the award Daphne! I've updated this post and given it to some of my favorite blogs. You made my day!

Courtney - Thank you, I'm trying. Your tip about the red bell peppers came at the right time, I just picked a bunch of ripe petite bells!

So THAT is what the weekends are supposed to be for!!!! I just thought it was the time we try to pack in all the stuff we want/need to do during the week! ;-)

Those tomatoes are perfectly ripe. We're gonna slice a few of them up and eat them with salt.

Enjoy the tomatoes while you can, and I hope your market has a good variety of squash.

Claire said...

Ooh, fun cukecumbers. I used to work in this english pub/indian curry place (random) that served a salad on the side that may work for you.

it had peaches, onion, cilantro, and rose's lime syrup, and it would be beautiful with your cuke subbed for the peach. super flavorful and crisp. it too would be easy enough to create lime syrup at home instead of buying, and then have some margaritas too! ha!

also, i love cukes with onions and pepper and cider vinegar, but that's my german showing. and they're kinda strong for most people.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I agree with Shelly, that eggplant is pretty interesting. Congrats on your award!

selina said...

Hey! Last Tuesday I was buying my acorn squash & asked the lady what the difference was between the plain green ones & the striped gren & yellow ones. she said not much. so i picked the green & yellow one cause it was prettier! it patiently sits in my basement looking beautiful.

you can make a thai cucumber salad with that cucumber & some red peppers. its on my recipes blog from March 07.

i hope your cold goes away fast & that you feel much better. i'll be sending good vibes your way!

Hey!!! Thanks for the award!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the award!

I learn so many things about vegetables from your blog! All those peppers and squashes. Here in Germany we only have one or two kinds of squash (In the stores. I guess if I had a garden things would be completely different...)and if I find a new one I knever know the correct English name. (E.g. I thought the acorn squash was a carnival squash)

Avery Yale Kamila said...

What a wonderful fresh veggie haul! I just picked up some delicata squash at the farmers' market yesterday and plan to roast it tonight. Yum!

Hope you feel better really soon!

jessy said...

awwwwww, thanks Jennifer! i super puffy heart your blog, too! yay! :D and yours also makes me superhappyandexcitedface! ahahaaaaa! indeeds!

look at all the AWESOME produce you got - WOW! i've never had white eggplant, and hubbard squash?! too cool! i've never even heard of a poona kheera cucumber - it sounds pretty darn good, and i see more of the delicata squashes! oooooooooo! yay!

sorry you've still got the cold, although it being monday hopefully it's tapering off (i hope Brett's is, too!) i look forward to seeing your homemade tortillas soon! i'll keep checking back for them! i can't wait! superw00t!

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

Claire - Thank you so much for the recipe idea, that does sound fantastic.

I love cucumbers too, and onions, and vinegar, so I think that sounds quite lovely as well. ;-)

Lisa - I thought so too, that is why I had to pick one up! Thank you.

Selina - Hahaha, that is too funny that we ended up with the same kind of acorn squash! Mine are sitting patiently in my closet, and I am trying to resist the urge to bust one of 'em out. I might have to pick up a couple this weekend for immediate use, I'm starting to get squash fever with all these yummy lovelies stashed away.

You are talking my language with the Thai cucumber salad, especially if it is spicy. We've already eaten the Poona Kheera (delicious and crispy cuke!), but would this work with "regular" cukes? I still have one of those sitting around.

Thank you, I am starting to feel a little better. Was able to come to work today, I'm still on the up and up so keep sending those vibes my way! :-)

You deserve it, you have one of my favorite blogs and are one of my favorite bloggers. Makes me wish you lived in Missouri or I lived in Indiana, I think you and I would be good buds.

Mihl - Thank you, and thank you for the kind words! Hahaha about the problems with names for the squash. We Americans are probably getting it wrong! We think sweet potatoes and yams are the same thing! I'm not even sure which ones are the ones I like anymore!

Avery Yale Kamila - Thank you. Yummy, roasted squash is so good. Especially roasted delicata squash, mmmmmmm.

Thank you!

Jessy - You are welcome, thank you for rocking! Hahahahaha.

The white eggplant was really good, a little more mild than the standard purple variety. It made a killer fried rice addition.

I've never had Hubbard squash, as I mentioned in my post, they are generally HUGE! I've read good things about their flavor and "keeping qualities" so I figured I would pick one up to try it out. We may go ahead and pick up another on Saturday,

The Poona Kheera cucumber is an heirloom. There is an awesome vendor at the market that "specializes" in heirloom varieties. The Poona Kheera was very fragrant, had a large seed sack that needed removal, and was very crisp. Very, very tasty. Brett had mentioned the idea of stuffing it with something. We were thinking hummus or tabbouli. Mmmm. Perhaps there will be more at the market this weekend, tabbouli stuffed cucumbers sound awesome.

Thanks for the well wishes.

I already have he tortillas on the menu for this weekend. I am going to make a Mexican tortilla pizza on Saturday using your recipe for whole wheat tortillas! I'm so looking forward to it.

M said...

You're far too kind!

And I am in *serious* awe of your mad gardening skills (and incredibly jealous of your longer growing season). What a nice haul!

Theresa said...

Thank you so much Jennifer for your kind words :) And thank you also for the reminder to begin posting again about my own CSA bounty - I had fallen behind in that!

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

M - Naw, it is well deserved, just try to take an unbiased look at the material and information your provide - it is incredibly valuable and sometimes frightening - but still very much worth knowing.

I could say the same things about all those tomatoes you posted about recently. Yummy. Yeah, I am jealous of the southern USA'ers and their long growing season as well. Other peoples' garden envy, eh?

Wahoo for the farmer's market.

Theresa - Not a problem - I really enjoy your blog and respect you as a person. You stand up for what you believe in and share your passion with others. Just imagine if there were more folks out there doing this.

Hahaha, now that I think about it, I haven't seen a CSA post on your blog in awhile....