Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Weekly Local Booty 10/5-10/11/08 and Bonus Family Pics (for Bob)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekly Local Booty 10/5-10/11/08 and Bonus Family Pics (for Bob)

Well we had a very nice visit with Brett's mom and grandma (who we lovingly call Vern). We all went out to dinner last night at one of our favorite local restaurants, Cafe Berlin. It is a great place to take meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans as they have something there for everyone. They source a lot of their ingredients locally, and they are locally owned. They also joined us after our weekly trip to the farmer's market this morning for some (very) fresh J&B's Huevos Rancheros. The meal was a big hit! Even with the 86 year young Vern. Everyone especially loved the cranberry beans. Oh, the cranberry beans. But I digress... It was so nice to see them, and we are really looking forward to going to visit them in Peoria for Christmas.

We got a little bit of garden loot this week - from the community garden no less. There are actually quite a few peppers that could be picked, but since we think this is likely to be the last round of peppers, we want to let them ripen on the plants so we can save the seed for next year. I would say we are going to have a pepper onslaught here pretty soon, and I'm looking forward to it. :-)

Here is this week's garden booty, brought to you from the community garden plot:

Hot banana peppers! The one in the back is turning purple on one side. I've never seen anything like this before, has anyone else? I'm going to do a little research to make sure it is safe to eat it. I'd hate for it to be some sort of disease or something. None of the others look like this.

So, not only did we get to have a lovely visit from Brett's mom (Linda) and Vern, but Vern also brought us homegrown (by a friend of the family) goodies! Check out what she brought us from Illinois:

A sweet potato and lots of yummy smelling red apples. We don't know what kind they are, so we're going to call them "Vernalicious". :-)

Here is this week's CSA, lovely as always:

Starting from the bottom right: a "carnival" acorn squash, boiler onions, a cucumber, radishes, a sweet potato, lettuce, and a yellow bell pepper.

Does anyone know what to do with radishes? We don't like them fresh, at least not the way we've had them, and are really at a loss. We got radishes fairly often at the beginning of the season and would try to choke through them raw or they would sit. Any ideas would be very much appreciated.

And this week's farmer's market booty - this ran us $34.50:

Starting from the bottom right: yellow and red tomatoes (likely to be some of the last of the season, we are at the tail end this year due to the cool weather and all the rain), garlic (!!!!!), 4 "yummy" sweet peppers, carola potatoes (so good!), a dozen eggs, 2 buttercup squash, mild local salsa, and 4 large sweet potatoes.

Our store of winter squash is pretty well complete now. I don't know if we have enough stored away to get us through on the local stuff, but we don't have room for much more. We may get the odd one here and there after we've stocked up on sweet potatoes, but there is only so much room in our apartment.

At the request of Linda's "other half" Bob, we snapped some pictures of her and Vern where they will now live in infamy on the "world wide web".

Here is one with Brett, Vern, and Linda (or Grenda as she is called by a few):

And for fairness' sake, since we both hate having our picture taken, here is one of them with me. Please ignore the funky bun hair-thing I have going on, I had been cooking all morning. :-(

Anywho, we had a great visit and also got lots of local goodies to work with this week.

We are doing really well with the Eat Local Challenge too. All we had to get from the "regular" store today was cookies. Having found yummy local salsa that is also sold at the Root Cellar (and thus available year round), has really made eating locally easier.

We also added a J and B's Favorite Recipes page - to help us remember which recipes we liked best, and if you all are curious as to what gets made most often, this list is a good indicator of it. We haven't really determined how exactly we are going to rate or rank our recipes, to us how "good" a recipe is can be better judged by how often it gets made. So we'll have to think on that. But the "best of the best" will be added to the favorites list.

Well, our tomatoes are trying to make a comeback - one of them so much so that it needs to be staked up, and the garden could stand a weeding around the tomato and pepper plants.

I'll probably be posting the garden update on Tuesday. Have a great weekend everyone!

'Til next time!


Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

glad you had such a nice visit with family. And that acorn squash looks really cool!

Heather @ SGF said...

Oh, what I would give for local apples..... Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you had a nice visit with Brett's family. And score on those apples they gifted you with--what a treat!

The squash in your CSA looks so cute and fun! I hope you enjoy it!


VeggieGirl said...

PRODUCE HAUL!!! Fabulous.

Love the photographs with Brett's family :0)

Agnes said...

Rachael Ray has a recipe for braised radishes that you could probably veganize. You can find it at Foodtv. There are many different salsas that use radishes.
Some use fruit (pineapple or mango)with radish. There are also some that are Mexican-style--tomato and radish. The radish just adds a little bite. Google "radish salsa" There's a recipe called Warm Chick-Pea Salad in the book Vegan Deli by Joanne Stepaniak. It's chickpeas, bell pepper, parsley, scallions, red radishes tossed in a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, a dab of crushed garlic, salt and pepper. You can also put radishes in Kim chee, if you know how to make that. There are various recipes online.

Cookiemouse said...

I would not eat the purple one. I've seen peppers like that before, and have always thrown them away. You remind me that I should go out into the country to look for some apples.

Anonymous said...

Yeah for pictures! And so nice that you had a good visit - family visits are a rare thing for me, and I've really learned to appreciate them!

jessy said...

the hot banana peppers look yummy! i've never seen banana peppers get purple like that, but i have seen serrano peppers do that. we've eaten them and they've been a-okay. that's good news that your tomato plants are trying to produce more - hooray for a comeback!

sounds like you guys had such a fun visit! how awesome of Vern to bring you some of her friend's homegrown yummies! yay!

the carnival squash looks so pretty, and for the radishes: try roasting them - and you can eat the greens, too (just saute 'em)! we've never tried roasted radishes (i love them raw), but i hear they're pretty yummy. i've heard of them roasted them with a little soy sauce & peanut oil. let us know what you do with them though - i'd be very interested in finding out. w00t!

i'm going to be sad when there aren't any more local tomatoes. i think i'll miss them the most! :(

now i'm off to check out your favorite recipes page! thanks, Jennifer! oh, and i'm glad everyone loved the huevos rancheros! wahoooooooo!

Bianca said...

Vern sounds awesome! I love that she gave you apples. I wish somebody would give me some apples! :-)

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

Lisa - Thank you, it was a very nice time.

It is a cool looking squash - I think we might make a nice mapley brunch out of it over the weekend coming up.

Heather - Hehe, we have local apples coming out the wazoo right now. It is that time of year in the Midwest. I've already "taken care of" most of the apples Vern brought us, hopefully I will be posting about the recipes they went in sometime in the near future.

Courtney - It was a very nice visit. I know, sweet potatoes, lots of apples, AND a really nice visit - we really lucked out!

I think we are going to make that squash the "traditional" way of using maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon roasted in the squash. I think it would make a nice brunch.

Veggie Girl - Thank you!

Agnes - Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. I really like the chickpea salad one. It sounds like a way of eating radishes we can handle. I might have to try that out. I think I might also google radish salsa, that sounds interesting. Thank you so much for all the ideas.

Cookiemouse - Oddly, it went bad in less than a day, so I never got a chance to do any research, let alone use the pepper.

Apple hunting, eh? That sounds like a great time!

Shellyfish - Yeah, bring on the Brett pictures anytime, pictures of myself - eh, I don't get very excited about. I usually avoid pictures of myself like the plague. I make two exceptions, one is for Vern - she's 86 years old and is essentially my grandma as well, so if she wants a picture, she can have it; the second is the occasional picture of Brett and myself. Beyond that, if you get a picture of me, I look angry - even in some of the pictures with Brett and I - we both have a fairly angry "are you done yet" look on our faces.

So true, family visits are fairly rare for us as well since we don't own a car and our family is so scattered across the country.

Jessy - I know, we love 'em! I've never seen ANY pepper do that, we both thought it was pretty weird. It's nice to know that you've eaten peppers like that and lived to tell about it. ;-)

I thought so - and hooray is right!

We did and I was really stoked. Local, homegrown food (not meat or dairy of course) is the best present ever.

Roasted radishes? I bet that brings out their sweetness without that weird bitter bite. I bet the soy sauce and peanut oil would be good. I actually have both of those things at home right now. I'll try roasting them the next time I get radishes.

I know. I love tomatoes so much. Brett and I have eaten so many tomatoes this summer I couldn't even begin to estimate how many pounds. Tomatoes and cantaloupe are two of my favorite foods and two things that make me look forward to summer most!

Hey, no problem, the recipe index is getting a little crazy (and there will be more added, I'm going to have to figure something out), and it was hard to remember which meals we had liked most.

I was happy they liked it too!

Bianca - Vern IS awesome. She even tells dirty jokes and does card tricks. Wahoo!