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!