Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Weekly Local Booty - Homegrown Grub, CSA, and Farmer's Market - May 23, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weekly Local Booty - Homegrown Grub, CSA, and Farmer's Market - May 23, 2009

I think summer is making its presence known in Mid-Missouri - we have enjoyed a week in the 80s with lots of sun! This means that the community garden was finally able to be tilled, so Brett and I went down and got our stuff in the ground. We transplanted tomato, cucumber, and butternut squash, and sowed cucumber, Tiger's Eye bean, Genovese basil, cilantro, cumin, Renegade spinach, Bright Lights chard, Clemson Spineless okra, dwarf sugar snap peas, nantes carrot, and some marigolds for their beneficial effects. We were stoked to finally be able to work in the soil! As soon as things begin to sprout I'll take some pictures of both the community and container garden.

We had our first harvest this week - from the AeroGarden. The Red Rubin basil looked great and was ready to go, so we harvested it last night, weighed it, and then made pesto with it. I know that is really uncreative, and I do plan on making more than pesto with all the basil we are growing, but I wanted to see how it would taste with the Red Rubin and we wanted a quick and easy meal. You can't get a whole lot fresher than "farm to table" in less than 10 minutes!

We are planning on weighing our yields this summer to get an idea of what produces best in our soils as well as to just get a general idea of the level of production in our gardens, so we will add a sidebar element to keep a tally.

Check it out:

1 1/2 ounces of Red Rubin basil. Our lemon basil is ready to harvest as well; I will probably get it tomorrow.

Check out this week's CSA:

Starting from the bottom right: spring onions, herbs of some sort, 2 bunches of the world's best asparagus, radishes, and salad greens.

The super awesome Callina, a fellow CoMo resident, assistant editor extraordinaire at MissouriLife magazine, and author of the cool blog The Gingerbread House, gave me a recipe awhile back for a radish salad she made. I am going to play around with it a bit with these radishes. They really are a new food to us so we've never quite known how to handle them. Thanks for the recipe Callina!

In other CSA news, our farm, Danjo Farms, now has a blog! Dan and Joanne have hooked up with a local writer to start a blog to give information about the goings on at the farm and also recipes using ingredients from that week's CSA share. After talking to Dan at market this morning, it looks like they are going to team up to write a Mid-Missouri CSA cookbook. I am really excited about their project and think the cookbook is a wonderful idea. And you can bet I will offer to be a tester should they need any!

Here is this week's farmer's market haul. This ran $44.

Um, starting from the mushrooms....: 1/2 lb. Beau Solais Farm oyster mushrooms, 3 bunches of baby garlic, 5 yummylicious tomatoes, a bunch of young field grown onions, 2 bunches of cilantro, spinach, spring onions (green onions), penne pasta, and Annie's Honey Wheat bread.

It was a really nice trip to the market this morning, the sun was shining and it wasn't too hot. My only complaint (and you know I'll always have one) was that there was quite a bit of traffic this morning and we walk everywhere. I am used to Saturday mornings being kind of lax in terms of traffic, but I guess with it being a holiday weekend, everyone is out and about.

Needless to say, I have many plans for this grub!

To let you all in on a little plan that has been 'a brewin' in the good 'ol Midwest, Selina, author of the blog Indiana Girl and one of my very best friends, and I have decided to take the plunge and write a cookbook. It has been suggested a few times that I do so, but there are certain areas that are not my strong suit that I think would be missing (breads, desserts, presentation). Well these are areas that Selina is not only good at, but enjoys (the thought of having to figure out how to make beans and salsa look pretty just gives me anxiety) and she and I have not only a very similar philosophy on food, but also similar palettes. We have decided to do a sort of Midwest Mex-Latino kind of cookbook, one that focuses on the flavor profiles of the Southwestern United States, Mexico, and South America, using simple techniques, and mostly seasonally available ingredients used at the height of their quality. We also think it should be more than just a simple recipe book - we will provide tables for substitutions - food should be simple, and a lot of things are interchangeable, we don't want you to have to go buy something special for just one meal, we will also provide instructions for basic techniques, and tips on how things like vinegar and seasoning affect a dish so that you can use our recipes and make them your own. Cooking is an expression of creativity, and we hope that the people (if there are any) who would get our cookbook would feel as though they are able to express themselves and their tastes without changing the overall integrity of the dish.

We have a long way to go and are in no rush. Quality is what is most important to us. Right now we are just going through all our compiled recipes for the ones we think have potential and will work from there. I hope that some of you might consider being testers when the time arrives, and just know, we will be having a lot of fun in the kitchen over the summer. I am so excited to be able to work on this project, and work on it with Selina, it brings a new level of excitement to the kitchen and one of my co-workers has already essentially placed a pre-order. ;-)

In other news, Brett and I's wedding is just a few weeks off and I realized that I have a farmer's tan and am planning on wearing a strapless dress. I am not a vain person, and I really don't care much about all the frilly stuff that goes into a wedding, but a farmer's tan is blaringly obvious, even to me. Something must be done about this....


I hope everyone is having a great weekend! All you US of A'ers out there - enjoy the holiday weekend!

'Til next time.


Catherine said...

Tee-hee -- you're the second post this week I've read complaining about a Farmer's tan! :)

jessy said...

i've gotta say that the first thing i'd do with some freshly picked basil is make pesto, Jennifer - i'm right there with ya! mmmmmmm! that's awesome you guys got your community plot all tilled up and the wee ones planted! hooray!

that stinks on the traffic being unusually high - i bet it was due to the holiday weekend. looks like you guys scored some more rock'n local yummies though! hooray for more tasty mushrooms!

i am so superexcitedfaced that you and Selina are writing a cookbook together! i know someone who'd be super willing to test for you two! ahahahhhaa! yay! :) and a cookbook with a midwest mex-latino theme - hells yeah! ooooh, i can't wait!

now get out there and work on get'n rid of that farmer's tan (tee hee! i have one, too!) and enjoy your weekend! i'm so excited your wedding is coming up - i can't wait to read all about it, and see pictures of you and Brett enjoying yourselves on the big day!

selina said...

i am still so super jealous of those tomatoes. they are so red & pretty. the Greenhouse report today said 1-2 weeks. So looks like I won't be getting any Indiana/Michigan tomatoes until June. :o(

On the plus side I did get other goodies to tie me over till then.

And I mowed my yard today (I am so worn out now) in a strapless shirt. I kinda felt silly but who the hell cares. Its my damn backyard, I can wear whatever the hell I want. :)

Can't wait to see what you do with all your goodness!

Chessa said...

That basil looks amazing! There is no shame in pesto, nosiree. We just planted tiny starts in our container garden, so I'm feeling some basil envy!

That's so cool about the cookbook! I'd love to be a tester, too, I've really enjoyed doing it in the past. Yay, cookbook!

Heather @ SGF said...

All that food looks great and the cookbook idea sounds fabulous! I'm sure it will be a hit - be sure to include lots of your drool-worthy photos :)

Anonymous said...

Busy weekend! I was in the garden yesterday too, and it felt so good to be in the dirt and know that the plants were settling into their new locations. And harvesting a "zero mile" salad with early veg to share with my family makes it so worthwhile, doesn't i? Your community garden - how big is the area? I hope the weather is finally ready to hold warmth for good :-)
And I must say, I'm jealous of those tomatoes. We are nowhere near that in CT, but the days are coming....
The cookbook sounds like a great idea, and yes, I'd love to be a tester!

SusanB said...

Hey, the cookbook's a great idea, I'd be happy to test. Our farmer's market was a madhouse this week because the town was having a street fair and moved the market to a side street so that the usual spot (commuter parking) could be used for . . . parking. We're awash in local strawberries ... I'm trying dehydrating some this year.

veggievixen said...

great booty!!!!

i am SO happy for you. i've been daydreaming about writing a cookbook for years. i'm glad you're taking the plunge and i will buy it as soon as it comes out for sure!

{i can also test recipes - :)}

Liz said...

Great veggie haul! I'm so jealous that you get mushrooms at your farmer's market. No one seems to have any at mine!

PS- I'm totally signing up to be a tester for you. You have a great practical style to your recipes that I really like.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

your cookbook is so exciting! What a fun project. You cracked me up about the farmer's tan. Brett will find you enchanting on your big day, regardless.

Anonymous said...

Wow--how exciting about the cookbook! Good luck--I know it will be great (and I would love to be a tester)!

Your asparagus looks SO good, and congrats on your basil! Yum!


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

Catherine - I wouldn't be too concerned about it if I wasn't going to be wearing a strapless wedding dress in about a weeks time!

Jessy - I'm glad I'm not the only one, pesto + Jen = happiness.

We went down to check it out the other day and a lot of the seeds have germinated. I really need to stop being lazy and get down there to take a picture.

It wasn't too bad, I just like to bitch more than anything I think. ;-)

Aw thank you! We are excited to be writing the cookbook and have already been having lots of fun messing around with ideas.

Hehe, I have been working on it, got a strapless sun dress and have been sitting out whenever it has been sunny, though it has been mostly cloudy this week. I think I'll be alright though.

We'll definitely post pictures when we get back from our honeymoon.

Selina - Well, yours are coming in now, so you don't have to be any more!

I had to laugh at the image of you mowing in a strapless shirt. Hahahahaha. At least you won't have a farmer's tan, eh?

I can't wait to see you guys! Just a few more days now.

Chessa - Hehehe, we just sowed some basil seed ourselves. This basil came from the indoor AeroGarden, so I guess we kind of "cheated" in getting a head start.

Thank you so much, we won't be looking for testers for quite some time yet, but we will definitely be looking for folks to help.

Heather - Oh we will have LOTS of pictures, but I am leaving most of that up to Selina, she is a bit more creative and has a better eye for decoration and presentation than I do. I'm the cook, I don't know how to make things pretty!

Living in a Local Zone - I couldn't agree more, the joy of hands in earth, and the local abundance that follows is one of the best feelings there is.

We have two community garden plots that are 9x13 I believe and our porch container garden is roughly the same size.

Thank you for offering to be a tester!

SusanB - Thank you! I am so stoked at all the tester offers, it is going to make that part of cookbook writing all that much simpler.

Oooh, dehydrating strawberries, that is an excellent idea.

Veggie Vixen - You should take the plunge too!

Liz - The varieties of mushrooms has been increasing over the past couple of years, we have been pleased.

Thank you so much for your comments on my recipes. I am a self taught cook and think that food should be simple, so that is how I roll.

Lisa - Thank you!

Haha, I know he will, he wouldn't care if I was wearing a potato sack!

Courtney - Thank you so much, we are having a blast testing out and improving upon recipes.

We are seriously digging on the asparagus, and that basil made some killer pesto!

xl pharmacy said...

i love onion springs! please post more recipes with this!