CSA Challenge, Round 1

I’m totally envious of Lauren’s Paris time, but I probably shouldn’t be since my past week has looked roughly like this:

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That was a much needed vacation. I’d tell you about it, but all I did was eat, sleep, drink, read, swim, and hang out with Alex. In other words, it was heaven and I’m afraid if I go into too much detail you’ll fly into a jealous rage.

So I’ll stop.

I’ll tell you more about my food and cooking philosophy instead.  I haven’t talked about it much since Lauren already knows how I think food-wise and I’m fairly certain that our mothers are this blog’s only readers – but it’s important stuff.  In short, I make a huge effort to eat local, sustainably grown food. I care so much about this that I choose local over organic every time. I don’t eat much meat, but when I do I get something that’s not pumped full of antibiotics and hormones.

My food habits change dramatically depending on the season. In the winter I tend to eat meat more (about once a week) and rely more on grocery stores – there just isn’t that much local produce available in NYC in February and if I bought solely from the greenmarkets I think I’d end up with malnutrition.  It isn’t until April or May that they start to offer something besides root veg, and so spring is when Lauren and I resume our Saturday morning market trips (in the winter these turn into Saturday morning coffee and gossiping trips, or waffle and bacon brunches).

Summer and fall are when things really get exciting on the food front. For the past four years I’ve been a member of a Community Sponsored Agriculture, or CSA, group.  In March I pay them a lump sum (which works out to $30/week) in exchange for several months’ of locally grown veggies, fruit, and eggs. I pick up a share every Tuesday afternoon between June and November and, honestly, the pickup is one of the highlights of my week each time. I almost never know what I’m going to get, but I do always know that the food is going to be plentiful and delicious – and that it’s going to be great fun figuring out my week’s menus on the fly.

This is a process that I’m going to start documenting here. I’ll take a picture of my share’s contents each week – starting with yesterday’s haul, the first of the season – and describe what I got.  Then I’ll give three other lists: first, to tell what I had left over from the previous week that needs to be worked into meals; second, to tell you what I bought at the store or greenmarket to supplement the CSA’s offerings; and thirdly, the meals I prepared with the bounty I received.

Let’s get to it!

This week:

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CSA:
head of green lettuce
bunch scallions
bunch radishes (with greens)
2 bunches arugula
bunch Red Russian kale
bok choy
1 dozen eggs

Leftover veggies from last week: nothing, since we were on vacation, though I did have a couple lemons survive our absence by hibernating in the fridge.

Bought to supplement (so far): tofu, onion, garlic, 2 pints blueberries, 1 dozen eggs (bought for hard boiling, because the CSA eggs are too fresh to hard boil until next week – they won’t peel well if I don’t wait).

What I’ve eaten (so far):
Radish greens and arugula pesto (one serving, cobbled together for my lunch today)
Tonight’s dinner will be a bok choy and tofu stir-fry (assuming our critters don’t eat all our greens before I can get to them….)

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One thought on “CSA Challenge, Round 1

  1. Love the nibbling cat and you guys with the critters! Do you perhaps have a pesto recipe to share. We are changing our eating habits and I am super into cooking right now. We love pesto but I have never made it before and would rather have advice than look at an internet recipe.

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