Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms inside the box. They are beautiful and in great shape. I think simple preparation will serve this ingredient the best. I just sliced it up and heated it through in some vegetable broth and poured it over toast. Some recipes said they taste like oysters...not.
But they do taste like really good mushrooms.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Week 13

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Lucky Week 13

The box looks wonderful --basil, broccoli, top bunch collard, deer tongue and red butter lettuce, lemon cucumbers, torpedo onions, summer squash, tomatoes, OYSTER MUSHROOMS (they are so beautiful), garlic, eggplant and peaches.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's still inside the box?

Due to lots of eating outside the box...there are a lot of collards left. Not too worry when Allen stops by with this week's share, we are going to snack on crispy collards.

I thought was going to add photos taken during the recent computer unpleasentness but somehow I managed to erase them instead of upload them.

This is corn flan with a topping of crispy collard (and a little bacon too)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

collard patties

well it's not a crab cake but it's not too bad. Once again, I blanched chopped collard greens and then using egg whites bound them into a patty, coated them with seasoned breadcrumbs and sauteed them --a few minutes on each side and viola! Not too bad cold either. I'm going to try another version adding some onion, peppers into the mix ..I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Week Twelve

Basil, top bunch collards, heirlom collards, three heads of lettuce, broccoli, peppers, parsely, dino kale, garlic and plums. This box averages out to about $28.00.

But the good news is it looks like there is going to be more in the fall. The location of Sol Food Farm means they sometimes miss out on the hot weather and that slows the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants...but fall crops should be great.

And of course everything is organic and sustainably grown. Important to remember cheaper is not always better.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Value ...risks and rewards of supporting CSAs

When we looked at week eleven both of us..thought hmmmm looks a little light. I priced the same items at the local organic grocery and to buy the same things it would have been about $26 ..our weekly fee is $35.

Both of us agree this is the risk of throwing your lot in with supporting local farms. This season has had unusual weather and we both suspect water is an issue too.

To be fair since I haven't priced out every box, this is just one week out of 24.

Monday, August 18, 2008

crispy collards

The collard green challenge continues....
There is a Chinese dish..crispy spinach which works well for collard greens if you blanch the collards before frying.
Chop the collard greens into small squares or strips and blanch for two minutes --wring out as much moisture as possible and then fry (I used olive oil) for one or two minutes until crisp and then season. They are good alone but great on top of a salad or potatoes....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

pizza dough---no more white bread for me!

I love pizza and for the most part have made the dough using white flour. I have been working on
a whole wheat version-using some corn meal as well. Yesterday I made a deep dish pizza for a pot luck using all white flour and was surprised at how bland and tasteless it seemed after the whole wheat version.

A friend who has worked for many years perfecting his pizza crust gave me a tip that for whatever reasons really works. He uses a stand mixer with a dough hook --I use a food processor but I let it knead in the machine for about five minutes. Perfect crust matter which ingredients used.

The ratio I am using now are 2 whole wheat to 1 corn meal. Corn flour also works and gives a crisper lighter crust. One of the tricks to getting a less dense whole wheat crust is to just use less dough and adjust the baking time. I also crank my oven up to the highest setting but I don't use the tiles or pizza stones.

waaaay outside the box

This weekend was the annual Stumptown Brewery Beer Revival and BBQ Fest...for the ticket price of only $40...all the BBQ from 27 teams and all the beer from 27 craft brewers you can manage.
It's a fundraiser for the Russian River Senior Center. There was not a single collard green in the place. I tasted fossil made from 45 million year old yeast that had been preserved in amber. The best part of the day..I got carded entering the event...I'm 62. They must have been carding everyone!

Then it was the Big Band Concert in the Armstrong Wood Theater...part of the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods Old Grove Festival....and they were serving nutella and banana crepes.
Pictures coming problems. I'll be waddling off now.
And tonight we paddle under the full moon..well almost full.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Petition in support of Diana DeGette's food tracking legislation

I received a note from DeGette's office and they are hoping to move their legislation forward this session.
Please sign this on line petition in support of HR 3485

Thank you to Shayna Glick at Slashfood for writing about the legislation and the online petition. Slashfood is a great group blog that covers lot of different food related subjects.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Week Eleven --inside the box

Cilantro, lettuces, eggplant, tomatoes, plums,asian pears, collards, dino kale, heirloom collards, basil garlic and summer squash.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why consumers sometimes have no faith in govt.

Safest food in the world alert: Texas edition

Todd Staples, the Agriculture Commissioner for the great state of Texas, has decided to alienate 488 Texas voters suffering from Salmonella Saintpaul inspired diarrhea that,

“Texans can be assured that we continue to enjoy the safest food supply in the world.”

Staples also finds it necessary to remind Texans that,

“Consumers should always properly wash and prepare all food items, as this is a basic part of family food safety.”

Except this outbreak, from all available evidence, is not a consumer issue, unless people in 43 states are all mishandling produce in the same manner.
read's wonderful

weeks end... what's left

I'm writing an article for a local monthly on what it is like to cook at a winery during the "crush."
One of the cooks is a volunteer who went into the project thinking about keeping to certain goals --one of which was to use local produce but not in the ways commonly seen in Sonoma County.
She wanted to think...way outside the box. One of her most interesting thoughts was to look at what is served during the harvest in other countries --- her menus reflected cooking of many cuisines but used the fresh produce available in Sonoma County.

At the end of week ten ...I had a small "winter" squash and dino kale....and I made curry!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

When good vegetables get too big

My neighbor had some giant cucumbers and sliced up...not that tasty..even peeled and seeded but
made into a soup --pretty darn good. Peeled seed and in the food could go more in the gazpacho direction or add milk, yougurt or some dairy product for a creamier soup. I added tomatoes, lemon juice and chili paste --the most work was peeling and seeding the cucumbers.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Green's greens I say....

Beet greens are identical to chard. Some varieties are grown for their roots, some for their greens. Use beet greens as you would chard; they are a good source of folic acid.
A favorite recipe is beet greens or chard with canned tuna on pasta. Clean and stem the greens. Cook the stems in boiling water until tender, about seven minutes. Blanch the leaves for a minute. Chop leaves and stems and saute with some olive oil along with minced garlic, diced onions, and chopped Kalamatas or dried black olives to taste. When the stems, leaves, and olives are nicely married, add one or two drained tins of tuna in water (don’t use tuna canned in oil) and mix until all is warm. Add in as much red wine wine vinegar as you like. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use this as a pasta sauce. It’s great on whole wheat linguine.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

You say potato and I say organic!

Even though potatoes are the number one vegetable, and even though they can have the highest total amount of pesticides, someone must think we don't want organic potatoes enough to push for more

It also came as quite a blow to find out french fries are not only not good for you --they are also environmentally unfriendly due to the large amount of oil needed to make them. But there is a pretty good oven fried substitute,

3 (8 oz) potatoes, peeled
5 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
Salt and ground black pepper

Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

Cut each potato into about 10-12 equal size wedges. Soak potato wedges in a large bowl of hot tap water for 10 minutes.

Pour 4 tablespoons of the oil into a 12×18 inch heavy duty rimmed baking sheet.

Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over the oil; swirl it around. Salted oil helps keep the potatoes from sticking quite so much.

Drain the potato wedges and pat them dry on a layer of paper towels. Remove as much moisture as possible.

Wipe out the bowl you used for soaking and return potato slices to bowl. Toss potatoes with remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Lay potatoes in pan with salted oil.

Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until golden – 15-20 minutes (check at 15). Rotate pan halfway through.

Using a spatula, scrape potato wedges up off pan and flip them over. Bake another 5 to 15 minutes or until potatoes or golden brown all over.

drain. Add extra salt or hot pepper flakes if desired.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

vegetable jams

I got collards collards collards and someone showed up yesterday with a big bundle of rainbow chard...not too mention the dino kale. I combined them in a roasting pan with a couple of tomatoes, 1/3 cup olive oil, the remaining carrots from last week and three small apple (picked while standing on my deck) covered the pan and roasted them for about an hour. Let it cook and then either a good processor or blender works best --add seasonings to taste I added preserved lemon but whatever you like will do. Heat again to meld the flavors -either micro wave or stove top and you have a savory jam that can be used for all kinds of things.

while you are jammin' please sign the petition for better food tracing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

collards collards and more collards week 10

The box this week collards (big and little) basil, summer squash, gypsy peppers, head lettuce, plums, garlic, cucumbers, parsley, dino kale and green onions...(but no Booker T and the MG's) and no tomatoes!..looks like I have going to have to make a trip to tomato heaven out on Westside Road.

Please sign my petition for better food safety --so you can really know where your produce has been

Monday, August 4, 2008

Please sign my petition

I created a petition in support of Rep Diana DeGette's legislation . Please sign it and let others know about it.

The Bush administration's general hostility to government regulation of industry makes the FDA claims of helplessness ring hollow. If, though, it lacks authority to require full trace-back capabilities, Congress should grant it -- indeed, mandate it -- forthwith. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., has proposed such legislation.

H.R.3484 Title: To amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to provide for improved public health and food safety through enhanced enforcement, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep DeGette, Diana [CO-1] (introduced 9/6/2007) Cosponsors (6) Latest Major Action: 9/6/2007 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.

Rep Diana DeGette working for a safer food system

That finding gave particular weight to the testimony that Representative Diana DeGette, vice-chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, gave today before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture at a hearing to discuss traceability in fresh produce, which DeGette has been pushing since 2002 read her testimoney posted thanks to Cafe Society.

DeGette has been trying to help the FDA do its job. Prior to the most recent salmonella scare, the chances for passing the legislation were small but now there is a chance. Let your member of Congress know you want H.R.3485 : To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act to improve the safety of food, meat, and poultry products through enhanced traceability, and for other purposes.Sponsor: Rep DeGette, Diana [CO-1] (introduced 9/6/2007) passed this sesson.

online petition

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Very Quick Vegetable Stew

I don't use my microwave oven very often but it terms of quick cooking vegetables -it is hard to beat. My stew is collards,green beans, squash and potatoes in a garlic vegetable broth. First, I cooked the vegetables for about three minutes in the microwave and then I sauteed them in some olive oil to round out the flavor for about two minutes. I put them in the broth and returned it to the microwave for another three minutes and viola! a stew that tastes like it simmered for a while but the vegetables aren't limp and lifeless. As for seasonings - I added chili paste because I like spicy food but it could be anything.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

thinking outside the box Food Safety Regulation

Report on this week's food safety hearings in Congress..from the SF Chronicle

"One thing is clear: The sprawling U.S. food chain, now delivering a billion meals a day every day, is no stronger than its weakest link. And there are plenty of weak links.
"The one great certainty," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota, "is that there will be a next time, and it could be as soon as tomorrow."
The exact source of the outbreak is still unclear. The rare Saintpaul strain of salmonella has sickened 1,304 people, although many more probably were affected. More than 250 were hospitalized, and two, an elderly man and a cancer patient, died. The outbreak has slowed, but the investigation continues, focusing now on serrano and jalapeno peppers from two widely separated farms in Mexico.