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Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Holiday All Of Our Own: The First CSA Box of the Year

Mother's Day and Our First CSA Box of the Year: Two Holidays in One Weekend! Getting our first Harmony Valley Farm CSA vegetable box of the year has become our own little food festival! The anticipation of spring ramps, sweet asparagus, lemony sorrel, and tangy rhubarb begins mid-February, so by the time the first spring box arrives, we've usually idealized, planned, and discussed our intentions for the CSA season to exhaustion!

This year our CSA box goals include:
  • creating a menu for the week immediately after picking up the box, and then, subsequently, freezing or preserving all the produce we will not use during the week
  • making a "dump" dinner on Thursday or Friday evening in which we use all little leftovers in one dish; this week, on Thursday, we plan to make a stir-fry using all the little bits of asparagus, ramps, and other vegetables we have left
  • making a "lunch of the week" on Sundays, even during our summer vacation, to stay healthy and to make the best use of our CSA box.
This week, we received:
ramps (yum!)
Hon Tsai Tai
saute mix (really missed this!)
French Breakfast Radish

Right after we picked up our box, we went to the Willy Street Co-op for their Brats in the Lot event, sat down with that and a coffee, and made the following menu:

Saturday night: Salad made of spinach, ramps, asparagus, sorrel, radishes, chives, and a homemade lemon vinaigrette (Andy's parents brought the main course!)
Sunday: Grilled trout and sauteed hon tsai tai
Monday: Veggie burgers and grilled sunchokes
Tuesday: Parsnip Patties (found in the From Asparagus to Zucchini Cookbook (aka the A to Z Cookbook) and saute mix
Wednesday: OUT
Thursday: Stir Fry (dump dinner)
Friday:  WE'LL SEE!

Lunches: leftover squash soup (squash from our freezer)
Breakfasts: oatmeal and raisins (obviously not from our CSA box!)
Other: Rhubarbade (from A to Z cookbook)

As a CSA member and as a gardener, the A to Z cookbook is essential; it has become the cooking Bible to use. What cookbooks really assist you in using up your produce? And, those of you who have CSA boxes, what's your favorite spring goodie?

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