Tag Archives: produce

the box – september 23

sept 23

Our share from Our Family Farm: a huge bunch of broccoli, a head of lettuce, six hot hot hot jalapenos, a handful of banana peppers, three eating peppers (two a gorgeous purple, one a deep red), a smallish butternut squash, one very long and skinny eggplant (chosen by the girl), two quarts of potatoes, three onions, a dozen eggs, and yay! our first taste of Farmer John’s honey.

I’m excited to take Farmer John up on his offer of checking out his apiary. When I talked to him about beekeeping, he recommended a book to me and told me after I had read it, he would be more than happy to take me out to his hives and show me what’s all involved.

the box – August 12

This week’s share from Our Family Farm (plus supplements):

august 12

and:

august 12

Two yellow squash, one yellow zucchini, two patty pan squashes, three small (and very ripe) tomatoes, two quarts of potatoes, five onions, one pepper, a bunch of spinach, two smallish heads of lettuce, and the ever present dozen eggs. I also bought four ears of corn, a quart of peaches, a pint of grape tomatoes, and a very disappointing melon. The melon was a gigantic beauty from the outside, fragrant and ripe. Way too ripe. I cut into it, my boy excitedly dancing around my heels, saying, “Melon! Melon!” only to have the entire thing be way too mushy to even contemplate eating. Dang it. I did not get a picture of it. I did not even want to dignify it with such a thing. Oh! I forgot I also bought a lovely round of chevre from Zingermans. Clean and light. Perfect.

at the market – August 5

August is definitely the farmers market’s shining time. There is so much deliciousness. I didn’t get a chance to photograph much, but I was able to get a (blurry) photo of the guy over at Tantré Farm playing a bit of the accordion. Who would have imagined the accordion would be making a comeback these last couple of years. It was kind of nice to be filling my CSA bags to its sweet sweet sounds.

accordion

A gratuitous shot of peaches. For real, my favorite fruit of the summer.

peaches, blueberries

And I think we know where we’ll be next Saturday. Happy birthday, farmers market!

90th birthday

I need to do a bit of self-congratulations right now. Today is the first day in the history of ann arbivore I have actually posted the “at the market” and my “the box” postings on the same day I went to the market. Well done, me. Well done.

the box – August 5

Today’s share from Our Family Farm:

the box - August 5

Lots of  potatoes, four pattypan squash, two large green zucchini, one yellow zucchini, three red onions, two bunches of spinach, four tomatoes, two quarts of green beans, and a dozen eggs. I also bought a bunch of kale from Chandra at Beautiful Earth Family Farm and some cherry tomatoes from a farmer whose name I do not know. When I asked about the calendula flowers Chandra had, she was kind enough to give me one, then explained it can be used for all manner of skin ailments. I think I’ll use it for my kids and their multitude of mosquito bites they seem to get.

I’m planning on freezing the green beans. I imagine there will be some zucchini bread in our future. And I really need to figure out what to do with all of the potatoes I have. Farmer John offered me another quart of potatoes, but I turned him down. We have so many from the previous two weeks. By the way, check out the great write-up of Our Family Farm on annarbor.com from Jen of a2eatwrite. I was too late today to get some of the duck eggs, but I *will* get some one of these days.

yummy pasta with pesto

Grocery bag filled with basil ($4) = pesto. And lots of it. Now, I’ve made pesto before. It’s been good. But last night, I made the best pesto ever. I think I have elevated pesto to a new level. I used the recipe out of Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, a cookbook I recently got and haven’t used a whole lot. I know it doesn’t look like much, (it is pesto, after all) but the pesto was gorgeously silky and just frickin delicious. I think the big secret was the toasting of the pine nuts. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. It brings out their nuttiness, and as Karl says, pine nuts taste like bacon. pesto

Basil Pesto

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (10 min. in a 350 degree oven – stirring occasionally)
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt (I used kosher)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Blanch the garlic by covering the garlic in a small saucepan with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately drain and let garlic cool to room temperature.

Martha wants you to use a mortar and pestle to make the pesto. I don’t. I’m sure it tastes better, as she says it does, but a food processor works just fine.  Add basil, garlic, pine nuts, and salt to the food processor and process until the basil is pulverized and the pine nuts and garlic are pasty. Add the cheese and mix again. Pour the oil in a slow steady stream and mix until combined. Toss with some hot pasta (preferably something like penne or rotini – you want the pesto to get into all those nooks and crannies on the pasta). Delicious.

I sautéed up some pattypan squash and Karl and I had some pinot grigio with it and the meal was perfect. We ate out on the deck. The kids ate all their food, then played in the sandbox with the new sand in it. A wonderful evening. But wait. There’s more. We finished it with a delicious chocolate and zucchini cake I had just happened to whip up that afternoon. Who knew I was ever going to be this domestic?

at the market – 29 July

sweetpeas

I always get the feeling I am missing out by picking up my CSA share at the farmer’s market on Wednesdays instead of Saturdays. Whenever I make it to the market on the weekend, there is just so much more energy and more of a crowd. But this Wednesday, it felt good. That must have to do with the profusion of fruit and vegetables that are being harvested right now.

frog holler

Lots of loveliness.  Sweetpeas at one stand, gorgeous produce at Frog Holler (speaking of which, *always* has beautiful produce), the farmer with the red apron, who was not wearing the red apron, but did have a lovely new wood table he crafted himself and a xylophone hand forged by a friend of his.

xylophone

Take that, supermarket. Try to have better looking carrots than these. I dare you.

carrots

GardenWorks always has sunflower shoots, which Zingerman’s buys for their twigs and berries salad. I love their salad so much, I make it at home. The sunflower shoots add a nice bit of green to the chewiness of the wheat berries.

sunflower shoots

Lots of beans right now. We’ve gotten tons in our farm share. None as pretty as these purple ones, though.

beans

And my favorite time of the year: peaches. I have passed by the peaches in the supermarket for the past 10 months, just waiting for this time of year. There is just really nothing to compare with produce picked when it is ripe, then eaten the next day. If you’re not swayed by the environmental and economic benefits of eating local, you have to at least be swayed by the fact that food just tastes best when it’s eaten locally and seasonally.

peaches!

As we left the market, the girl posed by the painted utility box. It kind of looks like one of the flowers is tucked behind her ear. By the way, well done, Ann Arbor. Take those unsightly boxes and turn them into art.

A and the utility box

A sign of one of the biggest changes around town: the new AnnArbor.com newsboxes. I am sorry I didn’t get any shots of the Ann Arbor News boxes before they were changed out. I am reserving judgement for the newspaper, but I am just not impressed with the website yet. **Edit: Or maybe I am judging their newspaper. There is no excuse for typos on the front page of the Sunday paper (or anywhere, for that matter). I was very disappointed to see that yesterday (8/2/09).

annarbor.com

annarbor.com

at the market – June 17

dang it, a blog is hard to maintain. I think that will change, though. I’ve just recently been temporarily laid off from my job, so I think I should have all kinds of free time to write blog posts :)

zingerman's creameryLots of yummy things at the farmer’s market today. I always loves me some Zingerman’s cheese. A while back, we went on the tour of the creamery. I love having such good food so close by. Actually, just the other day, I stopped by the Bakehouse to get some rolls for some pulled pork I made, and there was Ari (Zingerman god) just sitting at a picnic table, working on his laptop. Is that guy always working? He’s either at the Roadhouse or Zingerman’s Next Door doing some kind of coffee tasting or such, or he’s working on a laptop outside of the Bakehouse. Enough of my Ari tangent, but really, Zingerman’s knows what they’re doing when it comes to cheese. Their mozzarella is wonderful.

annarbivore-5-2 And then there’s Roos Roast, a locally roasted coffee. They always have a table at the farmer’s market. I love most the screen printed coffee bags – you are getting a little bit of art with every bag you buy.

I really appreciate their sign.roo's roast coffee It’s bold.  And made out of a coffee bean bag. So very green of them.

Lots of green stuff out there right now, lots and lots of greens. Let’s take a look at some of them now. Delicious looking, aren’t they? In mid-June, there are still just a lot of greens. Oh, tomatoes, how I long for you.

lettuce

One of my more favorite people at the market is this guy. He’s there with his black vest, his blue shirt, his red apron folded over, and this gorgeous produce. If I hadn’t just picked up my share from Our Family Farm, I would have definitely bought some of his food. He told me I could take all the pictures I wanted of him. That actually made me a little reticent to take photos of him; hence, the photo of just his food (and his apron).guy with red apron

Ava always enjoys the farmer’s market – I think she does some kind of dance routine just about every time we go. This week was no exception.

dance routine

She also partook of some of the strawberries I bought. They weren’t the sweetest strawberries, so she would take a bite of one, drop the rest of the berry on the ground, then immediately ask for another one. I can understand the need to eat something that looks so delicious.

eating a strawberry

And the boy is around, too. He just had to sit in the stroller today. Note bump on the head. For once, it’s not a bump from him knocking his head on something. It’s a bug bite. Yikes.

the boy

And a reminder from the good people of the farmer’s market:

shop local

summer vegetable gratin *or* how to use up a lot of vegetables all at one go

It’s my goal to eat up all of the produce we have before we get any new produce next week.  We’ve got a lot, so it is going to be a challenge.  But last night, I pulled out a good recipe, which used up a lot of my zucchini and tomatoes.  It is a Cook’s Illustrated recipe that just was published in the July 2008 issue.  By the way, if you don’t already get Cook’s, I strongly suggest that you do.  When I get my copy in the mail, I immediately read it front to back.

So I give to you: Summer Vegetable Gratin.  It’s a pretty time consuming recipe – but really just a lot of waiting while the squash and tomatoes sweat out a lot of their moisture.  I recommend *not* starting this recipe not too long before your husband wants to leave for movie night with friends.  It will cause him to be late.  Like I said, you sweat the squash (zucchini and yellow summer squash) and the tomatoes.  There are some carmelized onions involved, as well as a thyme oil.  I layered the veggies, then baked for 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Once the vegetables started to brown, I sprinkled it with a breadcrumb, minced shallot, and parmesan cheese mixture and baked for another 7 minutes.  For a crowning touch, a sprinkle of basil.  Yes. Zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, and basil – all farm share material. 

And how did it taste, you ask?  Delicious and oh so flavorful.  Karl and I each had seconds.

the box – August 13

The week’s share: a box of heirloom tomatoes, more cucumbers, some baby zucchini and yellow summer squash, a bunch of greens, some fennel, some broccoli di cicco, a bag of what looks to be Thai basil, and one yellow hot pepper.  Since I had no idea what broccoli di cicco was, fortunately my farmer, Chandra, told me a little about it.  It’s what modern day broccoli comes from.  It’s an heirloom green that tastes just like a head of broccoli, except it’s a green.  Very interesting.  And I am very curious as to what we are going to make with it.

It’s been my goal to finish the week’s share of food before the next week.  Since I’ve been buying more to supplement what comes in the box, we haven’t done such a good job.  This week is going to be the week of eating *all* of our produce.

And this week, I supplemented.  I bought the most beautiful head of romaine lettuce I have ever seen. I also bought some peaches (because I *will* can these), some strawberries because Ava wanted them, and a couple of ears of corn.  I wanted to buy some eggs, but I couldn’t find anyone selling them this week.