Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The CSA pick up felt a little light this week. That may simply be because this was the first week without lettuce - it's been in the 90s, and I'm sure it's bolted. But the heads are nice and big, so it feels like a lot, though it's not really a firm vegetable.

We have several kinds of summer squash, and collards, a couple of cucumbers, and one lonely ear of corn. (Last week was the first corn - luckily we had two ears, then, so we could each have one!) The first green beans and eggplant. Onions and garlic.

We are getting a nice variety. I've been keeping a list, so we see how it plays out, and we've had 32 different kinds of produce in 8 weeks! OK, that is counting green and mature onions and garlic separately - but they are different.

We're not, as I mentioned, getting the fruit share, but it's coming in nicely, now - they had some lovely little plums, and peaches.

I do supplement a bit from Greenmarket. I can get enough fruit for us there, and I'll pick up some lettuce, as I do carry mostly salads for work lunches. One vendor there has lovely lettuce all summer - don't know how they do it, but it's clearly their speciality. I'll pass Union Square on my way home from work tomorrow, and get a few things.

I need to find some good things to do with eggplant. I'm not fond of it, but Himself is, so I've tried to remember to cook it before - and here it is, in the selection, so... I was able to get the long narrow ones, which I prefer. (He's not fond of all the greens, but they're also in the package, and I should be eating them for several reasons, and he doesn't actively dislike them... It all evens out, between us.)

Kitchen day

This was a busy day in the kitchen.

I've been away for the weekend (I'll post about cooking for that later.) So I'm largely starting from scratch.

This is a bread baking day, and I've learned to fill up the oven! I mean, if I'm going to put it on at all in this heat, I want full use of it. So I just put in 2 loaves of bread, one large and one small bread and cheese pudding, and a large baking dish of tofu.

I have found that 2 ordinary tubs of tofu, sliced in quarters lengthwise, neatly fill my glass baking dish. Himself prefers the texture of baked tofu, and I think it works better in the salads I often carry for lunch, so this gives me roughly a week's worth. (2 slices each for one dinner, and 1 slice, with another protein source, in 4 lunch salads.)

Earlier, I had made a citrus pickled onion.

I omitted the sugar, because I don't want it, and the pepper, because I didn't have one. It's in the refrigerator now, marinating - I'll see how I like it! I also made a huge bowl of tabbouli with the parsley from the CSA - we'll both be eating this for lunch all week, I think.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


I splurged (for us.) I got shellfish at Greenmarket - straight from the fisherman.

So - dinner tonight was steamed clams and mussels, over homemade noodles, with lita squash and a kohlrabi bulb sauteed with garlic scapes. We're enjoying the clam broth now!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Spring into Summer

I just picked up the CSA share, and the selections are beginning to shift.

We have snap peas for the first time. No radishes for the first time. Lots of lettuce, as usual. Good thing I carry salads for lunch.

The first root vegetables are turning up - onions and beets. And kohlrabi - I've wanted to try that, so now I have some.

And summer squash. I assume we're going to be eating a lot of summer squash... luckily we both enjoy it, both cooked and raw in salad. More herbs. (This time the basil is green - no more lavender colored sauce!)

Himself is not home for dinner tonight, and might not be tomorrow, which presents me with an ethical question. Surely the snow peas should be eaten at once, while they are perfectly fresh. But then - he wouldn't have them! Must consider this...

Lavender silk

I am at a time in my life when I have found it to be a good idea to have some soy products on a regular basis. I also want to somewhat decrease the amount of meat I've been eating lately, while maintaining an amount of protein that makes me feel well, and the two goals work together well. I am, therefore, working on doing this in a more interesting way than tofu in my lunch salad every day.

I have seen recipes that suggest blending silken tofu to make a cream sauce. Now, I've used it in soups, to make them creamy, with very good effect. So, the other night, having some lovely fresh basil and some homemade noodles, I decided to try this.

First note - purple basil makes sauce that is, well... purple. Lavender, really, blended in the tofu. It's not the most appetizing looking food I've ever produced in my kitchen, particularly tossed with the light brown noodles.

Second - the texture was amazingly good. I have issues with dairy, and I've been missing a lot of those creamy textures - this was great.

Third - it was also a bit bland. Part of that, I think, was the basil - I'd had it nearly a week, and it was losing flavor. It was also the tofu, though, which absorbs flavor. I do remember reading that you need to season it much more than you expect - have to remember that, next time.

On the whole, though, we both liked it - voted "an experiment to repeat." The mouth feel (very important to me) was great, the taste was OK, just needed a bit more punch. (Seasoning added liberally at the table helped a good bit.)

Now, silken tofu has less protein in it than firm, so it was not enough alone. I have to serve it over something. I ended up tossing the sauce over cooked noodles, chunks of cooked turkey, and zucchini.

I made the sauce with 1 14 oz. package of fresh silken tofu, several cloves of cooked garlic (left from a garlic chicken dish I'd made) and a bunch of purple basil. I chopped the basil roughly, put it and the garlic into the container for an immersion blender, and blended them smooth. Then I added chunks of the fresh tofu.

I sauteed onions and zucchini, added the already cooked turkey. When it was hot, I tossed in the cooked, drained fresh noodles. Then I added the sauce, tossed just until it was heated through, and served immediately, with freshly grated romano cheese.

One of these days I'm going to try adding pictures. Believe me, though - this was no loss. Odd looking stuff. Did taste pretty good, though, and I'll definitely do it again.