October 11, 2012

Farm Box Adventures #7 and #8

I apologize for the lapses!  Box #7 came is just as we were going away on a trip so it was a little hectic. And I had forgotten that I didn't post about it until I went to pick up #8....which I also forgot to pick up on Friday.

I know. For somebody who doesn't have a job, I'm crazy busy.

There are also many factors to contribute to my slight disinterest in the past few boxes. Firstly, there was not much to be excited about. The selection hasn't been all that challenging.  And then there is the weather.  I know for most people cooking in the summer isn't such a big deal. But to be in an apartment above the garage with a small A/C that only cools down your general living area, turning on the stove means turning up the A/C.  At some point, the $200 electrical bill really doesn't justify the cooking. And finally, we had been quite busy with just about everything else we barely stayed home for dinner.

With all of those factors, I found myself having to throw out a lot of produce.  A head of lettuce from Box #6 which was already a bit banged up when I got it didn't stay around long enough for me to process.  Two sweet onions, one from Box #6 and one from #7, waited for French onion soup weather patiently in the fridge until mold took them along with a bunch of carrots and green beans from the same boxes.

My tailgate at USC rescued my zucchinis and some of the carrots a few time as I tossed them in some zip-top bags with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a little garlic powder and salt and pepper, and the boys grilled them.  I did change them from "Vegetables? What's that?" to "Wow, those were the best zucchini I ever had!" My mission here is done.

From Box #6, cantaloupe got very ripe. I found a recipe to turn it into a sorbet by pureeing the flesh and added a little simple syrup, then freezing the mixture like you would ice cream.  It is really a refreshing treat to have in this heat we have. Box #7 cantaloupe is sitting in the fridge, waiting its turn any day now.

Anyways. Here's Box #7

Zucchinis. Heirloom tomatoes. Green beans. Swiss chard. Cantaloupe. Sweet onion. Carrots. A jar of Tanaka Farm strawberry jams.

I gave Olaina the tomatoes and half of the green beans.  The jar of jam will be coming with us to New Mexico for Thanksgiving. Brandon loves to treat his nieces to the taste of California. :)

Swiss chard was new to me. I decided to braise it with bacon and beer like I did with the kale. I didn't care for the earthiness of the chard though. Brandon didn't mind it too much. Surprise!

And here's Box #8 from a few Fridays ago.

Purple lettuce. Kale. Carrots. Grapes. Tomatoes. Potatoes. Apples.

Olaina once again took home some tomatoes.  The grapes were eaten almost immediately. They were so good!  I used 2 potatoes in this wonderful Ina Garten's potato fennel gratin which I tweaked to do half portion and added a little garlic. Super addictive. As a matter of fact, I'm going to make some tonight!

Oh, and the kale. I made kale chips this time. And oh my gosh, I can NOT stop eating them!  Why do I even bother braising this every again? LOL  Just trim off the stems. Toss with olive oil and salt. Bake at 300F for 20 minutes. That's it. That's all.

Well, there you go. Tomorrow I'm getting Box #9 and I'll be back on the bi-weekly track to post about them.

God help me...

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