Friday, April 27, 2012

CSA Week 2: Spinach, Lettuce, Hakurei Turnips, Red Russian Kale, Vitamin Green, Bok Choy, Red Rain

This week's pictures are better than last week's, no? The best light is apparently in my bedroom, so these towels were spread out on my bedroom floor. 

The turnips didn’t even make it ten minutes outside the CSA box before I pickled them with apple cider vinegar, salt, and sugar. As much as I’m trying to eat more vegetables as snacks, after trying the turnips raw, I knew I wouldn’t reach for them over a chunk of cheese or handful of cashews (or more…yes, definitely more than a handful). So I turned them into everyone’s dream snack. Don’t you remember sitting on the bus as a kid and wishing it would go faster so you could get home to a nice plate of pickled turnips?


I’m happy to see more spinach in the box, as well as my old friends Vitamin Green and Red Rain (who were joined together last week in a sauté with garlic and cannellini beans). The kale is huge and thick. Can I still make kale chips with it?  I’ll go the obvious route with the bok choy and put it in a stir-fry. Then there’s lettuce! Today I made croutons and I think there’s some buttermilk in the freezer,* so predictably, a salad.

The croutons came from some sad pieces of baguette and were inspired by the book I’m reading, An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler. It’s changing the way I cook and interact with food. Even a simple idea like saving cooking water and other “discard” liquids (pickle brine, the oil in a jar of sun-dried tomatoes, etc.) for other dishes is embarrassingly revelatory. I ate an orange today and saved the peel to make orange simple syrup. I’m pausing more and thinking, “Is this trash, or something I can hide away in my refrigerator until I tell my mom what I’m doing and she says I’m sortof icky?” When I was in Russia, the women I lived with would drink brine straight out of jars of pickled garlic. I’d like to find myself somewhere in between drinking it straight and throwing it away. I’d like to cook with economy and grace.**

*Just kidding. I know there is because I have a list on the freezer door of everything in it. At first this struck me as a crazy idea, but I freeze so much that without it, the freezer would be an abyss of mystery containers. Now it’s an abyss of chocolate buttercream frosting, garlic bread, and chicken stock.
**The full book title is An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace


  1. Bok Choy is best in a nice soup with udon noodles and a poached egg: double the garlic and soy sauce, but it's SO easy and yummy and you can just keep udon noodles in your pantry and stock in your freezer and whip this out anytime you see some nice bok choy

    1. I saw "Jenna and Lauren" and was so confused. I was like, WHAT A COINCIDENCE! Two friends named Jenna and Lauren! I have a friend named Jenna and I'm Lauren. ;)

      This looks great. Bok choy is coming this week to learn how to poach an egg...