Wednesday, June 6, 2007

What's fresh now: CSA week 1

For those of you not into brewing, knitting, or Dutch novels about Mexico, I bring you a new feature: what's fresh now.

That's right, our first CSA delivery for the year was yesterday. Farmer Bill makes the drive from Water Mill to the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn 26 times a year, each Tuesday from June to December. This is our second year of participation. Last year, I attempted to keep a personal record of what we got each week and what we did with it; but without anyone reading or reacting to this journal--or more importantly, getting on my case when I let yet another batch of mystery Asian greens go dank and unexplored--I got sloppy.

To me, the single best part of belonging to a CSA is the really concrete awareness it brings about what's in season. We still have to supplement our weekly take with trips to the grocery store (though this year I've also made a personal pledge to buy local, pasture-raised meat each week from the Dines Farm guy who parks his cooler at the CSA pickup point) but I find myself less tempted to buy tomatoes when we should be eating asparagus, or mangoes when it's strawberry season. It's a start.

And then the weather report takes on a whole new level of interest. (I'm told it's not really normal for someone not yet in her 80s, but I love the weather page and have been known to make mix tapes of songs that sing to this passion, from 'The Only Living Boy in New York' to 'Weather with You.') Our April monsoon, for instance, has had me a little stressed about the strawberries, which were the juicy red-to-the-core highlights of the first deliveries last year. Word from the farm says they're still on their way, though, so that's exciting. In the meantime, look at the gorgeous haul we started with this year:
  • lettuce (two kinds)
  • herbs (curly cress & oregano)
  • jerusalem artichokes (in bowl; also known as sunchokes & are completely unrelated to artichokes or the middle east)
  • radishes (ever eat them with really salty butter & a baguette? yum.)
  • black beans (which I shelled, to th'usband's great annoyance, as we watched a movie)
  • asparagus

We had a salad last night with some of the lettuce, radishes, herbs, and sunchokes, dressed only with lemon juice (to help the sunchokes keep their color) and a little olive oil. Th'usband also put some of the oregano into the lasagna he was making. I'm going to have to dry a bunch of that, because there's no way we can go through that much in a week. Further uses to come.

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1 comment:

bjt said...

I also picked up (for the first time) at this CSA, and am totally excited about it. Purple Cress! I'm glad you know what that was...I forgot to look at the board and when I got home, I had no idea what this herb was. I'll have to figure out what to do with it.
Last night I had a salad too, with the radishes and asparagus cooked in butter and they were really great.
I'm looking forward to next week!