Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cookin’ the Farmshare

My neighbor Gwen and I share a CSA box from Harmony Valley. We are the perfect CSA companions. Everything she loves best is stuff I can take or leave. Everything I covet is something she thinks is a hassle to prepare. We think it’s a fair split if the single head of romaine goes to her house and the lone celeriac goes to mine. It’s true harmony!

Last week Gwen was out of town, which meant I got to keep the entire share. Whenever this happens, I feel a mixture of glee and guilt.
On the one hand, having an entire box of vegetables to myself is like playing with the Lincoln Logs while my brother is at T-ball practice. You mean I don’t have to split the roof slats with you? I can have all the flat logs? I can build an entire cabin the way I want without sharing?!

On the other hand, I hate to see my friendly neighbor lose out on tasty snacks. So when I opened the box last week, my heart fluttered. Much of the delivery was storage veggies: squash, sweet potatoes, leeks, kale, and beets. They would easily live until Gwen got home. But then she wouldn’t want to cook them.

“Surely, though,” I thought, “she’d like to eat them.” And since I was going to cook for myself anyway…

Leek and Potato Soup (potage Parmentier)
I used the recipe from Joy of Cooking. This soup is supposed to be white, but I used some very roasted, very vegetably chicken stock I froze earlier. I’m pretty sure the stock was made out of Harmony Valley vegetable scraps and a chicken raised by my neighbor Andrea’s mom. That chicken was really good.

Raw Kale Salad with Roasted Baby Beets
Harmony Valley sent red kale and marble-sized golden beets. I used the recipe from Kim Christensen’s “A Year to Eat Freely” 2011 calendar. I wonder if it’s still available on her Affairs of Living blog? This is a favorite recipe to which I keep returning again and again.

I scrubbed the beets, tossed them with oil, tented them with foil, and cooked them on a baking sheet in a 350° oven for an hour. When they were cool enough, I peeled them and popped them onto the salad. The next day, it occurred to me to toss some toasted walnuts on that too.

Sweet Potatoes Roasted with Apples
This one is based on another recipe from Joy of Cooking; but because I altered the cooking method, I will claim it as mine.

2 T butter
6 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed well and sliced
3 apples, cored and cut into chunks
½ c brown sugar
A splash of water
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the butter in a large roasting pan and melt it in a 400° oven.

Add the sweet potatoes, apples, and sugar. Toss them all together in the pan to coat them. Add a splash of water to the pan.

Cook in the oven, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has boiled down and a sticky syrup remains. This will take perhaps 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mmm, boy.


  1. We are already on the every-two-week thing with the CSA (it's that time of year), but I hope next week we get some sweet potatoes so I can make that last one (I mean, I COULD just go to the store and buy some, but that would be cheating).

  2. Kerry,

    DO IT. Buy sweet potatoes! Eat more if they come in the farmshare!


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