Archive for November, 2012

November 28, 2012

Time for winter. A lesson in minestrone seasons.

We miss our farm box vegetables so much. I bought some groceries at Nesters and made a giant pot of minestrone. My soup tasted like it had been sitting under fluorescent lights for a week.

Italian Food Forever writes:
I believe to make a really great minestrone you need to pay attention to the season and utilize the specific vegetables each season has to offer. In the spring I like to add fresh peas, lava beans, baby artichokes, or even diced asparagus such as in my Minestrone Verde. As summer approaches, I add zucchini, summer squash, baby spinach, diced green beans, and cherry tomatoes into my minestrone pot, and often add rice and serve the soup at room temperature as I do in my Summer Minestrone. In the fall, cubes of pumpkin, and rich, chopped greens such as chard, kale, or chicory celebrate the seasonal change to cooler temperature, and during the winter, potatoes, canned tomatoes, canned beans, and winter squash are often added and the soup can be then be served very warm as in my Winter Minestrone.

A minestrone is supposed to be cooked according to the season. My fresh summery green beans had no place in a fall soup. Not just because they were not “fresh from the farm” or local even, and aside from the fact they tasted quite like a bag of jolly green giant frozen french cuts. Even our bodies know its cold outside. My stomach wants to go into hibernation with stews and roasting and baking. Simple ingredients. A soup with maybe 3 things in it instead of the summer abundance of 15.

I’m lucky enough to live on the west coast where all this is in season:
What's in Season- November

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November 9, 2012

Kabocha Dumplings! (Oooh Squash For Dinner! Part Two)

Squash for dinner (part two) came early this week. We ate squash twice this week and liked it! I’d say a very successful “Oooh Squash for dinner!” challenge so far. As a special bonus: I made this dinner under $5, loved it, and, we have leftover dumplings in the freezer.

This week I bring you: Squash Asian Style. Kabocha dumplings in soup!

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November 7, 2012

Dear UBC Farm, thank you. (A 20 week CSA roundup)

At the harvest potluck someone asked us our favorite veggie. I think I said the Red Russian Kale.
I now know my favorite carrot is a purple haze. My favorite squash is delicata. My favorite weed is purslane. My new favorite herb is summer savory. I love golden beets. I can cook mustard greens and like it. I’m obsessed with the over 300 varieties of delicious apples you cannot get in the store.

I can walk through a community garden and identify herbs and varieties of vegetables.

It’s that time of year. It’s time for me to say goodbye to my CSA box. Well, I still have some carrots and pumpkins to play with. So in the meantime I will say, thank you UBC farm. Thank you for teaching me how to cook each week. Thank you for feeding us fresh flavourful veggies. Thank you for the apples, the eggs, the recipes, the crop updates. Saturdays at the farm with my dog.

Wow before I get too choked up here is the 20 week roundup of this year’s (and my very first!) CSA farm box share:

Week 1/June 22: I picked up my very first farm market harvest box today. I have little lettuce heads, kale, radishes, herbs, a few strange things that I’ve never tried before. We tasted a few leaves- mizuna! and chive like creatures and garlic scapes. And we are going to get all these greens, and more, every single week. and farm eggs. I’m in heaven. 

Week 2/June 30: strawberries, garlic scapes, mizuna, red russian kale, savory, salad mix, and baby chard.

Week 3/July 7: Salad mix, arugula, baby chard, garlic scapes, broccoli, wild marjoram and strawberries.

Week 4/July 14: Radishes, Rapini, Red Dandelion Greens, 2 x Mini Lettuce Heads, Chives, Raspberry, Salad mix

Week 5/July 21: Spinach, baby chard, carrots, blueberries, snap peas, salad mix, savory

Week 6/ July 28: Blueberries, potatoes, head lettuce, dill, turnip greens, purslane, shelling peas, carrots

Week 7/August 4: Blueberries, carrots, beets, harukei (Japanese) turnips, parsley, kale, grilling onions

Week 8/ August 11: Collards, ruby streaks, salad mix, zucchini, yellow bush beans, carrots, garlic, corn, eggs!

Week 9/August 18: Daikon, beets, zucchini, kale, salad mix, mixed beans,  basil

Week 10/August 26: Chard, mustard greens, green beans, cucumber, leeks, garlic, pac choi, purslane

Week 11/September 1: Turnip greens, leeks, potatoes (red chieftan), bulk carrots, bunched beets, head lettuce

Week 12/ September 8: yellow carrots, radicchio (Chioggia), potatoes (Red Chieftain), pink chard, flat-leaf parsley, fresh shelling beans (Teggia), and a jalapeño.

Week 13/September 15: carrots (purple haze), fresh shelling beans (Teggia or Black Coco), hot Hungarian peppers, a jalapeño, sweet marjoram, leeks, acorn squash, and kale (Red Russian or Starbor).

Week 14/September 23 :kale (Starbor), beets, fennel, turnips (Hakurei), thyme, delicata squash, purslane, and two apples (Chehalis and an unknown variety)

Week 15/September 29: garlic (first quality), leeks, pak choi, rosemary, spaghetti squash (Tivoli or Pinnacle), and apples (one each of Priam, Nova Easy Grow, Fameuse, and Blenheim Orange).

Week 16/ October 6: golden beets, fennel, ruby streaks, thyme, collards, a sugar pie pumpkin, and apples (one each of Belle de Boskoop, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Nova Easy Grow, and Margil). 

Week 17/ October 13: parsnips, carrots (orange and purple varieties), orange Hubbard squash (Hubba-Hubba), garlic (second quality), kale (Starbor), arugula (Surrey), and apples (one each of Grimes Golden, Spigold, King of Tompkin’s County, and Cornish Gilliflower)

Week 18/ October 20: kabocha squash (Sweet Mama), beets, collards, garlic (2nd quality), winter radishes (Black Spanish), parsley (flat or curly), and multiplier onions

Week 19/October 27: parsnips, leeks, garlic (first-quality), rainbow chard, and a speckled hound pumpkin.

Week 20/ November 3:
mixed mini lettuce heads (Pomegranate Crunch, Little Gem, Magenta Batavian, and Concept Batavian), garlic (a paper bag of second-quality cloves, and a bulb of first-quality), carrots (Purple Haze and Yaya), beets, rosemary, and Butternut squash

Favorite Mystery Vegetable: scapes
Favorite Overall Veggie: Tough one, but I’ll stick to the simple farm lettuce! I’d go so far as to say that the farm lettuce is a symbol for everything you can expect in a CSA: it is an experience you cannot get in a grocery store. You think you know what lettuce tastes like until you get it fresh picked that day off the farm. Then you know what lettuce tastes like.
Most traded item in the swap box: Beets
CSA Casualties: Hubbard Squash, Ruby Streaks
Was it worth it? Absolutely.

UBC Farm Entrance, Vancouver, BC

Submitted to: “What’s in the Box?” at In Her Chucks
& Fresh Foods Wednesday Link-up.

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