Sponge Cake

spong cake
spong cake
A little knife work and some leftover Roasted Balsamic Strawberries and we have a dessert.

When we saw this recipe in My Kitchen Year, by Ruth Reichl, we were intrigued. First, because it was an old recipe, coming from Mary J. Lincoln via the Boston Cooking School magazine. We like old recipes; there’s just something fun about making a cake that your great-grandparents might have had for a celebration. It gives you a tangible connection with the past. The second reason we liked this recipe was its simplicity — only four ingredients. How can you make a cake with just four ingredients? Read on, fellow scratcher.

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Those Summer Squash Are Back

weekly CSA produce share
We need to start thinking about how to use our summer squash, because this won’t be the last of them.

We were going to call this post “Two Heads Are Better Than One” in reference to the heads of cabbage and lettuce we received on pick-up day. But, we’d used that title before, so we quickly thought we’d point out that we’re starting to get summer squash. Not our favorite, but, by this time of year, we’re excited about the changes as we move out of greens season. In fact, that’s one of the things we like about being members of the CSA; we’re always excited to see what we’ll get on produce day. So much so, that we often discuss how we’ll be using our weekly share on our way home, trying to plan some of our week’s meals.

This week we were excited to get:

  • Blooming onions (1)
  • Summer squash (3)
  • Petit Choux (1) — see below
  • Fava beans (1 bag)
  • Lettuce heads (1)
  • Purple kohlrabi (1 bunch)
  • Gold beets (1 bunch)
  • Celery (1 bunch)

Oh, Petit Choux are simply small cabbages that grow around the base of a cabbage plant after the main head is harvested.

Russian Cabbage Pie

cabbage pie
cabbage pie
Cabbage pie? We love cabbage pie!

No, this isn’t for dessert. It’s a savory pie made from a few simple ingredients and it’s perfect for a home-style dinner. We’re not sure this is really a Russian dish, but, when we came up with the idea of making a cabbage pie — we envisioned a pie made similarly to a Leek and Cheese Pie, except with cabbage in place of leeks — we hit the search engines. That’s when we found a recipe for a Russian Cabbage Pie at Global Table Adventure. We modified ours a bit, eliminating the hard-boiled eggs, mainly, but the idea is pretty much the same.

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Roasted Balsamic Strawberries

roasted balsamic strawberries
roasted balsamic strawberries
From ho-hum to oh-yum!

Does that box of strawberries you bought leave you less than whelmed? Sure, they look great in the package, all bright and red, thanks to ethylene gas used to “ripen” them after being picked, allowing the strawberries to fool your eye, but not your sense of taste. Can those less-than-stellar strawberries be saved?

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Pineapple Coleslaw

pineapple coleslaw
pineapple coleslaw
Cool and refreshing for summer.

Two weeks ago, we picked up that ginormous head of cabbage in our CSA share. And, it was one of the smaller heads. Still, to us, it meant we had to use up a lot of cabbage. What could use cabbage faster than some sort of coleslaw? Now, as you know, we have two of the best recipes for coleslaw right here: our traditional Coleslaw, and a Light Coleslaw. Today, we’re going with what is, essentially, a Pineapple Coleslaw.

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A Small Birthday Cake

small birthday cake
small birthday cake
A birthday cake for one!

We had reason to put together a small cake just the other day, and thought you might like to see how it turned out.

If you’d like to make small cakes like this, it’s moderately simple. Take the white cake recipe, scale it down to use 3 egg whites instead of 5, and bake in an 8×8 inch pan. When the cake is cool, cut it into quarters, slice each square in half horizontally (to make two layers), and punch out 3-inch circles. From these eight circles, you can make two three-layer cakes, plus have lots of leftover scraps (save them to make a Gur Cake). Frost with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Feathery Greens

weekly CSA produce share
At one time we didn’t know what to do with fennel. Now we do!

This week, we’re seeing a couple of feathery greens — it’s hard to see them in the photo, as the feathery parts are out of the frame. One we want to discuss is the fennel. When we first started getting food from the CSA, we had a hard time using fennel; it’s just too licorice-tasting for us, but we knew that Farmer Frank grew it partly because it attracts beneficial insects to the fields, so we tolerated it. Then we hit upon a recipe that just works for us, Fennel Gratin, so now we don’t mind getting it at all. That’s what we hope for all the vegetables we pick up — find a recipe that just works. Our difficult veggie now is turnips. We eat them, but we haven’t found a way of cooking turnips that make us love them. If you know of something, pass it along.

So, this week, we received:

  • Red beets (1 bunch)
  • Bravo radishes (1 bunch)
  • Purple top turnips (1 bunch)
  • Fennel (1 bulb)
  • Dill (1 bunch) — dill rye this weekend
  • Vates Blue kale (1 bunch)
  • I’itoi onions (1 bunch)
  • Lettuce heads (1)