Well, you might have heard us talking about the trading baskets at the CSA. Basically, if there’s something in your share that you don’t want, you can head over to the trading table and see what’s there. If you see something you like better, simply trade a full portion for a full portion (if you get three onions as part of your share, you must trade all three as a full portion — no splitting). The trading table starts with one portion of each item, and changes as the afternoon wears on.
It also turns out that farms will trade, too; we were the beneficiaries of that this week. Farmer Frank traded a bunch of Anaheim peppers for those Golden Delicious apples that we picked up. We really like getting fresh fruit.
This week, our CSA provided quite a number of items that we’d consider to be evocative of the southwest. It’s not too surprising, since the foods that grow well in the desert are generally those that most people think of when they think about southwestern food.
We’ll note especially that one of the items we picked up was nopales; this is the first time we’ve had them from the CSA with the spines still attached. That seems to daunt some people, so tomorrow we’ll show you how to remove those spines safely, making your nopales eating adventure painless.
Wow! That is one huge melon. We knew we’d be getting a huge watermelon as we walked to the CSA pickup site. We saw several people struggling to carry away watermelons that seemed the size of a small child. But, we don’t mind; we love watermelon, plus we have plans for some of it in the near future: watermelon sorbet, but don’t tell anyone.
If you happen to know of a good use for amaranth greens, please let us know. We get them periodically in our weekly share, and we just haven’t found a good way to use them. We try and try, but amaranth greens are just bland and somewhat blah. The best we’ve come up with is to use them in a frittata, which is okay, but not great. While we’ve eaten the ones we picked up this week, we figure we’ll just make Greens Latkes the next time we bring them home.
Oh, and we’re not the only ones who have problems with them. Every trading basket at the CSA was full of amaranth greens, so, if you do suggest something, you might be helping out a lot of people.
A lot of times when tomatillos show up in the weekly share, we head over to the trading table, but not this time. Instead, this time, we decided to try an experiment with that tangy green fruit. Normally, we just can’t figure out a great way to use up tomatillos. We’ve tried salsas, such as Salsa Verde and Roasted Tomatilo Salsa, both of which are okay, but not great. Now, we have a new idea that we’ll probably present to you soon.
We also took home our amaranth (another share that we try to trade), in an attempt to find a good way to use what’s pretty much the only green we get during the summer.
This week’s share:
Sweet Corn (3 ears)
Glendale Gold Little Sweetie Onions (3)
Basil (1 large bag)
Red potatoes (1 basket)
Tomatillos (1 basket)
Amaranth greens (1 bunch)
Garlic (1 bag)
Sweet potatoes (4)
And, from the surplus basket, a nice bright yellow summer squash.
It’s been three weeks since we picked up produce at the CSA because of our most recent trip, so we’re excited to get such a great share this week. How can you go wrong with corn, okra, and watermelon? But, really, we should mention the onions, as they’re quite special. Sure, they might look like ordinary yellow onions, but these are an heirloom variety that, as far as we know, only our farmer grows. Farmer Frank calls these Glendale Gold Little Sweetie Onions and we’re lucky to get them!
We should’ve parked closer when we picked up our CSA share yesterday. Between that huge watermelon and the delicate tomatoes (not to mention the eggs from Josh’s Foraging Fowls), we had to take it easy heading back to the car. But, it’s worth it, because nothing says summer like a huge slice of ice-cold watermelon dripping down your chin as you eat it in the sweltering heat. It is summer.
This week’s share included:
Yellow Taxi tomatoes (4)
Sweet corn (4 ears)
Amaranth greens (1 bunch) — traded for more tomatoes