Sunday, May 10, 2009

Veggie Pick-up #1

I'm trying to be dedicated to writing an entry this week even though exhaustion has now set in - and maybe the effects of a glass of wine as well. We picked up our first box of veggies this week from the SoilBorn Farms CSA program. Actually using the stuff may be harder than we think yet we are up to the challenge!
There have been many articles in recent times about the benefits of eating local, fresh and organic produce and we followed suit and joined this CSA (Community Sustainable Agriculture) program. I figured our first box would contain a lot of greens for the early season and boy was I right! We received collards, bac choi, lettuce, arugula, mizuna, green garlic, spring onions, kohlrabi, red russian kale and grapefruit. I was such a dork - I didn't know what half this stuff was and at first I was looking the items up on the internet and comparing pictures to the actual products. Then I remembered a cookbook that I had picked up years ago - 'Vegtables' by James Peterson. Found some pictures and the endeavor went more smoothly after that. I made a yummy taco salad the night we picked up the box (Tuesday - Cinco de Mayo) and then we didn't touch the stuff again until today, which wasn't the best decision. We lost a few things - the refrigerator crisper was already a bit full and a lot of the greens just went in the fridge and proceeded to freeze a bit. What we couldn't use went into the beginnings of our compost heap.
Late today, after a long drive through the country and a couple of hours working in the garden, I tried a few recipes. Actually started some Collards with Ham Hocks before venturing to work outside. I've never made collards before nor have I used ham hocks. I think I've only had collards once in my life! Also made a "Long-Stewed Red Kale" recipe from Alice Waters 'Chez Panisse Vegtables'. Yummy - cooked the russian red kale with bacon, carrots, onions, garlic and topped off with some time cooking in cream (we used soy cream) Very good! Ross loved it, stating that the dish was restaurant quality and then I told him that it was an Alice Waters recipe. Definitely will be making that again! I also sliced the kohlrabi and sauted in butter for about 20 minutes. I'd certainly never heard of nor , obviously cooked with, rohlrabi before. Yet we'll definitely make that again as well. Ross cooked a pork tenderloin and the whole meal was wonderful. We had a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon from Revolution Wines (a local urban winery in downtown Sacramento). So we definitely ate a lot of items that were grown and distributed locally. What a fun adventure this is going to be!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Today's Completed Projects

Well, the rain is good for a lot of reasons, including giving me a chance to finish some projects. Finally finished the Coneflowers - my first attempt at free motion quilting as well!
I really need to learn how to take pictures - just can't seem to get it right.

Also finished a baby quilt for Prakash and Bindu - very colorful and fun.

Another creative weekend - what fun!

Spring Flowers Before The Rain

Spring's First Bloom