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Agretti challenge continues
Thursday April 29th 2010

Agretti. Agretti agretti agretti. Now I’ve got the portions of three boxes worth (we had two no-shows yesterday)! Four if you count the portion I was supposed to take from Sara’s box to pickle. But I’m liking the challenge of this highly unique veggie. Last night I added it to a stir fry. Reasonably successful. Tonight I thought “Keep it simple”. We have leeks from the box so I thought how about just a high-heat pan fry to see how it turns out. Just olive oil, salt and pepper?

Here is the rinsed agretti, about to hit the pan.

What should go with it? (Continue Reading…)

Box came, and so did a bunch of wine!
Wednesday April 28th 2010

The box came today. Looking good! (Sorry, forgot to take a picture! If I have an extra tomorrow, I’ll take one then.)

I had to make dinner pretty quick. So Alexis and I made a caesar salad dressing. Lesson to you new parents out there – don’t let your kids get a taste of the expensive cheese! They’ll eat you out of house and home!

Shortage of time made me think that a quick stir fry (Continue Reading…)

What’s coming this week?
Tuesday April 27th 2010

We got the email today from Two Small Farms describing what’s coming in the boxes this week.

- Strawberries OR Mystery
- Romaine Lettuce
- Red & White Mixed Turnips
- Cilantro OR Parsley
- Mystery
- Leeks
- Agretti
- Red Orach

So what’s the plan of attack? (Continue Reading…)

Leftovers with some found CSA veggies
Monday April 26th 2010

I am trying to be efficient in my cooking and over the last few years have been trying to do alot of the “day before” stuff. Whether its straining yogurt, soaking beans for soup (okay, Melinda’s doing more of that!), or whatever. So while the grill was hot last night I threw a couple eggplants on it to roast for some babaganoush. It’s dead easy to make – don’t buy it! Prick an eggplant or three with a fork so it doesn’t explode (yes, this has happened to me!), then put it on a hot grill on indirect heat. Rotate it a couple times until it shrinks a bit and the skin gets crusty. Take it off, let it cool a bit, then peel off the crusty skin. Inside you’ll find a mix of flesh and these seeds that look like caviar. Get in there and peel away the seeds and discard. The pulp that’s left you mix with some lemon, garlic, pepper, more salt than you think is healthy, and lots of olive oil. Whiz it up with whatever device you like (I use a blender) and voila!

It was left over night, after Sunday Suppers yesterday, and was it ever good. There was some cold tri-tip, which was even better than the night before.

And the babaganoush (Continue Reading…)

Sunday supper with some “teachable moments”
Monday April 26th 2010

You know, sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose some. Not all dishes or meals turn out as you wish they would. But that’s where the learning and enjoyment and improvement in cooking comes from.  Those little mistakes will stay in your mind and help lift your game next time you’re in the kitchen.

We had the Bickert/Drennans over for Sunday suppers, and believe it or not I had to pick up some veggies from Rainbow! All we had left from the TWO boxes (someone didn’t pick up last week) was tarragon and some broccoli! Definitely not enough for 5 grown-ups and 4 kids.

The fava beans from Joe and Kate’s garden are nice and young so we grilled up the ones they brought over. Just some olive oil and hit with salt before serving. Sat and enjoyed a beautiful warm night outside, munching on these lovelies. Here’s a picture of just a few of them.

I picked up some (Continue Reading…)

What I love about the Mission
Friday April 23rd 2010

No CSA veggie post today. See, my dear friend John and I met up at the Attic, the greatest bar in SF, for a couple pints. Shoot the breeze, gossip about pharma life, talk about our families, all that sort of stuff. We were getting hungry, and considered our options. In the past, we’ve gone to Little Jerusalem down the street for some “biblical food” as John puts it. We also considered Rosamunde for a sausage, so that we could continue with our artisanal beer drinking. But I had heard about the chef doing new and exciting things at an unheard of restaurant called Mr. Pollo. Yup, Mister Chicken. Turns out it’s only 11 seats, mainly doing a take-out business. We puruse the menu and low and behold, there is a “tasting menu” option. I swear to god, we’re at 24th and Mission, at a rough and tumble 11 seat spot serving Colombian food, and there is a “tasting menu”! And it’s 15 bucks! And it’s all local seasonal organic sustainable! Well, clearly we had to have it. John ran down the street to pick up a six-pack, which we brown bag wrapped and drank out of the bottle, and we ate our way through 5 courses of really really good food. That, my friends is what I love about the Mission!

Here’s a couple photos I took with my iPhone:

Some lamb tenderloin with a fennel something or other and orange jus. Note the fine beverage in the background!

Then some grilled trout with asparagus and radishes.

Back to the CSA box tomorrow!

New box and a sweet-rich-spicy pasta
Thursday April 22nd 2010

We got our box, and it has strawberries! I think the strawberries might be different from last year. There’s a really great tartness to them that is not from under ripeness – I think it’s part of the variety. And they’re nice and small. I ride home every day past a couple of those corner strawberry salesmen in the Mission, who are selling big fat white-shouldered strawberries and I’m sure glad to come home to these ones!

The idea I had yesterday of roasting the squash and adding to pasta stuck in my head, so (Continue Reading…)

What’s coming tomorrow?
Tuesday April 20th 2010

The list for tomorrow’s box arrived in my inbox from Two Small Farms. Here’s what we have coming:
- Strawberries or mystery
- Salad Mix
- Broccoli
- Butternut Squash
- Snow Peas or Sugar Snap Peas or Artichokes
- French Tarragon
- Fennel

So what’s going to go down in the kitchen this week? (Continue Reading…)

Fish with the rest of the veggies
Monday April 19th 2010

I ended up running in to Joe at Sun Fat Fish Market today after work. I thought I had made a sustainable choice in the Sea Bass I had picked out, he pointed out that I had misread the label. Farmed. Damn. And it was already scaled and gutted and bagged. Well, it was fresh and not frozen at least!

Joe then tried to get me to pop in to the Mission Bar for a happy hour visit but I demurred – I had to get home to cook the rest of last week’s box. Tonight’s the last chance because it’s swimming lessons tomorrow and the next box comes Wednesday.

So I started with the fish. Real simple like. Salt and pepper, some olive oil, then stuffed and layered the fish with dill from the box and lemon slices from the garden. Wrapped it up and into a hot oven.

While it was cooking I decided to see (Continue Reading…)

Where’s the URL – where are the veggies?
Monday April 19th 2010

The fridge is pretty bare. All that’s left is some chard and some dill (gotta get some fish for tonight!). And it was really all gone by last Friday night. We were out on date night on Saturday night – ran into the Trillin/Lees and the Bickert/Drennans at Heart (damn I hate those lame mason jars – ugh) and then had some late night dinner at Schmidt’s. A rousing good time. And then last night was Sunday Suppers at the Bickert/Drennans where they cooking up the whole contents of their box for us, with a lovely Marin Sun Farms lamb roast followed by a ping-pong (not beer pong – it was a school night!) tournament. A great way to get ready for the week ahead.

But it’s a good thing there was nothing to cook this weekend, as I was busy with the migration of the site to a new URL. Did you notice that if you go to csaboxcooking.com, you get redirected to www.MyFarmBoxLife.com. I took a hint from mega-corps around the world and “rebranded”! As I mentioned in a previous post, this blog has turned into more than just the contents of our CSA box – it’s also about how I cook that food for my family and all the activities around that. And also, I have gotten word from readers in some places (Europe mainly) that CSA is not a known word in their locale. How sad! But I think Farm Box is a close acronym, no?

Anyway, it will redirect for a long time but if you want to change your bookmark, that would be cool. Cuz this blog is the first thing you read in the morning, right!  ;-)

… dave