Almost done…

Well I didn’t quite get EVERYTHING accomplished, but some meats got cooked and stock got made. “Everything Soup” will definitely get made tomorrow and I’ll do the frozen biscuits then too. Even more exciting: I have a little more room in the fridge now!! :D

It might have been possibly unrealistically stupid to attempt making so many meals while I had the evening to myself, but I’m still pleased I managed half the list below because I am still panicking slightly about the upcoming Round #2 of Infusions.

Plan is still to try keep making as many already prepared freezer meals to dump into the deep freeze so we don’t even need to decide how something needs to be cooked, we can just pull out the meal, reheat and eat.

Today’s almost completed ambitious list:

1) Sousvide cooked lambchops

2) Spatchock roast chicken

3) Everything Soup — assorted carcasses stock, cubed roast turkey, pesto potatoes, cheesy zucchini & garlicky green beans

4) Homemade frozen herby-cheesy biscuits (!!)

As a bonus I even took pics because it amused me so ^_^

Lamb chops ready for their 3 hour 57°C bath
Vac-sealed spatchcock roast chicken & sousvide cooked lamb chops!
Pressure cooked assorted poultry stock for “everything soup”!
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Belated thoughts on (winter) CSAs

This summer is our second year with Noble Gardens. Last winter we had our first CSA with Eagle Creek for eggs & veggies and it just wasn’t the same, it turned out… obviously. Winter veggies just aren’t as diverse as in the summer because traditionally you need to be able to store these things for months at a time to keep you fed through the winter. The eggs we loved, but we got so many bags of potatoes and carrots. We got other veggies, too, of course: some squashes (pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut, etc) & cabbages, a few really intriguing vegetable specimens like kohlrabi & Jerusalem artichokes and some great garlic.

Our diet is not one that uses root veggies (okay, tubers) as the main source of carbohydrates and as a result, we discovered that we just can’t eat that many bags of carrots or potatoes. For us, serving mashed or roasted potatoes with a meal is usually seen as something of a special occasion because I make The Hubbs’ favourite meal: roast chicken with mashed potatoes, roasted root veggies, stuffing, and lots of gravy. It’s not a meal I make on a regular basis, so when I do make the roast chicken dindin, I want to make him feel extra-special… and I guess it really is an extra special meal since we rarely buy chicken, anyhow.

As to what we normally consume to bulk up a meal along with our conscious attempts at eating lots more veggies, we usually consume various forms of rice or rice noodles, occasionally pasta and sometimes even bread. Obviously I don’t have any kind of “hardy European” lineage in my blood seeing as I can’t stomach the idea of having potatoes more than a couple times a month :P Trying to figure out how to consume those 5 pounds of potatoes every two weeks with our winter CSA was really difficult and I’m not gonna lie: I am very sad and horrified to admit that we ended up with a lot of rotten, wasted and mouldy veggies which is something that I absolute abhor. Food waste absolutely breaks my heart and it’s just a horrible waste of so many resources of all kinds.

Now that we’ve had the experience of a winter CSA, would we do it again? I don’t know.

We’ve had four different CSA experiences under our belts, and The Hubbs has discovered that he is more comfortable with some farm families than he is with others, and as a result, feels more comfortable to support those farmers, first and foremost, over the ones he can’t quite jive with. This is sort of one of the reasons why I am hesitant on making a decision regarding a winter CSA… and yes, I realize that we have literally only just begun our summer CSA and I am thinking about what our winter options are!

I really want to say yes, but I’m kind of leaning more towards the no because of last year’s experience. If Noble Gardens offered us an opportunity for a winter CSA, something they mentioned they might be considering for winter 2013/2014 when we talked about it last fall, The Hubbs & I will have to have a serious discussion about it. I would like to think we might take it, but if our only option is to go with the CSA from Eagle Creek like we did last year, I think we might have to decline and contend with grocery shopping once a week like the rest of the world does for their veggies. Truth be told, having just realized that the grocery store is our only option, I’m feeling a little ill for some reason. Taking part in a CSA and not making full use of it is a lot of money to literally be throwing away, and I don’t know that I could do another winter of trying to eat all those potatoes & carrots — we might also, very seriously, be faced with as much food wastage as we did last year and that’s not a good thing.

Magic CSA Veggies Week #16

Well, this is it: our final CSA veggie delivery fom Noble Gardens

It was a great 16 week experience and we’re so pleased with the relationship we developed with Noble Gardens that I have already registered us for their 2013 CSA Season.

So without further ado, our final delivery: purple kale, 2 little pumpkins, an acorn squah, 2 different kinds potatoes, a couple onions, a purple cabbage, beets and a bunch of parsley.

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We wish The Vrieselaar family a full & happy remainder of the year and thank them for the wonderful experience they gave us.

We look forward to seeing them again next year at the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Farmer’s Market!

Magic CSA Veggies Week #15!

Our second last CSA delivery for the year!

Onions, onions and more onions!

Interesting that there’s no kale but so many leeks, I’ve never had leeks so small and tender before! I am kind of excited to use them as I have a Jamie Oliver recipe that I’ve been wanting to make for a few years now but never had the chance since leeks are more commonly found super huge at the grocery store.

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This week’s Magic CSA Veggies: beets, acorn squash, lots’o’leeks, potatoes, a spaghetti squash and a lone onion.

Magic CSA Veggies Week #14!

It’s funny, when I was at the market picking up our veggies, I made a quick pitstop to say hi to J and Miss R at their stall.

J curiously inquired as to how our delivery was this week and I said it was good, not entirely realizing that the quantity of veggies had gone down considerably since I was basing the weight of my shopping bag on the additional weight of carrying my oxygen bag! Silly me ^_^

So here it is, our tiny little CSA haul for the week: a small head of broccoli, small bag of kale, a tomato, two onions, a bag of yellow potatoes and a pretty purple cabbage.

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Only two more deliveries and then it’s the start of Eagle Creek’s Winter CSA!

Magic CSA Veggies Week #13! Plus: Surprise Treat of the Week awesomeness!

Oh my goodness, I was mistaken! I thought that this week was the second last week for our CSA, but in fact we still have 3 more weeks of Magic CSA Veggies coming from Noble Farms!

Sadly, what is ending for the season is the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Farmer’s Market for 2012. That means there won’t be many (any?) more Treat of the Week purchasing opportunities for us when we visit Tim to pick up our veggies for the week. Our last CSA pickup will be the week after Thanksgiving, in the middle of October.

The share sizes are noticeably decreasing in quantity and very reminiscent of the beginning of the season when only a few different veggies were of actual harvestable size… Holy cow! Can you believe that we’ve been getting veggies for THIRTEEN weeks?!?

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This week’s Magic CSA Veggies consist of: slightly less prolific monster-celery, a lovely bag of red potatoes, some tomatoes, more cute carrots, a couple onions, a nice little bag of kale and a beautiful acorn squash (yay!!) ^_^

Now, we haven’t had a TotW for a few weeks now and this week is technically no different… BUT(!) I do have something which is packed with mega-super awesomeness that I had to call it a Treat of the Week even though it’s not something that I could photograph along with the Magic CSA Veggies.

Any guesses in what it might be? I can wait while you mull it over awhile… ^_^

o/~ …Jeopardy music queues up and quietly plays in the back of your mind… ~\o

Time’s up!

This Week’s Treat of the Week: a WINTER CSA SHARE WITH EAGLE CREEK FARMS!!

We will be receiving, bi-weekly starting in mid-October, a half-share portion of winter veggies that with any luck, we will be picking our first delivery right when our CSA with Noble Gardens finishes for its season so we won’t have to worry about feeling like we’re missing out on fresh veggies!

Also starting in mid-October: We are officially signed up for a full year of local grain and flour with Country Thyme Farm’s CSA that we will be sharing with J and Miss R!

I am so thrilled that everything I wanted an opportunity to try this year has happened! The only thing that is left for us to sort out is what we’re going to do about our meat supply for the year. I’ve spoken to Miss R about sharing bison again this year and I have my fingers crossed that she and J will be able to look into it once they’ve finished the huge task of potato harvesting for the year ^_^

wow!

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OMG!! I didn’t realize that we had received candycane beets with last week’s Magic CSA Veggies!

They are so beautiful!

Tonight’s dindin is gonna be pretty amazing looking with the beets, a few leftover baby potatoes and adorably cute little carrots that I have underneath the ginormo Hutterite chicken that I’m roasting tonight ^_^

Magic CSA Veggies Week #11!

Magic CSA Veggies Week #11!
Magic CSA Veggies Week #11!

You can absolutely tell that fall has arrived, our veggies are leaning more towards the winter/root vegetable side of things — super-ginormo beets! yellow zucchini, onions, purple cabbage, broccoli, red potatoes, green beans & our weekly supply of onions.

No Treat of the Week this week as The Hubbs wasn’t feeling so well and is potentially coming down with The Plague(TM)