Wednesday, June 9, 2010

CSA Opening Day

CSA Opening Day is one of the best days of the entire year! It signals the beginning of summer, fresh organic veggies and seeing old faces. I love seeing the streams of families walking out of our park with bags of greens and quarts of strawberries.

Today I noticed though that a lot of faces were new. I have had several friends opt out of the CSA this year. And I doubt that I am the only one who has had a few friends. There has been a steady influx of new faces into our neighborhoods in the last couple of years. So it seems understandable that a turnover would happen in the CSA too. Or perhaps it could be the timing. Last summer I was pregnant and then delivered Thing 2 in the summer. So the Tuesday CSA pickup was a weekly highlight. I would go early with the kids and I got to know some of the core members who handle the site organization. I was able to volunteer an extra time, so I grew to recognize many people. But now I am working of course so I see the evening crew. The early crew are the folks who work flexible schedules or stay home. The evening crew are the working folks who probably have to leave work early to make it home in time to pick up their veggies. Like me.
Today, as you can see from the photo, we got Bok Choy, Mizuna, Vita Greens (think of a sturdy chard with greens stems), Kale, Arugula, Red Leaf Lettuce, Scallions, Radishes, and a pot of thyme and oregano. This is the first year I have been doing the fruit share as well and we got a big quart of delicious strawberries and some rhubarb. Now I know you can make strawberry-rhubarb jam or pie, but I want to eat the strawberries raw. If anyone has any rhubarb recipes without the strawberries, let me know. I am a little at a loss.
The herbs will come in handy this week when I make pizza. Thing 1 still has not had my homemade pizza crust (there are never any leftovers). The Arugula and Mizuna and Lettuce will go to make a big salad with the radishes. I bought several avocados this weekend that will work well there too, yum. But I am the most excited about the Vita Greens and the Bok Choy because I have been looking forward to making stir fried noodles.
This couldn't be easier. Take an onion and saute in hot oil. Add any meat that you like. I like pre-cooked meats like chicken or pork (great for leftovers--but more often than not I make this vegetarian) or if you add shrimp, add it raw now. Then I will add the greens and a quick sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil, white wine vinegar (I suppose I should be using mirin, but I don't usually keep it in the house), honey and hot chili sauce. When all the stuff has cooked down I add in cooked Chinese noodles, but regular spaghetti works well too. I last year got really into adding rice. And though I think the Chinese tradition is to use leftover rice, I tried it and I still like adding fresh cooked rice. White or brown, it doesn't matter.
This is a simple unmeasured recipe, but it is one that I look forward to during this time of year when the basic greens are so good and in season. I love the sauce because it is based upon the hot-sour-salty-sweet idea that Asian cooking is balanced and so delicious because it has some ingredients from all of those flavor points. When I make this, I will try to get Thing 1 to eat it. I'll let you know how it goes.

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