This summer I decided to join a summer local food share (also know as a CSA). It’s something I had wanted to do for a long time, but usually had an excuse or time had gotten away from me and it’d be too late. This year was different, I started thinking about it early on thanks to my interactions and work with our area’s first local Happy Valley Culinary Week. After long discussions about promoting our community’s local chefs and local foods I got really excited about finally joining a CSA and challenging my cooking skills with some local veggies that I normally don’t cook with.
This weekend turned into quite the adventure! I had an afternoon to myself, some veggies to cook up, and some friendly mouths to fill.
And so, as I have learned over the years I cook best when the music is up loud and there is singing and dancing involved. (Dance party in the kitchen!) However, sometimes the cooking gets a bit out of control and I end up getting creative and making things that weren’t on the “menu” …. I started out with making kale chips and ate the entire first tray of them by myself (yes, they were that good).
I cooked beets for the first time…and I look forward to making them again!
I even tried cooking up their beautiful leaves to make something with them because I couldn’t stand adding all that waste to the compost pile. Someone told me to chop them up with potatoes, olive oil, and salt & pepper…so I did! I tried them for breakfast this morning and they’re not bad.
I had one lonely radish and also cooked that up in some butter and salt & pepper… not bad either!
I had some rutabaga (which I had never cooked before either) and roasted it with some potatoes in the oven – yum!
The actual food on the “menu” for the night involved onions which we had plenty of from the CSA so I chopped them up finely to caramelize them, which is also something I hadn’t done before either (at least that I can remember right now).
The lettuces were washed and laid out to dry all over the kitchen to prep for dinner and the rest of the week.
And the finished products ended up being ready at various times which allowed for us to enjoy a 3 course meal which was unintentional but much more laid-back and enjoyable.
Red beet salad!
Roasted rutabaga and potatoes!
Caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza (with a beer bread crust) – a new favorite that will be added to my cookbook.
A delightful evening of local foods and friends! So much to be thankful for.