Cookbook Review: Good to the Grain

This is the first in a series of cookbook reviews that might help you find different ways to use up your CSA fruits and veggies.  Why cookbooks? After all, there are tons and tons of food blogs out there with thousands of fabulous recipes. However, as any good librarian will tell you, there are still some things you can’t find on the internet and there are some really cool cookbooks being published with recipes that are not on the web.

Another cool thing about cookbooks is that you can easily get them from the Brooklyn and New York Public Libraries. If you find something you want to take a look at, you can go online and have it sent to your local branch.  I quickly become bored with cookbooks and I don’t have a lot of space in my kitchen, so I pretty much have a constant rotation of them in my house and there’s always one on the hold shelf for me at my local branch. It’s one of the best things about living near an amazingly fabulous library system. And with that said, I’d love to share with you one of the best cookbooks I’ve checked out of the library in recent months:

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Member Diary #12: Bar Norman

This week’s share: kale, romaine, cilantro, basil, red and yellow onions, carrots, radishes, summer squash and zucchini, celery, peaches, plums, eggs

My two roommates and I have a Full Monty share. Since I wrote last season’s member diary,  I’ve switched from freelancing to working full-time, so I’ve had less time to cook anything complicated. My roommates and I are all working 9-5 and use the share mostly for dinners, but we try to make enough for lunch the next day, too. All the greens and herbs in the season so far have been great for fast salads and simple preparations that still have a lot of flavor. The heat this weekend kept us out of the city and out of the kitchen, but here are some lighter things good for the summer weather (and one dessert for which I braved using the oven). Continue reading

Fun with Food; the Lemongrass Edition

Enjoying the purrfect munch of lemongrass.

Send us your pics for our lemongrass montage!

Does your cat or dog feast on your lemongrass?

Send us your pics for another fun with food montage.

Molly chomps away.

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Week #12 – July 18th [Bweek]

This distribution was the kick-off for the Orchard Share. Picked fresh from an orchard in Goshen, we will be seeing lots of local varieties of plums, peaches, nectarines, and apples over the next 16 weeks. The commencment of the share was pushed to a week later due to weather issues. The CSA bounty was filled this week with the rich greens of a summer harvest and bright blues of the July blueberry season. Martin says the scorching hot weather has made for long hard days on the farm as all the fields must be watered daily. While not as crazy as the drought situation for farmers in the Southwest, there has not been a lot of rain in NY this summer. Some crops have been struggling, but despite the long, cold Spring coupled with the hot, dry Summer, most crops have been plentiful for our region’s hardworking farms. As an abnormally dry July continues to swelter towards August with scorchingly humid heat, we must remember that for small family farmers and csa members, patience is a needed virtue for a successful season — especially when it comes to rain. Every crop has a certain period of time for optimal rain and its harvest production is at the mercy of the weather. As our berry farmer, Norman like to say; It’s like that. Farming is legalized gambling.

Orchard share is launched for the 2011 harvest season

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Lovely Lemongrass

MimoMex provides us with an ample supply of lemongrass. At our house, the kitties cant get enough of the stuff so we gladly scoop up the extras left behind. However, we wanted to post a few uses and recipes, hopefully inspiring you to take yours home and use it. Please note, a lot of the recipes call for use of the bulb; MimoMex harvests the leaves which can easily be used in place of the bulb.

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Greenpoint Soup Kitchen Supper Club Fundraiser

Come dine with us!

Even as we are reveling in the bounty of summer—and we are, thanks to weekly donations from the generous Garden of Eve, Southside CSA, & Paisley Farm CSAs—we begin to plan for our leaner winter months.

Through a series of supper club fundraisers, we are able to provide fresh (local and organic when possible) vegetables for our Wednesday night soup kitchen dinners all through the year. We feel strongly that nutritious, locally produced food should not be a luxury item, but available to everyone in our community.

Come join us for our next Greenpoint Soup Kitchen Supper Club Fundraiser

Friday, 22 July!

Dinner will be a four-course vegetarian meal using the same great local, organic produce that we use in our Wednesday night meal. The dinner is served family style—which we hope adds to the convivial spirit of the event! BYO wine and come early for a special (extra charge) cocktail hour.

Because our menu relies on the most seasonal produce from local farmers, please stay tuned for the exact details of the meal—but a pickle plate is already in the works!

Suggested donation–$20. [btw, we know that this meal is worth WAY more than $20, however, we like creating an affordable night out that almost everyone can afford. Feel free to throw down more cash if you desire!]

You must R.S.V.P. for this event—if possible please do so through the event page on Facebook.  If you are a stubborn abstainer (!) from Facebook, you may email Seats are limited, so please inform us if your plans change!

Member Diary #11 – Katerina & Greg

My boyfriend Greg and I have a Fully Monty Deluxe share.  This week the share included white onions, red onion, carrots, beets, celery, kale, lettuce, squash, sage, lemongrass, eggs and blueberries.

We cook mainly vegan at home, but love the “happy” eggs we get from the farm.  We both enjoy cooking, but as we’ve been particularly busy lately, our meals have been very simple.  Also, once summer hits, I find that I just want to eat huge salads all the time anyway.

My one useful tip, taught to me by a Parisian girl, is to wrap greens in paper towels before putting them in the vegetable drawer in the fridge.  The paper towels absorb moisture and keep the lettuce/kale/herbs crisp and fresh for over 2 weeks.

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Week #11 – July 11th [Aweek]

MimoMex greens errupting from a member's backpack

It was a scorcher on Monday but with the a cool breeze kicking off the East River, the refreshing frozen margaritas,  and  the cranking A/C, the Woods was once again an oasis of chill relaxation, terrific tacos, and local goodies during our weekly distribution. It was our first distribution in weeks without Stella. Our little CSA mascot has grown up to be ” too goat-like” to make the trip into Brooklyn anymore. Her love of blueberries drives her mad and she insists on grazing (which involves her standing on top of the shares…) on our buckets of blueberries during the drive down. For those who are gonna miss our little gal, a quick visit to Red Hook is in order!

Blueberries by Norman Greig

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MimoMex Farm. June 2011

A few Just Food staff had the chance to go out to Orange County a couple of weeks ago and visited our fab farmers, Martin and Gaudencia. They have shared some of the pictures that they took that day.  MimoMex is looking amazing! Alright people, who is ready to help organize a trip/workday out at the farm some Sunday in August….

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What’s Cooking? BEET HUMMUS by Selby-Slusher

Beets from the July 4th pick-up

Three of us split a share at CSA and with all the beautiful beets we got this past week we were looking for a really nice recipe that was light enough for this hot summer weather and could be picnic friendly!  In the colder months we’ve tried out some beets with pasta and other hearty dishes, but we thought that this recipe for beet hummus was delicious and perfect for July.  It was fairly easy to make (make sure you have a food processor!) and required ingredients that we have from CSA and can also be picked up at the local market.  Here’s what we did to make a perfect 4th of July Picnic-Ready beet treat. Continue reading