BEAR Member Diary for Week #2

pic by Stacia Williams

Greig Farm Share Week #2

First CSA pick-up:

My husband and I have talked a lot about joining a CSA, but this is the first time we’ve actually done it. Pick-up was too far away, or on the wrong days, or we waited too long to sign up until everything was sold out. Last year I watched one of my co-workers share some of her Southside CSA bounty with us and listened to her talk about it and asked lots of questions. And then we moved to Brooklyn! So here we are on our first pick-up day, excited, but not quite sure what’s in store. We have half shares and are on the “B” schedule. I had heard that the asparagus week one was rather measly, so I had prepared myself to not expect too much. Big surprise! 3 pounds of asparagus! Yay! I know the yields are unpredictable and that’s part of how a CSA works, but I was still very glad to see that gigantic asparagus harvest. We also got a dozen eggs from Feather Ridge.

pic by stacia williams

So I got home and took this picture of our 1st pick-up. So pretty. I was very interested by the use of the term “free-running“ on the carton in reference to the chickens that produced the eggs. I like the picture that puts in my mind of them having a lot of room to run around in. I hope I can go on one of the field trips to actually see these chickens. We already buy “cage-free” eggs, but I know that term doesn’t necessarily mean much. I have heard a lot about eggs from more free-range chickens having a different color and taste, so I really want to break into these eggs (pun intended, wah wah), but we have a full dozen of eggs already in our fridge so I’m not sure when that will happen. You can see I put the asparagus in a bowl with some water. I heard that was a good way to help it last longer. Then I found this online: http://urbanstrawberries.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/how-to-store-fresh-asparagus/  It adds a plastic bag cover and says the asparagus will keep up to 2 weeks this way. I thought this was great and meant to add the plastic cover, but I kept forgetting.

pic by stacia williams

On Wednesday my husband texted me saying he was going to steam all of the asparagus. I wondered if it would fit, but didn’t want to discourage him. When I got home, he admitted he was only able to steam a little over a third of it! That’s a lot of asparagus. Steaming is simple, does a fair job at retaining nutrients, and works for pretty much any veggie, so it’s our preferred cooking method. My husband also really likes broiling it by cutting it in half length-wise with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, but our ancient oven in our new place has no temperature choices on its dial, so we didn’t want to risk it.

Something I haven’t done yet, but want to in the next couple of weeks, is to make a grilled ham, asparagus and cheese sandwich. They used to have them at this restaurant in San Diego my husband and I went to all the time when we were first dating. It seems simple enough. They just wrapped slices of ham around individual asparagus spears and then put them into a regular grilled cheese. I’m guessing that you might want to cook the asparagus first? So maybe it will be best for leftovers. This seems like a decent recipe to try: http://www.food.com/recipe/lighter-grilled-swiss-ham-and-asparagus-sannie-421063  And if you aren’t into meat, or don’t do pork, I can’t imagine it would be any less yummy without the meat.

The remaining asparagus is still in good shape in the fridge, although I have still not added that plastic cover…

pic by stacia williams

By Sunday we were finally out of our regular eggs. My husband made pancakes and I took a picture of the Feather Ridge eggs in the bowl. The yolks seem slightly oranger than our other eggs. I wanted to do a side by side picture for comparison, but forgot to tell my husband so he would save one of the old eggs. Oh well. He also cooks a lot more eggs than I do so I asked him if he thought they seemed different in any other way. He says the yolks are firmer. Is that a good thing? I guess it might be if you like to cook sunny-side up or over-easy eggs, which he does. I can’t say I thought the pancakes tasted any different, but I’ll be looking forward to sampling the eggs on their own.

This was a good first week for us with the CSA. Enough produce to have fun with, but not so much we were overwhelmed. We are looking forward to the rest of the season!

pic by stacia williams

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