Novack Member Diary Week #12

pic by Kate Novack

This is our first year doing a CSA. I’d been wanting to join one for a long time and I guess the thing that finally got me to Ryan’s apartment to sign up was a longing to attach some kind of ritual to our ‘grocery shopping,’ ideally one that didn’t involve icy air conditioning or free delivery. Honestly, I was a little afraid my kids (4 and 5) were starting to think food grew in Fresh Direct trucks. We started small, with the Berry and Orchard shares. At the first distribution, we picked up only about eight spears of asparagus. But with good olive oil, some sea salt and about ten minutes in the oven they were delicious. And in a way, starting lean only reinforced the idea that it takes work (or, in our case, a three-block walk) to make food. This week, there was more to tote home. The NY Orchard Share was one box each of raspberries and cherries. The raspberries were especially beautiful, separated into small green boxes that were nestled together in a larger white box. They reminded me of puppies in a litter. How could you possibly pick one?

pic by Kate Novack
But we did and then went in search of our berry share. Distribution this week was inside and the Greig Farm Share station was on an elevated area at the back of the Woods. I imagine that this little platform also sometimes serves as a stage for musicians and its use tonight — as a stage for about three dozen pick-your-own buckets full of blueberries — kind of encapsulates everything I love about South Williamsburg.
pic by kate Novack
My neighbor had asked me to pick up her meat share. I have to admit, I was covetous. I contemplated stealing the hot italian sausages, but caught myself. (Hopefully this blog post can serve as my confessional.) She later dropped me off a big bowl of delicious beef stew.
pic by Kate Novack
As we headed for the door, I saw a bin of kale that seriously looked like it belonged in some 19th century French landscape painting.
pic by Kate Novack
I vowed that next season I would sign up for the Full Monty share.
Since a big part of my motivation for doing the CSA was to get out into the neighborhood, I decided that on the way home, I would look for new developments since the summer share season started. (Yes, I should have done this on the way in, when I didn’t have armloads of food, but I wasn’t thinking that far ahead.) In the three blocks home to our apartment, we discovered three additions during the past couple of months:
Across the street from the Woods is the new bike park-community farm known as Havemeyer Park.
pic by Kate Novack
Turn right up South 4th and there’s a Citbike kiosk.
pic by Kate Novack
Finally, on the outside of the new club TBA on Wythe and South 6th is a mural by Icy and Sot, the Iranian-born stencil artists.
pic by Kate Novack
At home, we laid out our Berry and Orchard share. (Please note that my kids ate most of the raspberries while I was dropping off the meat share to our neighbor’s; that green box arrived overflowing.)
pic by Kate NOvack
The raspberries and cherries didn’t last through the night. We savored them, just quickly.
The blueberries took us through the week:
For breakfast, with plain greek yogurt and honey.
pic by Kate Novack
Again for breakfast, on top of waffles.
pic by Kate novack
And finally, for breakfast-for-dinner blueberry pancakes.
pic by kate Novack
I can’t sign off without including one recipe, so here’s our household favorite pancake preparation, courtesy of Ina Garten (although her’s substitutes two bananas for blueberries):

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Unsalted butter
  • 2 cups blueberries, plus extra for serving
  • Pure maple syrup


  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest.

  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.

  3. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles.

  4. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes.

  5. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of blueberries on each pancake.

  6. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned.

  7. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used.

  8. Serve with blueberries, butter and maple syrup.

Which reminds me, next year we are definitely doing the Maple Share!

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