Palambino Member Diary for Week of Oct 7th

pic by alyssa palambinoThis is our fourth year with the Southside CSA; each week we pick up vegetables, eggs, a chicken, orchard fruit and berries, plus an armload of maple syrup when we can get it. It’s an ideal system for us – I don’t have to plan ahead or visit Whole Foods, and we’re getting a truly superior product. We used the delivery service from the Cargo Bike Collective for the first time this week, and it really tipped the experience into luxurious territory. If there were CSA Olympics, I think we’d have a gold medal winner on our hands with the Southside CSA.

pic by alyssa palambino

Because eating in a restaurant with two small kids can be nightmarish, we prepare a simple-but-delicious dinner every night at home (pizza night is the exception, of course). These are some of the dishes we’ve made in the last week with our CSA haul: Tomatillos were pretty foreign to me pre-CSA, so I’ve tried a new recipe every time they are included in our share. This week’s were roasted with onions and pureed into a sauce for spice-rubbed chicken legs.

Cumin Crust Rub (for pork, chicken, or shrimp)

  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a small, dry frying pan over low heat, toast the cumin, stirring often, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Pour onto a plate and let cool.

In a small container with a tight-fitting lid, stir together the cumin, paprika, sugar, coriander, cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cover and shake vigorously to mix. Use right away, or store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 month. Recipe courtesy Grill Master

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The dark greens are my favorite, and I was happy to get a pile of them last week. Kale, chard, radish greens, and some other green thing I couldn’t identify all went into the same pan, sautéed with garlic and olive oil and tossed with some pickled red onions I’d made earlier in the season.

pic by alyssa palambino

It was our week for the Dessert Corps, and I made a dense apple cake with apple cider icing.

For the cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract in large bowl until smooth. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and beat just until blended. Stir in apples, then walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake cake until top browns and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool in pan. Recipe courtesy Bon Appétit

For the icing:

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

In a saucepan, boil the cider until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup and let it cool. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, the confectioners’ sugar, the reduced cider, and a pinch of salt until the icing is smooth. Recipe courtesy Gourmet

It smelled so delicious that I made a second cake for ourselves, substituting pears for apples and adding toasted almonds.

 pic by alyssa palambino

The cool, grey days last week called for some soup; but I had little in the pantry save for a pile of onions. Thankfully, you don’t need much more for my husband’s super-simple French onion soup. The magic happens, he says, when you are sautéing the onions in butter at the beginning; do not add the beef broth until they are a deep, rich brown. Other than the beef broth, he adds sherry vinegar, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper to taste. Serve with a melt-y Gruyére crouton.

pic by alyssa palambino

We want to extend sincere gratitude to Ryan, Yolim, and the other members that put so much effort and time into making the CSA run smoothly each year. It is a real asset to the community – and our dinner table – and your hard work is greatly appreciated!

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