Last weekend's haul from our Geauga County farmers, a "family" share, photo by donna

Week 12 of our CSA. No surprise with the tomatoes and corn, and no disappointment either.  Though five ears corn doesn’t even cover breakfast for me. Beans were great, peaches wouldn’t want to wait longer (and one of those peaches harbors a scary stinging bug that scared the hell out of me when I bit down to the pit.  But damn, Ohio peaches?  They don’t last long but they are amazing—deeply flavored, sweet, succulent.  Georgia may grow more but they don’t grow them better. And those raspberries were more raspberrier than any I’ve had.

That acorn squash, so bittersweet.  Are we moving into squash season? Are those leaves outside my window turning to brown already.  Where did summer go?  Oh, sigh.  James started school today.  Where did my youth go?

How can squash make me so sad?

At least there are those fucking green peppers to be mad at, the earths most lamentable vegetable.  The cubanos are good if they’re hot, but the green bell peppers make me angry.  I hate them for their mediocrity.  They are a sorry excuse for food.  I would never serve them to a guest. Is it food simply because we can digest it?  There is only one way to redeem them.  Stuff them with sausage and cook them over fire, angrily.

I will grind a pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs, and add a quarter pound of pork fat or belly or even bacon.  I’ll put in a couple of teaspoons salt (10 grams for 600 grams meat and fat). I’ll add garlic, some chopped tomato, some chopped basil, some red wine vinegar and olive oil.  I’ll stuff them with this, and grill them, maybe even top them with cheese.  More fat!

Perhaps then, I will find a remote, very remote, and grudging acceptance of this sorry fruit.

How are other people’s CSAs?  Can we compare?  Send me a photo (no huge files please!): michaelruhlman@gmail.com

I can do a post showing the variety.  I would love to have various areas of the country represented.  What does a CSA in Arizona look like now?! Either Portland? Texas? Minnasota?  Please send pix! Make sure you say where the food is from and if you love it, the name of the farm, and also if it is a family share or a smaller share.

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57 Wonderful responses to “CSA week 12: Send Me Pix of Yours!”

  • rockandroller

    Is that a “family” share for the week or a half share or what? We are probably going to do a CSA next year but fear there will be too much food.

    How do you like to fix the fresh beans?

    • ruhlman

      family share, thanks for noting size.

      beans that fresh, i just boil till tender, season with butter, lemon juice and salt. in winter, I roast them with garlic cumin and red pepper flakes (awesome).

  • My sentiments exactly on the green pepper, and zucchini follows closely behind- veggies you ha

    I know there are a million things to DO with those veggies, but all of them require you to DO something- by themselves they have no redeeming factors, unless roasted,sauteed, or stuffed…

  • Claudia

    green bell peppers simply are an unripe red bell pepper. i don’t like green bananas either… or any fruit or vegetable that’s NOT READY to be eaten…

      • Michael Fong

        I used to hate green peppers too. In a way, they’re obviously not as glorious as the sweet red, yellow, and orange peppers, but I think they have their place in certain dishes. Sometimes, roasted peppers are a bit too sweet, and green peppers have this bitterness and umami that brings balance to something like piperade. I always have a bit of green pepper in piperade, because it’s too sweet otherwise.

  • Joe Gardewin

    Wasn’t smart enough to get in on the CSA effort at my favorite greenhouse, but have several great farmer’s stands and the Crocker Park pseudo farmers market out here in the far reaches of western Cuyahoga county. Truthfully, I cross the line to Lorain County for the best stuff near me. Ohio peaches, none better. The peppers are abundant this year, but tend to agree with you. Unless the pepper has some bite I don’t really want it. If God didn’t want us to eat peppers with character he wouldn’t have invented America and if he hadn’t done that two of the world’s greatest cuisine (make that three) Chinese, Korean and Hungarian would be greatly impoverished. Since I’m going on, also note that if it were up to me I’d ban non ‘crafts’ from farmers markets although I concede they make help draw some to those markets. Okay correct me, cuz I know I’m leaving out too many great cuisines that love peppers with heat.

  • Lisa

    This is post is a week too late! I had a wonderful haul from the Capital Market in Charleston, W.Va. last weekend. Got a lot of great items.

    Peaches, eggplant, green beans, red bell peppers and cukes. The cukes are the only thing left because they are pickling, everything else is devoured!

    And even better, our neighbor has a boatload of tomatoes free for the picking.

  • Abigail @ Sugar Apple

    This past year, a few parents at my daughter’s school arranged with a local farmer to CSA boxes once a week and bring them to school. Unfortunately, it didn’t really work out. I already deal directly with several farmers here and found we weren’t getting the best of what I knew was available, there wasn’t much variety, and the cost was much higher than I was paying buying direct from the farmers.

    I dropped out and the others did eventually also. It’s more work for me but I do much better, both in terms of produce and cost, by shopping around and buying direct. Just curious…does everyone else find it more expensive to buy via CSA and is there less variety? Or is it just here?

    I could only find one photo of one of our CSA boxes and it wasn’t much to look at. It did contain about 6 green bell peppers! Funny how so many people really dislike them. It’s kind of like cilantro, people either love them or hate them, not much middle ground. As a Southerner, I can’t imagine cooking without them and they’re an integral part of the Cajun/Creole trinity. And I love them in a Greek salad. But so far I seem to be the lone dissenter.

    Very jealous of your raspberries and already missing my SC peaches after our summer holiday. The single best peach I ever ate was bought from a street vendor outside the Forum in Rome. So good I bought two more and ate them right there on the street. Thought I deserved a treat after braving the crowds at the Colosseum.

  • Susan

    Angry about green bell peppers? Angry, Michael? Whatever. I like them. They lend a subtle bitter sweetness when cooked with meats or sauted with onions and added as a condiment to grilled link burgers or sausages. Where would ceviche be without them? Sloppy Joes wouldn’t be the same, either. Or chili. There is nothing insipid about them, the flavor of foods cooked with them is quite different if they are left out. I just to get how they inspire anger! Anger?

    • Susan

      Sorry about the poor wording..your passion about your dislike of peppers raised mine to defend them! Corrections include: …link sausages (not link burgers!) and I “don’t get” how they inspired anger.

      • Mantonat

        I’m not as passionately hateful about bell peppers as Michael; I think they are a fine addition to a “trinity” when cooking gumbo or other southern stewy things. Cooked down long enough, they blend into the stew without making themselves known. But where they are at their absolute worst is in chili. A good bowl of Texas-style chili is one of the best things in life (I grew up there), but bell peppers belong there about as much as a whore in the church choir. For ceviche, spicy peppers are my preference – jalepenos, serranos, poblanos, habaneros.

  • twoshoes

    I’ll get a pic of some az CSA when I make it to a westside farmer’s market. summer is still going strong here and there is no hint that fall may just be lurking around the corner. somewhere.

    I also loathe green peppers. never buy them never use them won’t eat them.

  • JB in San Diego

    I’ll send a photo of my haul from San Diego next Tuesday if you are still collecting them. Last week we got red bell peppers, massive baseball-bat zucchini, beautiful bright yellow crook-neck squash with pale green tops, tomatoes, purple beans (which turn green when you cook them!), and strawberries, among some greens and a few other things.

    I have to say I do not even begin to understand the hate for green peppers and zucchini. Chill a green pepper in the fridge, cut it into functionally-sized slices and use it to lift some cream cheese dip into your mouth. Or cook some creole food, you can’t do that without green peppers – they add body to the recipe. Stuffing with sausage is good, but that recipe would be better, naturally, with red & yellow peppers. And for zucchini haters you can always make bread, but the kids *loved* the julienned zucchini and carrot “salad” that you posted the other day, Michael, so thanks for that.

  • Kristine

    I have a boat load of Hungarian wax and cubanos. Any suggestions on how to use them? Making a pepper sauce with some. Pickled some more (thank you Michael Symon), but still have leftovers.

  • Tricia in Florida

    Our CSA season starts in October and I can’t wait for my boxes to arrive again. Every two weeks I feel like I am opening a Christmas present. Like you, we get tons of tomatos (much better than any you get at the supermarket) and arugula or some other greens every week. The little extras (like your berries) are what I live for. I love it when they add big bunches of basil or cilantro. And, the occassional odd vegetable shows up. One year I got tons of kohlrabi for some reason, which I haven’t developed a taste for yet. And, what am I supposed to do with the radishes I get every year? These rate well below your bell peppers on my most-hated scale.

  • Heather

    We joined not one, but two CSAs this year! One for veggies and another for fruit. And planted our EarthBoxes too. I’ll be sure to send photos after our Saturday veggie pickup.

    Your disdain for green peppers sounds like my groveling about greens, especially lettuce. Do I look like a rabbit??

  • Stephen Bolech

    Our CSA is currently on a break here in central Texas. Starts back up in October. I guess 3 weeks of 100+ days is not conducive to harvesting.

    I mostly feel the same way about green bell peppers, except for the one food that I think requires them (and also happens to be my favorite thing to eat in the world): fajitas.

  • DianeF

    I received a similar haul, Michael. Plus cucumbers, onions and garlic. I give my green peppers to a friend who likes them. I also don’t get what people like about them.

    What was the best was that “the farmer” (as I call him) told me to come back Saturday morning for as many tomatoes as I could pick. So I picked about 10 lbs, and made tomato marmalade over the weekend. YUM!!!!

  • Dave_C

    Thank you for posting and enlightening us (me) on CSA’s.

    I’ve been reading your blog sporadically. Silly me! When you mentioned CSA, I thought it was Cub Scouts of America and they were doing some type of fundraising selling garden stuff.

    Doing more research, Community Supported Agriculture sounds like a good thing that I may take up next year. :-)

  • Andrew

    My thoughts exactly when I see the winter squash. I’m like, “NO! It can’t be! Summer cannot leave yet!”. My farmers market even had apples in early August… sheesh…

  • Zack

    You used to have Donna’s “how I made this photo” integrated with your RSS feed; it went away and I couldn’t find it again with a site redesign, and I would love to resubscribe to it. This photo is beautiful, and I’d love to see how she did it! Thanks.

  • Linda

    A salad of fire roasted green peppers (peeled, core removed and flesh torn to strips) with a garlicky vinaigrette and chopped parsley – wonderful!

  • Mantonat

    My CSA this year is my own back yard in Denver. I did a starter garden last year and then tripled the size this year (to about 140 sq. ft.) so I could have some actual yield. Right now, it’s crookneck squash, tomatoes, eggplant, herbs, corn, and New Mexico green chiles. I am harvesting more per week than my wife and I can eat. Also a handful of green beans that I put in late because someone gave me a few seeds. I’ll definitely do a few more of those next year. Can I send you pics even if it’s not an official CSA?

    Coming soon: acorn and butternut squash, serrano peppers, brussels sprouts.

    • ruhlman

      yes, wld love to see what’s growing well in denver now. i heard tomatoes there were terrible this year.

      • Jess

        Oh no, the tomatoes are fabulous this year! We got a decent amount of rain in early summer, and then it got hot pretty quickly after that and has stayed hot. Last year was miserable; it never really got hot enough for the tomatoes or hot peppers.

        We’re up to our ears in Sun Golds, and have already made a full batch of roasted Roma sauce, not to mention the steady diet of BLTs. The poblanos, anaheims, and jalapenos have been good, and we’re likely to actually get habeneros this year!

  • JerryBloomfield

    It’s off topic but I didn’t think Twitter would allow for much of a response. Ruhlman, what do you think about the current debate over whether free-range eggs are healthier then conventional grocery store eggs?
    I suppose it is kind of like whether organic bananas are healthier then non-organic. Whether they or not, they sure taste better and I cannot see how putting less chemicals in your body isn’t healthier.

  • Bill

    Like Mantonat my CSA is also my garden (Minnesota). Had a CSA the two previous summers. This year, however, I resurrected the large garden in the house we purchased last fall. It was fallow and untended for the last four years but still had some well established asparagus, currants, rhubarb, mint, horseradish and chives (the last three are impossible to kill). We planted several things including green peppers. I am no doctor, but anger combined with all that pig fat in not healthy.

    I will send pictures of what is still growing, which is mostly tomatoes, pumpkins and lemon cucumbers.

  • Andrew

    According to the peach lady here in Columbus, OH, next week is the last for peaches. Shame, since they are so luscious (I guess if we had them year round we wouldn’t appreciate them as much). It does make me made as hell when I see “peaches” in supermarkets in january. Can’t beleive people buy that garbage.

  • arugulove

    Your CSA bounty looks incredible! I dropped mine in favor of my neighborhood farmers market, but I do miss the fun of the surprise every week.

    Green bell peppers – I’m not a fan either. I never buy them, but if I had them, I’d use them in a salsa. My favorite recipe is to broil a bunch of tomatillos, an onion, some garlic cloves, and whatever peppers I have on hand. Once everything is charred, whiz in a food processor with lots of cilantro, salt, and lime juice. Throw in an avocado if you have one. So good, and I bet the mild green bell peppers would give it a nice flavor.

  • Kate B

    I’m sorry you feel such disdain for the lowly green pepper. If you’d ever seen your 2.5 year old look into the CSA box, pull out a green pepper rather than any the fruit, and eat the entire thing like an apple, you might feel differently.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/uberfrau/4462721915/

    (Produce supplied by spud.com)

  • Lissa

    Just a note about trinity. I have so many friends that dislike green bell peppers(and I just find them very meh) that I substitute poblano and everyone thanks me profusely for it, even in nearly spiceless washington. And I really have found that anything that a pell pepper can do, a poblano can do better. Usually a lot better.

  • Carol M

    A poblano is a great choice. Still, it will never turn into a red bell pepper. Do you put the peppers into the fridge right away or do you let them sit and room temperature to turn red? I wonder if a paper bag might turn them for you. I usually wait until there is a blush of color to pick bells because if I leave them on the plant, the grasshoppers will eat the red ones.
    Conventional peppers are a high pesticide use crop, so any pepper that is grown without chemicals deserves your respect. It is a thing of beauty.

  • Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie)

    I agree on the green pepper. Never bring out my creativity. I have no CSA but rather buying from the Hutterites and U-Pick markets. Or just friends gardens! Now I have carrots, beets, onions, brocolli, jalapeno peppers, sour cherries and still some strawberries in my own garden. Anxiously waiting for roma tomatoes.

  • Chad

    Our CSA for the week in MN – basil, cantaloupe, carrots, cucumbers, garlic, hot peppers and bell peppers, leeks, tomatoes, watermelon, zuchini. We also have weekly options on honey and maple syrup throughout the season. No time for pic – sorry

  • Chad

    …and the price of sweet corn is coming down as the year ends. Got it for $3/ bakers dozen wednesday night at a roadside stand – just about done for the year though

  • Richard

    Although I’m not a big fan of green bell peppers either, they are a staple in many creole and cajun dishes (gumbo and jambalaya, anyone?). You can always pickle them, and they are great in chow chow. I’m not in a CSA, because for the two of us, it’s way too much food, and too expensive. Instead, I’ll hit the farmer’s market this weekend. Even though it’s wicked hot down here now, we’re still getting lots of stuff. Things include okra, basil, sorrel, eggplant, parsley, melons, cucumber-melons, and more tomatoes and peppers than you can shake a stick at.

  • Kathleen

    The pepper casserole in the first Moosewood- use the Hungarians, cubanelos, banana. etc.

  • Christine Wolfe

    Oh Michael, I love you for your worldview via acorn squash! But you are wrong about green peppers. And enough people here have already explained why. :-)

  • Sam

    I am a member of a year-round CSA in michigan (I believe the only year-round in the state!) made possible by unheated hoop-houses. Even in winter we get fresh farm veggies. This week’s share included carrots, beans, 8 ears of corn, swiss chard, red peppers, jalapenos, ancho chiles, eggplant, summer squash, edamame, watermelon, basil, and several types of tomatoes. I also paid extra for eggs from their chicken flock and honey from the hives. Didn’t get a photo of it all, though…

  • jdw

    I’m so jealous of all of these wonderful hauls. My garden is so depressing this year. I’ve gotten a handful of cherry tomatoes and a few sauce tomatoes, but nary a ripe San Marzano or slicer in sight — and it’s almost September! My peppers didn’t set a single fruit this year. *sigh*

    On the bright side, I’ve gotten enough pickling cukes from a single plant to make three quarts of fermented kosher dills. And somehow, defying all gardening sense, one of my eggplants has set several fruit, and I suspect I will end up with four or five decent fruits by the time they stop.

    No CSA at my house, but I suspect they’re in similar places as my own garden. A few CSA farmers have seen my meager garden, and said it is, in fact, growing better than theirs are this year. I expect cabbages are doing exceptionally well here in the northwest, though!

  • Brad McNeal

    The local Phoenix CSA costs $315 for fullshare or $265 for “Economy share. Seems a little steep for 10weeks. I am single and I don’t currently spend $27 a week on fruits/veg. Am I off base?

  • Abbe

    I’ve got a photo of our weekly haul up at:
    http://outoftheboxfood.blogspot.com/2010/08/market-analysis-week-11.html

    (It’s also the 11th week in a running experiment I’ve been doing, how much would this week’s box have cost if I’d bought exactly that at the farmer’s market. After 11 weeks we’re now nearly $60 ahead for the season!)

    This is a farmshare from Brookfield Farm CSA – they’re in Amherst, MA, and we’re in the Boston area in Somerville, MA. We have a full box – they only offer the one size, though in the past we’ve split it with friends.

  • Cissa

    My CSA (central MA) has green peppers, but they are actually pretty sweet and tasty. I do like to stuff them, but they are not the bitter messes that the supermarkets sell.

    Personally, I regret that ours does not give us enough zucchini et al. I LOVE them stuffed! And I also like to shred them, salt them and let them divest themselves of extra moisture, and then fry them with onion like hash-brown potatoes. Yum.

    Our subscription is about $25/week, and this year we are getting our money’s worth, though the past few years were dubious (and only 1 of these seasons was due to bad weather).

  • Kimber

    I never knew Ohio produced such tasty peaches. I bought some from Bergmans Fruit stand/orchard out in Catawba, Ohio a few weeks back.
    Think the best sweet corn I’ve had from any state is from Foote’s on Canal Rd.,in Valley View,OH. Having something ordinary as a green bell pepper in the mix only makes you appreciate all the other extra ordinary ones……

  • Jenna

    In Wyoming the garden is well! The tomatoes and celery are doing great. The grasshoppers were HORRID this year so bye bye beans peas and broccoli, but they don’t seem to care for tomatoes or pepper. I have one base ball size cantaloupe on a cantaloupe plant…. we’ll see.

    I have Millie the milk cow and the milk goats Lady and Luna — plenty of milk (around 3.5 gal a day) and the chickens have plenty of eggs. I have a hard time eating grocery store eggs now I have to say, home raised eggs yolks are so orange that when I see a pale yellow yolk, I feel ill.

    I am visiting Olympia, WA where the Farmer’s Market is amazing and eating a ton of peaches. I don’t know how compare to Ohio peaches, but here they have the white peaches that are my very favorite. Market starts tomorrow so I am very excited!

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