Yesterday was 92 degrees.  This morning was low sixties, with that wonderful slate sky that descends in fall and the chill wakes me up and makes me want to cook.  There’s still corn the farmers market, fat kerneled and juicy, still very sweet, still aching to be baked.  The green beans are getting big and tough and can be roasted (hot oven, chilli flakes, cumin, smashed garlic, 20 minutes).   The chillis are vivid and the jalapeno plant that Donna planted in the spring is loaded down with fat hot ones.  I got a jar of chilli’s pickling, more or less this recipe here out of this awesome book, only I’m going to let set out at room temp to get them fermenting a little before putting them in the fridge. I’ve got a best friend Read On »

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CSA week 16 is easily the heaviest bundle yet, with the apples, big tomatos, the (surprise!) bok choy, more nice green beans under all the lettuce.  Apples, fall is here.  Sweet potatoes, more fall.  I’m getting pretty goddam tired of those green peppers though.  Wish the dog would eat them.  I ordered eggs this week $2.50 extra, well worth it.  They’re a buck more at the farmers market.  And I just ate two of them, another Saturday morning favorite: egg sandwich, yolks intentionally broken, fried gently in butter, salt and pepper, topped with chopped bacon and slipped between two pieces of soft white bread fresh out of the plastic, one piece generously smeared with Hellmann’s.  Yes, Hellmann’s mayo.  I know I make a stink about making your own mayo and how easy it is.  But Read On »

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Week 15 from Geauga Family Farms.  I think they’re getting better—the lettuce is fresher, there’s less signs of travel in the soft vegetables. As I’ve pointed out before, just because you grow heirloom fruits and veg, doesn’t mean they’re good. You’ve got to be a good farmer or grower.  And just because you grow excellent fruits and veg, doesn’t mean they’re still excellent when they arrive on the table of the family that purchased the CSA.  Every part of the process matters. Fun CSA this week: I’m not a huge fan of cherry tomatoes—too much skin relative to the amount of flesh, and frankly, I don’t love them enough to blanch, shock, and peel them.  But last night, photographing a bacon and eggs pizza for the new book, I had some leftover dough and cheese, Read On »

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Cool surprise in today’s CSA.  Okra!  Something I almost never cook, and something that when I’ve had it, is cooked into slime. The key to cooking okra is to not cook it too much.  Saute it in a tablespoon of canola oil in a hot pan, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes if you want some heat, till tender but still crunchy. When I was working on Return To Cooking with Eric, he sauted them this way and served them on mahi mahi with a citrus vinaigrette. They’re delectable.  Truly, and so rarely do I eat them, they taste and feel like a delicacy when prepared this way. Or, cook okra the southern way, dipped in butter milk or egg, rolled in a corn-meal-mixture and fried.  That’s delicious, too.  Goes great with Carolina barbecue! Summer Read On »

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This is week 13 of my CSA from Geauga Family Farms (my iPhone, Donna was on the road).  Very happy (green peppers went into a steak and bell pepper stir fry).  Tomato garlic basil pasta for dinner tonight, along with a green bean, onion and corn salad with a creamy lemon peper vinaigrette.  The cubanos will be stuffed with sausage and cheese and grilled. The photos below show a nice cross-section of CSA’s from around the country, from Cape Cod to San Diago, thanks everyone.  It would be interesting to see fall CSA shares from southern states.  Hold your cursor over the photo for the name and location of the sender.  I was unable to add the name of the farm or the CSA or link to each one, but if you see yours here, Read On »

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