Saturday, May 28, 2016

Jumping back in!

I decided to take the plunge and jump start my cooking inspiration again this year by signing up for a CSA. I've been in a recipe and cooking rut and need the element of surprise that a CSA provides to jolt me into the realm of cooking for fun and trying new recipes again. This time I went with convenience. I didn't research all the CSA options out there--I went with a pick-up time and place that sounded easy. Because easy is a big part of keeping me happy these days.

Arbor Farms is hosting a CSA with Homer Farms, an Amish organic CSA. I drive there between 7:30 and 8:30 on a Saturday morning and there's a box waiting for me curbside. It took me 10 seconds to pick up my share this morning which is awesome!
I felt a little giddy opening it.
Beautiful! Not surprisingly the first box of the season is light. It's been a (lovely) cool spring and plants are a little behind schedule:
Two heads of lettuce, rhubarb, radishes, bok choi, lovage and oregano and a big bag of multi colored popcorn.

My kids are going to be thrilled about the popcorn because I told the two still-pretty-damn-picky-eaters that they have to try something from every box. No problem getting them to eat popcorn and thanks to this thingy they even make it for themselves which counts as cooking to them. (Not only are they picky, they are lazy as hell in the kitchen.)

So salad, strawberry rhubarb pie, a ground pork/bok choi stir fry (I'll try and post that when I make it because it is a good regular around here) and lots of popcorn is on the menu. Not anything that breaks me out of my recipe rut but I'll give myself a little pick me up by making good salad dressing to highlight the beautiful lettuce: yogurt, walnut oil, lemon juice, green garlic, chives, the oregano, salt and pepper whirled together with the immersion blender. It's simple but more interesting than my usual bottle of vinaigrette.

I already feel more excited and inspired about being in the kitchen which means the CSA idea is working. Welcome summer and the beautiful vegetables to come!


Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

I'm ever tempted by a CSA but never seem to take the plunge. We do have a nice farmer's market--I should push myself to walk over on Sunday mornings and try something new each week! In the meantime, would love your salad dressing proportions--I think I actually have all that stuff in my kitchen! Also: I remember Arbor Farms! Off of Stadium, with all the plants? I just googled and it's gotten a LOT bigger.

Kate said...

Proportions, eh? I have become so lazy lately that I just eyeball it and taste frequently. But that also explains why my salad dressings are sometimes terrific and sometimes lousy... so I'll try and measure a good batch and post it!

Yep, it's the same Arbor Farms that you remember--I'm glad they've survived with the influx of multiple whole foods stores to Ann Arbor. They just went through an expansion so hopefully that's a sign that they are doing ok!

Kate said...

Ok, so estimated proportions: 3/4 C plain whole milk yogurt, 1 t kosher salt, 1 t dijon mustard, 1/4 C toasted walnut oil, about 3 stems of green garlic or one regular garlic clove, juice of 1/2 a juicy lemon, black pepper, a few chopped chives and a few springs of fresh oregano. It was not the most amazing dressing ever, but did make for a pleasant salad w/lettuce, radishes, chickpeas and walnuts. Next time I'll probably try to remember to zest the lemon into the dressing before squeezing it to punch up that flavor.