Wednesday, May 22, 2013

CSA May 15

4 heads lettuce (1 red leaf, 1 green leaf, 2 romaine)
2 heads bok choy
4 quarts strawberries
1 bunch onions
2 bunches Swiss chard
half dozen eggs


First thing I made was the White Bean Sausage and Swiss Chard Soup .

This picture is a shot of the soup in progress - when it was done I was too busy slurping it down to stop and take a picture. Suffice it to say, it was awesome.  This is the link:  
(I hope - let me know if it doesn't take you there...)

Four heads of lettuce is a lot of lettuce and I was panicking a little bit wondering what I was going to do with it all before it went bad. So I took a chance: 
  • I trimmed the ends off all the heads
  • submerged them in a sink full of cold water 
  • cleaned out my veggie drawer
  • lined the bottom with a dish towel
  • shook the water out of the leaved and laid them in the drawer
  • put another dish towel over top
My plan was to make some sort of Asian type lettuce wrap dinner for Sunday night's family dinner.  That way I could also use the bok choy.

This was the yummy result.  Boneless, skinless chicken thighs marinated in Thai peanut sauce, grilled then sliced into strips. I stir fried the bok choy, snow peas, bean sprouts, shredded carrots with a little Wegmans Stir Fry Sauce.  Steamed some rice and set the table with sesame seeds, soy sauce and Sirachi Sauce for condiments!

Everybody loved it!

And again, I've had no trouble using up all those strawberries!

Nothing a little Chardonnay can't handle!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

CSA - May 8

This week we got another 5 pounds of asparagus, 4 quarts of the most amazing strawberries, 2 cucumbers and a half dozen eggs along with a gift card to a restaurant in Richmond that uses Snead's vegetables.

I cleaned up the strawberries and Gracie and I pretty much had them eaten within 24 hours. I did share a sandwich bagful of berries with Anne Marie - surprising her by putting them in her car while she was working.  

I later gave her an extra large handful of asparagus and another equally large handful to one of my other daughters, Adrienne.  We ate the eggs, scrambled, in breakfast burritos for Mothers' Day, and we'll have the cucumbers in a salad with grilled salmon for dinner, also for Mothers' Day.

Now we need to plan a trip to Richmond to use our gift card - as well as the one we got last year... Time for a veggie feast!

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) - May 1

Last year I bit the $$ bullet and bought a share in Snead's Farm CSA program and was NOT disappointed! Although the initial investment was a little jarring, as the summer progressed we looked forward every week to our goodie basket(s).  I really wanted to share our CSA cooking adventures, (experiences we likened to the cooking show 'Chopped'!) but I didn't know anyone else who had signed up and could share their adventures with me.

That is the original purpose of my blog.  Secondary was my quilting adventures. I'm sure you can see the quilting has taken priority, but only because the CSA occurs during the summer months. Tertiary purpose of my blog is to share other life events and reflections - which you can take with 
a Grain of Salt.

On May 1, 2013, this was our share:

2 bunches Swiss chard, 5 pounds asparagus, 2 bunches spring onions, 5 pounds sweet potatoes, 2 bunches radishes and a dozen eggs

I remember last year I wasn't sure what to do with the onions and I think they went bad pretty quickly, so that night I cleaned them up, halved the bigger ones, and Mike grilled them along with a large handful of asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper to accompany our boneless pork chops.

The next night I julienned the radishes, which were yummy - just a little heat and really crisp. I tossed them with some shredded carrots (that I usually have on hand to throw in salads/stir fries/soups) and a dash of Italian dressing to make a 'slaw'.

I sauteed one of the bunches of Swiss chard with some chopped garlic and a little olive oil. Mike grilled another handful of asparagus along with a steak, and we have dinner number two!

The last bunch of Swiss chard I used to make the Swiss Chard Sausage Lasagna, a recipe that was in the newspaper last year.  EXCEPT I couldn't find it! So I had to go on memory (ha!) and punt. It turned out fine - it is pretty hard to mess up a lasagna.  I didn't get a picture of it, but trust me, it was great.  My household size is dwindling, so there was still half left which I froze for another day.  The eggs were eaten at breakfast over the weekend. The sweet potatoes have a longer shelf life, so I'm not worried about getting them used up.  I did mash about a third of them with butter/salt/pepper as a side with a roasted chicken and steamed the rest of the asparagus.  I gifted a third of the sweet potatoes and a large handful of asparagus to my daughter Anne Marie.

I'd love to know what you do with any of these veggies - especially Swiss chard and asparagus. Please post!!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Quilting Queue for April

The sewing machine gathered a bit of dust in April. Nique's move to CT (see last post) wiped me out emotionally and I was powerless to choose fabric, follow a pattern, thread a needle. I spoke to my mom, who is my biggest champion and creative mentor (Happy Mothers' Day Mom!!!) about my total lack of creative energy and she advised to not even try to make anything. She says when she gets this dry, anything she does (she is a painter) she is unhappy and frustrated with.  It's not worth 'working through it' if you're going to end up throwing it out.  So with less guilt, I tabled all the projects queued up for April.

The only thing I did at my table was a little sketching. And I mean A LITTLE.  My mom and my twin daughters, Anne Marie and Dominique are my gifted sketchers.  But I had two projects that do NOT have a pattern and I needed to design something. One of which was due at the April 21 FXBMQG meeting - I had to make a name tag.  So true to my typical style, the night before the meeting I took my sketches and went through my scrap pile and came up with this: 

The inspiration for my name tag is the name of my blog - a Grain of Salt.  I also HAD to include Polly, my cat, somehow as she is such a big help, sitting on my fabric so it doesn't blow away. I used leftover wool from the Sue Spargo Birdies to make Polly.  I used the Cuzco fabrics that I'm using on the Lucky Stars BOM on the rest of the name tag, I love these happy prints!

Look! You can even see the 'grains of salt'!

I put grommets in the corners and added a chain and voila!


That is it for April. Seriously.