CSAs 8 and 9

All photos all the time. Yeah!

CSA # 8 consisted of Beets, Pears, Bok Choy, Arugula, Lettuce, Bell Peppers, Green Beans, Leeks, Rosemary, Lemon Grass, Squash, Tomatoes, Chilies and Garlic.

The arugula was especially amazing.  I will follow up on what I did with the pears in my next post.

CSA #9 contained Celeriac, Chiles, Lettuce, something similar to Bok Choy that we will pretend is Bok Choy, Kale, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Leeks, Apple Cider and Apples.

Celeriac and Apples pair nicely.  I made a nice Veg stock with the Celeriac greens, a few Leeks, the Carrot tops and a few Carrots, fresh bay and the Broccoli stems.


The Words with Friends Gods have smiled upon me

Ha ha!  Take that husband(s)!

Also this,

Poke are you paying attention?
Easy recipe.

Potato Leek Corn Chowder
4 mid sized potatoes
2 mid sized leeks
2 ears of corn worth of kernels
1 carrot
7-8 cups water
1 t celery seeds
2 t salt
1 t pepper
1 t thyme (dried)
cheddar cheese (optional)

Dice your potatoes, carrots and leeks.  In a large pot, saute leeks, and carrots for 1-2 min on med heat.  Add potatoes, thyme and celery seeds, saute 5 more minutes.  Add water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 10-15 min.  Check potatoes for doneness.  Add corn, simmer 5 more min.  Little bit by little bit blend in a blender.  If you do too much at a time, the lid will pop off your blender and food will fly everywhere.  Not awesome.  Serve with a bit of cracked pepper, cheddar cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.



Jam you!!!!!

The Kraken Plum

Peach Bourbon

Ma Doudou Pear

Grape Clove

Raspberry Blackberry

Here is a reminder of what we started with.
Too much fruit, as you may recall.

The thing with canning is that it used to be an all day party time event.  Women would all get together, bring a bunch of harvested fruit and can away til the wee hours.  Or they would spend 10 years birthing 6 or 7 female children and then use them as child labor (I think that may have been my mom's plan for a while).  Both ways are super fun.  Party with your friends...or party with your kids.  Or party with both while the menfolk are out killing things.  Anyhow, this bounty up top, too much for two people to do on a Friday eve.

Canning can be done in small batches, which is what my next two canning adventures were.

Eight pints of berries made about five 8oz jars of jam.

Some canning points:
Canning preserves food two ways.  Creating a vacuum seal that keeps airborne pathogens out.  Creating a state of acidity that keeps bacteria from growing.

Sugar in jams is used mostly for body.  A lot of the recipes you find in books have tons of sugar in them because we have a terrible sweet tooth in this country.  Hence Adult Onset Diabetes changing it's name to Type II Diabetes (no longer just for adults!).  That said, you can usually cut the sugar in a recipe to taste.  Just note that you may end up with a soupier jam.

One thing you cannot adjust in a recipe is acid.  Some fruits are very low acid.  Therefore acid needs to be added to them. Lemon or lime juice is the easiest way to do this.  It doesn't really affect flavor, so don't freak out.  If you want it to affect the flavor, you may want to add some zest to your batch.

Pectin is naturally occurring in fruits.  It is usually most concentrated near the skin and in just ripe fruit.  Pectin levels drop as fruit peaks and becomes overripe.  I did not have any luck with adding pectin to my jelly.  You don't need to add pectin to jams.  You almost always need to add pectin to achieve a jelly state.

My third batch of jam was pears.  They were underripe and created more of a conserve than a jam.  I added a little banana vanilla rum to them.  Delicious.

The pears made around three 16oz jars and eight 8 oz jars.


How do you make Veggie stock?

Oh!  Here's how.

Cut your veggies and put them in a stockpot.

Sautee for a few minutes with some olive oil.  You don't need to chop your veggies very finely, because they are going to boil for........................................................ever.

Add 5 quarts of water.

Add some peppercorns (about 1/4t), a couple bay leaves and a little soy sauce.  Soy sauce is totes optional.  Actually all of it is totes optional.  That is why it is so awesome and easy.

Bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn down and simmer for about an hour or two or three.  I usually do two hours.  I feel like it gives you more flavor.

After a few hours, it will look like this:
Taste and add salt if need be.  Then transfer to a cheesecloth, nut milk bag or mesh sieve.  I use a nut milk bag.
I like to squeeze all the extra juice out of my veggies.  I feel like it adds to the end product.  You don't have to do this.  You can just strain it and be done.

When you are done straining or squeezing the life out of your veggies... compost that shit.

Refrigerate or freeze the broth.  Will last for a week or two in the fridge and a month to 3 months in the freezer.


My stock was a simple mirepoix, but you don't have to limit yourself to the holy trinity.   You can put almost any veggies you have in your stock.  If you are nervous you have veggies that are about to go bad stock is a great way to use them.  Broccoli stems, Carrot greens, tomatoes...use them in the stock!

Also, like jam, stock is really easy to do in small batches.  Perfect for getting rid of extra food stuffs.

New York

New York
I came home to you!