Oh yeah, you read that right.
Our farm share started up again–finallly! One of the best days of my year is the day that I can start picking up our produce box from Needle Lane Farms. This year has the added bonus of us being able to pick up our box at the Depot Town Farmer’s Market in Ypsi on Saturdays, which I love, being that I love a 1 minute drive or 10 minute walk from Depot Town. Love. It. Also, I appreciate local organizations giving local love to Ypsi.
So yeah, last Saturday was a banner day. Not only had we just come back from our trip to Alaska, but I was all geared up to make my own food and the arrival of the farm share was the culinary equivalent of choirs of angels heralding the dawn. Well, close anyway. I was prepared for the usual late spring suspects: the garlic scapes, the radishes, the lettuces, the rainbow colored Swiss chard. But once again, Needle Lane blew me away and introduced me to something I had never even considered being a possibility:
stinging nettles. Continue reading
Looking for something to do with the leeks from your farm share? Already tried the uber-delicious French leek gratin? Looking for something casual to eat alongside that BBQ beef sandwich? How about onion rings? Well I guess that’s leek rings. I tried them tonight (alongside a bbq beef sandwich), adapting a recipe from Alton Brown. Pretty good! Crunchy, light onion flavor, quite good. I forgot my camera at work though, so sorry…no pics just yet.
3 quarts peanut or canola oil
12 ounces leeks, cleaned and trimmed of outer leaves
1 1/2 cups milk or cream
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
2 tsp black pepper
Preheat the oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat to 375 degrees F.
Slice the leeks into 1/2-inch wide rings, separating the layers out a bit.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and the egg. In another medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, black pepper and 2 tsps salt. Divide the flour into 2 separate, shallow dishes and place the milk and egg mixture in a third.
Going 1 small handful at a time, dip the rings first into the first flour mixture, then into the milk and egg, and then into the second flour mixture. Working in batches, fry the rings for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove the rings to a cooling rack set inside a half sheet pan and allow to drain for 2 to 3 minutes; sprinkle with salt and serve.
I have a pumpkin.
I have named him Jack. Jack the Pumpkin King. This has everything to do with my obsession with the Nightmare Before Christmas and absolutely nothing to do with anything normal.
Jack and I met this afternoon. I had just hefted the box containing our second-to-last (how sad!) farm share goodies onto the counter, opened it up and began pulling out the lovely produce contained therein. A couple more leeks, some celery, some potatoes….and then he caught my eye. I tried to pretend like I didn’t notice at first but really, how could you not? He was the greatest looking guy in the room–er, box. That nice round body, that firm smooth skin, that orange glow…
There was a pumpkin in our farm share. Continue reading
Tonight, I made gratin de poireaux and steak aux champignons.
First, I love the word “champignon.” It is one of my all time favorite French words, along with “l’ananas,” “raplapla,” and “pamplemousse.” A champignon is a mushroom. The others are pineapple, wiped out, and grapefruit, respectively. I mean, come on. These words are fantastic. And the only thing better than a great dinner is a great dinner with a kick-ass name.
Take “gratin de poireaux.” It sounds so much fancier when you say it that way, rather than just “leek gratin.” And it’s more fun to eat, too, especially when you’ve got a nice, French-inspired tablecloth down, some pinot grigio and a buttery croissant. Oh and steak. Cooked in cream. Because we can.
For those of you who aren’t as taken with French things as I am (five years of French class in high school and college will do that to you), then just read the following words: bacon. onions. butter. potatoes. goat cheese. steak. mushrooms. cream. wine.
Now that I have your full attention, I will continue.
Once upon a midnight dreary Wednesday evening while I pondered weak and weary over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore after walking the dog 2 miles and he was still wanting more…Ah distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December cool Septembr and each separate dying ember stomach growl wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sough to borrow from my cookbooks surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore Dinner, for the rare and radiant maiden mealtime whom the angels name Lenore Dinner nameless here forevermore….
What? I have a lot of time on my hands this evening. Continue reading
I got a fantastic little kick out of my farm share this week: potatoes.
Sounds boring, I know, and to the average person, it probably is. After all, I’ve gotten potatoes from the farm share before. But these potatoes were purple. And while I knew they existed, I had never actually had one in my kitchen before. It was magical. There were just a few, snuggled in with the standard white skin ones we normally get. A few shining, purple nuggets just waiting to be savored. I cut them open and the inside was every bit as beautifully violet as the outside.
How freaking cool is that? Continue reading
It was another dreary, icky day and normally these days make me want to just curl up on the couch and order in a pizza and call it a day. But no, today I resolved to make meal I’ve been wanting to make for…well, about a week. But still, I had the ingredients, I had the recipes, I had the resolve to make my own dinner and not just fold myself into one of Anthony’s Gourmet Pizzas.
Now, I love Indian food. Love it. Indian and Thai food are two of my all time favorite cuisines. I just love the flavors and the spices. I’m lucky in that there are a host of good Indian restaurants in town (my favorites are Shalimar and Mahek), but I’ve always wanted to learn to make it myself.
Luckily, the internet is a wonderful thing. After all, it brought you and I together, didn’t it? It also brought me to the two wonderful people who made my dinner tonight possible. Continue reading
Do you know those nights where you’re not really sure what to make for dinner, so you just sort of throw together things you find in your fridge and cupboards? That’s pretty much where this meal came from. Next time I’ll make up a better story about how it was actually delivered to me on a silver platter by a band of angels singing the song that never ends, but alas, that’s never happened. Yet. Continue reading
…I like alliteration.
Anyway, it was a terribly rainy day today and Josh and I are both sick with the flu. We’ve been on the couch or in the bed pretty almost all day. Not exactly pleasant. But I knew what would perk us up—a giant heaping platter of our favorite home made chicken enchiladas with roasted tomatillo salsa. In fact, not only would it be delicious, but also not more work than I could handle being bogged down with a fever and all. Unfortunately, the tomatillos I’d gotten from the farm share had not lasted the week–a tragedy of epic proportions. However, we still had a good pound of farm share tomatoes left….compromise! I’d turn the roasted tomatillo salsa into roasted tomato salsa and hopefully this modest little offering would appease the Good Health gods.
The original recipe for this I got from none other than Tyler Florence, my favorite FoodTV chef, but as usual, I considered his recipe a guideline and went off and did my own thing, which is described below: Continue reading
Swiss chard, kale, tomatoes, potatoes, beets, lettuce, zucchini and yellow squash.
The zucchini and summer squash from this week’s share made their debut in my lunch for tomorrow: coconut beef
It’s farm share day! As mentioned before, every Tuesday we get a new delicious delivery of delectable delights (alliteration is fun!) and produce from Needle-Lane farms, delivered to one of my newest favorite specialty stores, Morgan and York.
This week’s box contains:
So this is the 4th week of our farm share deliveries. Josh and I decided last fall that this year, we wanted to partake in a CSA on the recommendation of some of Josh’s coworkers. Lucky for us, there are several farms in the area, and all over Michigan. In fact, there aren’t just produce CSAs, but meat ones too. However, this year, we stuck with just a produce CSA (after all, we don’t have a storage freezer, so there’s not a lot of room to store extra meat yet). We looked around and settled on Needle-Lane Farm in nearby Tipton, MI.