Pluots and lemon cucumbers ~ Week of August 11th

Another nice summery box, with pears thrown in, which totally make me think of fall. It has been a tremendously busy week so far, but having a menu plan really does help. Having homemade hot pockets tucked away in my freezer was awfully helpful, too. And having the easiest, best cauliflower recipe in the world on hand doesn’t hurt either – I made it twice in three days!

Here’s what came in my box this week:
Watermelon (1 small)
Pluots (1 lb)
Mixed summer squash (1 lb)
Cauliflower (1)
Mixed heirloom tomatoes (1 lb)
Slicing tomatoes (1 lb)
Mixed cherry tomatoes (1 basket)
Mixed cucumbers (1.5 lb)
Basil (1 bunch)

I think I got extra pluots and cucumbers. I am guessing the pluots were to substitute for the sweet peppers other people got (I love that FFTY has a veto list!) and the cucumbers were to make up for the cucumber missing from my box last week.

Plums and corn ~ Week of July 14th

Happy Bastille Day! Let’s celebrate victory over tyranny with some fresh produce!

I don’t mean to be off the cuff about it. Tyranny is still being felt all over the world in so many forms, including right now in France with the racist political maneuvering of the burqa ban.

But I have such a special place in my heart for Bastille Day. I attended a bilingual and bicultural French- American school growing up, and I experienced my first French Bastille Day in Paris at the age of seven. I mostly ignored the most recent 4th of July while at home working on my grad school application, listening to the faint booms echoing from way out over the water. But today I wanted to hear La Marseillaise. It must be a childhood thing – it just makes me so happy. Or maybe it’s that my French is bad enough now that I just hear the stirring music and don’t have to think about things like “May an impure blood water our furrows!”

At any rate, my Bastille Day box was gorgeous, with one notable exception. Truly beautiful corn and plums – perfect for any independence day celebration, whether here or abroad. Pre-vegan days I would have made clafoutis with the plums, kicking off a summer’s worth of stone-fruit clafoutis. Doing a quick Food Blog Search for “vegan clafouti” I found several interesting recipes using silken tofu or chia seeds, so I may have to give them both a shot. It just isn’t summer without clafoutis.

The one major disappointment in my box this week was the bag of green grapes. They were mushy and tasted of mold, throughout the entire bag. I had to toss the whole bunch straight into the compost. What a shame! I’ve enjoyed so many fresh grapes lately (plus I’m not partial to green grapes in general) so this bunch was going to go into the freezer  for a most delicious, decadent summer dessert/snack. Ah well, I will take the advice of the French (Marchons! Marchons!) and move on from the disappointing grapes to the yummilicious rest of my box. For instance, I tried one of my tomatoes today. I didn’t have high hopes for it because it was a pallid, unassuming little fellow. But the flavor it packed took me back to my childhood, to the time when tomatoes were treasures and their taste exploded with summer.

Yellow peaches (1.5 lb)
Green grapes (1.5 lb)
Santa Rosa plums (1 lb)
Red beets (4, with greens)
Nantes carrots (1 bunch)
Tomatoes (2 lbs)
White corn (4 ears)
Butter lettuce (1 huge head)
Cucumber (1 lb)
Purple basil (1 bunch)
Yellow onions (1 bunch)

Red grapes and green beans ~ Week of June 30th

It has been a crazy, crazy month. Super busy, mostly eating out and Amy’s and grabbing little bites here and there. No menu planning, no trips to the store, a week out of town… But then this morning I rushed out the door only to discover my CSA box sitting on the stoop. I’d forgotten about it completely, so finding it there was like getting a magical visit from the Food Fairy. Suddenly there was fruit, there were vegetables. There was food again in my house!

The first thing I made was an Epic Salad. That’s a salad that starts out as, “Hmm… nice lettuce in my box today, maybe I’ll make a salad,” and ends up with more and more wonderful ingredients tossed in. This one ended up as leaf lettuce, tempeh bacon, spiced pecans, grated carrots, avocado, and red grapes. It was truly epic!

In this week’s box:
Red Flame grapes (1 lb)
Seasonal melon (looks watermelon-like from the outside) (1)
Yellow peaches (1 lb)
Red chard (1 bunch) (was supposed to be corn but they ran out)
Zucchini (1.5 lb)
Nantes carrots (1 bunch)
Heirloom tomatoes (1 lb)
Hass avocados (3) (instead of Gypsy peppers, which I hate)
Leaf lettuce (1 gigantic bunch)
Green beans (1 lb) (these were already rotting when I opened my box up the afternoon of the morning it arrived, which was a real bummer!)
Basil (1 bunch)

Tomatoes and blueberries ~ Week of June 16th

Contents of Farm Fresh To You CSA box
Tomatoes are actually a seasonal item for me now, at least when it comes to cooking at home. I don’t know exactly when that happened, but the transformation is now complete. When I was a kid, I loved tomatoes so much I ate them like apples. (My best friend did, too, which was one of the wacky things we bonded over when we met in high school.) I don’t remember there ever not being tomatoes in the house. But I also remember them tasting waaaay better. Did tomatoes used to taste better? Like, 20 years ago? (Oh man, I’m old.)

So add together the realization that tomatoes are no longer the love-apples of my youth with the fact that they are a hella seasonal vegetable (yeah, fruit, whatever) and you get me, kicking the tomato habit. It’s frustrating because a LOT of cookbooks have recipes that call for winter or spring veggies but still want fresh tomatoes. What’s up with that? I just use canned tomatoes now, for that. Although some online grocery delivery service I was checking out cheerfully told me that the Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes had traveled 2240 miles to their warehouse. Yikes.

Anyways, today was the first box with tomatoes! I’ve always celebrated in the past with copious amounts of fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil, and olive oil, but this time around I’ll be foregoing the mozzarella. (Why does everyone love Daiya so much, and can I borrow your taste buds, please? Just long enough to eat one deep dish pizza?)

I made summer squash and onion pancakes from a new cookbook I’m checking out, The 30-Minute Vegan by Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray. They seemed like they were going to be a little dry, so I used some of my wondrous tomatoes to make tomato relish, and the combination was perfection.

This box was very fruit heavy and all the fruit was good. The day my box arrived I made fruit salad with some of the melon, blueberries, strawberries, nectarines, and plums and took it with us when we went to the waterpark (whee! summer!) and all the fruit was just fantastic, perfectly ripe. Then there were other plums and nectarines that weren’t quite ripe yet, ready to eat over the next few days. Well done, FFTY!

Here’s what was in my box this week:
Honeydew melon
Butter lettuce
Nantes carrots
Summer squash

Blueberries and beets ~ Week of June 2nd

This week was an extra jam-packed box o’ delights because Farm Fresh To You replaced the two items that had been left out of my previous box. There is so much stuff I really love to cook in this box! Cauliflower, beets, bok choy, broccoli, potatoes – it’s pretty much a total winner. The two heads of lettuce (one makes up for last time) are even welcome, rather than overwhelming, thanks to the delicious jar of Vegan Express vinaigrette I have in the fridge, ready to top any and all salad fixings.

This week’s box contained:
Honeydew melon
2 bunched of beets (1 from this week’s box, 1 replacement)
Butter lettuce
Red leaf lettuce
Baby broccoli
Klamath Pearl potatoes
Yellow peaches
Baby bok choy

Much of the box has already been spoken for on my most recent menu, thanks to the ability to look ahead at what will be arriving from the farm. Now I’ll start fantasizing about what to do with the rest!

White Corn and Baby Bok Choy ~ Week of May 19th

Fruits and veggies from this week's CSA box

Not much to say about this week’s box. It came, it was full of deliciousness! There was one strange thing, though. I usually use the FFTY newsletter to write out the box contents for these posts. But this time when I happened to compare the contents list of a “Regular” FFTY box (which is what I get) on the newsletter to the photo that I took of my box contents, two items were missing: red beets and red leaf lettuce. There was nothing extra or similar in my box that might have been substituted, just two fewer items than there were listed on the newsletter. Very odd! I wrote to them today, and I’ll see what they say. EDIT: I heard back from FFTY the first business day after I wrote to them and they told me they’ll let the packing house know to make it up to me in my next box. All’s well that ends well!

Giant onion, tiny cabbage

Fun with perspective! Is it a tiny, tiny cabbage? Or a giant, giant onion? (It's both!)

The corn was so yummy-looking that I cooked it up right away in one of my favorite dishes, How to Eat Supper‘s Edamame, Corn, and Tofu Succotash. There were a couple of corn worms in with those gorgeous plump kernels, but that seems to be par for the course with organic CSA corn. They were gently removed to a new life in the compost bucket. I didn’t have any smoked tofu, so I made my own, adapting the V’Con recipe for basic broiled tofu and adding a little liquid smoke.

In this week’s box:

Valencia oranges (2)
Grapefruit (1)
Hass avocado (1)
Strawberries (1 lb)
Yellow peaches (2)
Broccoli (1 bunch)
Baby bok choy (1 lb)
Green cabbage (1)
White corn (3)
Nantes carrots (1 bunch)
Celery (1)
Yellow onions (1 lb)

Avocados and Iceberg ~ Week of May 5th

Sorry for the long radio silence, friends. I was really enjoying getting into a rhythm with fellow bloggers and with menu planning! But last week was glorious, glorious vacation from everything! Unfortunately the one thing that doesn’t feel rested and renewed is my wrists – I have sporadic yet persistent RSIs from an old job. So this is going to be a short post (because I really shouldn’t be typing at all – bad girl!) but I want to at least keep my box contents up to date!
Farm Fresh To You CSA Box Contents

So this week’s box (err… in the sense where “this week” means “two weeks ago”) was a lovely treasure-trove of spring goodies. Some really simple things, but all of them gorgeous and of the highest quality!

In my box:
Avocados (2)
Baby broccoli (1 bunch)
Strawberries (1 basket)
Celery (1 bunch)
Zucchini (4 hearty ones)
Carrots (1 bunch)
Iceberg lettuce (1 head)
New potatoes (a bagful)
Grapefruit (2)
Navel oranges (2)
Radishes (1 bunch)
Chard (a giant bunch – this was in replacement for the fava beans that came in most boxes, as I have requested “NO favas!”)