Real Life CSA: week 8

This week a new pantry item, and some of my favorite colors of spring.

We are still loving the variety of foods we get with Penn’s Corner. Even the items we get regularly don’t seem like overkill, and we like stocking up on staples like the maple syrup, even if we don’t use it every day. 

Pretty excited about the apple butter – a Penn’s Corner value added item that we haven’t had yet. I’m only slightly nervous about it because one of the ingredients is allspice, and I usually shy away from anything seasoned with allspice because of my nightmare dental surgery/cloves experience that has permanently given me a gag reflex for that taste. But I’m brave when it comes to food, and we’ve so much enjoyed all of their products so far that I’m going to give it a whirl. At least Mark will enjoy it!

Tonight Mark is roasting a chicken with rhubarb for dinner, which is a new recipe. Follow me on Instagram to see how it turns out. I think we’ll have enough rhubarb that I should probably bake something else with it. Speaking of rhubarb, the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange is hosting an event called the Rhubarb Social at Marty’s Market in the Strip on June 14, with Marisa McClellan, who writes the Food in Jars blog and has a new canning cookbook out. We’re going, and you should too! More details here.

Lettuce is our weekly salad base, and this red butterhead lettuce is particularly lovely. A friend asked recently how we store our lettuce, especially when you’re overcome with salad greens in a CSA. We combine the pre-cut lettuce and the heads of lettuce that we cut up and store it in ziploc bags in the fridge with a dry paper towel in the bag to absorb the moisture. It actually keeps the lettuce crisp really well and we’ve had success making the lettuce last longer that way.

Not sure what we’ll use the dill for this week. I’m thinking maybe a roasted potato or roasted carrot side dish, since we don’t need the fresh dill to pickle anything yet.

Last but not least is my favorite item this time – swiss chard. I adore chard for its rich flavor, especially prepared the way Mark does it in garlic and broth. But look at the vibrant color of these stems. I think we get so used to seeing green in the garden that we forget about the rainbow of colors represented. Between this lovely chard and the rhubarb, plus the lettuces, it’s pink and purple week!

How have you been using your CSA items?