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Real Life CSA: winter share, week 9

Final winter share, though it feels like forever since I wrote about one or got one, since the winter shares are every other week and I missed the last one due to the plague. This week I nearly missed it too, but a friend was able to pick it up for me just in time. This is the last winter share, so the spring one will start up in a bit (which means there’s still time to sign up!).

Here’s what we got!

real life csa winter share 9

Lots of good staples this week, but that’s the hallmark of the winter share. Chopped tomatoes will go in the pantry, but won’t likely last long. We usually cook with canned or frozen tomatoes at least once a week, and we’re out of our home canned ones and so these are always welcome. I almost always use them to make pasta sauce.

The eggs will be added to our stash. As soon as we stocked up last time, we ended up getting more in the CSA and then our own chickens started laying again. So we have plenty.

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I love these little onions. Root cellar stash, but again, onions are items we go through constantly since they are basically the foundation of most cooking. I believe these cipollini ones are supposed to be great for roasting because they are naturally sweet. (But don’t quote me on that.) Perhaps part of some roasted vegetable medley?

Apple cider will go in my granola, for sure. I was also thinking some kind of crock pot pork would benefit from the apple cider. Maybe pulled pork for sandwiches? We’ll see.

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This is my favorite salsa that Penn’s Corner makes. We use it straight up on taco night (and it makes a great “dressing” for taco salad the next day), but it would probably also make a great simmer sauce. Can’t wait until we get fresh tomatillos again this summer!

Hydroponic lettuce – 2 heads this week – will be for salads, like usual. The black beans will go in the pantry, but I think it’s probably time for us to make something with our dry beans. Maybe homemade refried ones for said taco night?

This Meadowbelle cheese looks to be a hard one – I’ll need to taste it but perhaps either eaten in small pieces or grated over pasta. Every time I see a cheese that looks like this, I want to grate it over pasta. Can’t help it.

 

That’s it for winter. Are you ready for spring?

oatmeal

Real Life CSA: winter share, week 7

I can’t believe that after so many years getting a CSA share that I’m still finding new items that I’ve never had before. But 7 shares into the winter, and several years into a CSA program, we got something new this week!

Real Life CSA winter 7

The produce is solid this week – good staples that I always like to receive. Carrots never stay around long in our house, since we eat a decent amount of salad and we also like them as snacks. Lettuce also goes in the salad, too. I love this hydroponic lettuce we’re getting and I’m amazed at how they can grow so much in that way. I need to visit a farm doing hydroponics sometime because it fascinates me.

applesauce

I was psyched to get this applesauce, especially because it’s just regular flavor. Mark likes cinnamon in his, but I absolutely do not (even though I like cinnamon just fine in other things). So I already have some of this packed in my lunch for today! Don’t need to bake with it or find a way to eat it other than just straight up.

The potatoes will join the root cellar bunch and be stored for a bit. But I bet you can guess what I’ll do with them!

strawberry jam

Strawberry jam is not something we have a shortage of in our house, because it’s one of our favorite things to can each year. So since we have enough of our own jam, I was thinking it might be fun to make hamantaschen with this jam. Hamantaschen are those triangle pastry cookies with different fillings that are supposed to represent the hat of Haman, the bad guy of Purim whose plans to kill the Jews were foiled by Mordecai and Esther. And they’re just yummy.

Cabbage will go in the fridge for the moment, but I was thinking cabbage rolls or one of those unstuffed cabbage roll casseroles. Probably something I should go to Pinterest for, eh?

Eggs are welcome, even though we got some from the farm stand this week and even though one of our hens has been laying a little. Mark’s got them for breakfasts and I have them for baking, the very little that I’m doing of that right now.

oatmeal

The new item this week? Oats! I immediately thought granola when I got these, but I think instead it would be better to use them for actual oatmeal, because I’m really curious about the taste of these oats as compared to the ones I buy in bulk at the store. And what better way to taste actual oats than oatmeal?

Winter subscribers, what are you doing with your CSA share?

kombucha lights

last week at next gen house

Now that we’ve turned the corner into March, I’m ready for more mild weather. I know that long winters can contribute to more gratitude for the spring. But more and more it feels like we have two seasons here in Pittsburgh: cold mess and hot mess.

While we wait, here’s what happened last week at Next Gen House.

Last Week in Running

brooks ghost 725 on the schedule this week, including the 10-mile Spring Thaw race on Saturday. That’s the lowest mileage I will run until the week of the race, since my training amps up for these last 8 weeks. Tuesday I had a really great outdoor fartlek run – and I was really glad my schedule allowed me to get out to the group workout with Elite. I am really craving running outside more and I’m thinking I need to make more of an effort to run outside my office directly after work while there is still daylight, instead of waiting until I get home. I think I might try to do that for my Wednesday run this week.

I will probably recap the race itself this week, but I ended up treating it like a long run instead of a race, which is something I only decided moments before we started. I got to meet Jennifer from Running on Lentils and we ran together! (Also, she is a lovely person and you should be reading her blog. She’s one of the official Pittsburgh Marathon bloggers this year!)

I also got new shoes this week (the Brooks Ghost 7 – pictured at left!) and took them for a spin on the treadmill on Sunday. They don’t feel quite right yet, but I need to put my insoles in and give them a go outside before I make any judgments. I have to remember that brand new shoes don’t feel quite the same as ones with 350 miles on them!

Don’t forget that I’m still raising money for the Food Bank. You can donate by using the widget in the right sidebar on the blog or visit my fundraising page directly. Every dollar counts – and multiplies by 5 with the Food Bank’s resources. A $25 donation means $125 worth of food to hungry families in our community!

Last Week in Eating

We made several good meals this week, including a great slow cooker goulash, but the highlight of the week (and probably the month of February if I’m honest) was the Knockoff Chipotle Sofritas. Sofritas are Chipotle’s new vegan option – a marinated spicy tofu. I haven’t had it at Chipotle yet, but Mark did, and he really liked it. His co-worker mentioned this knockoff recipe was delicious, and actually tasted even better since the sauce is thicker and not as runny as Chipotle’s (since the tofu soaks in its sauce there like the other meat options do). I even got to use some of my frozen roasted poblano peppers from our garden.

It. Was. So. Good. I could have eaten it every day that week and was sad that I only made enough for four servings. (I used two packages of tofu and doubled the sauce in the recipe and it was perfect.) We ate it over homemade lime cilantro rice and black beans. Mark made his homemade guacamole and we were in heaven.

Don’t be afraid of cooking tofu, either. I had a meltdown about halfway through because I felt like I wasn’t frying it correctly. (It’s lightly fried, not deep fried.) But it turned out perfectly and I had nothing to be scared of. Just be fearless, like Julia Child says. Have the courage of your convictions.

collage sofritas

Last Week in Reading

I finished the third book in the Silo trilogy, Dust, as well as Bad Feminist on audio. Really liked both, but they were both heavy in subject matter, so I’m catching up on a bunch of comics this week in both trades and single issues. I also started Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick on Scribd, which imagines an alternate future where Germany and Japan won WWII and occupied the U.S. So I guess I didn’t get that far away from heavy subject matter. But I found that book after watching the Amazon original pilot that is based off of the novel. The book is fine so far, but the narrator is not so great, so I’m not sure I’d recommend it on audio. It’s crazy how narrators can make or break an audiobook for me. I guess I’m just picky!

Last Week in Homesteading

I am giving kombucha one last winter try, after many unsuccessful attempts. (I’m just not willing to keep my house at 70 degrees in the winter to sustain a SCOBY. No way.) I now have it in the warmest room of the house with all heating vents in the room open, and I tried the suggestion of wrapping Christmas lights around the jar. Which seems to be keeping it at a nice temperature. (Only after I first put LED lights around it because I am an idiot. LED lights don’t get warm.)

kombucha lights

I also had to use a thin gaiter that Mark had to cover the top until I can get cheesecloth (which we both thought was in the house, but we can’t find it anywhere). It seems to be working so far! Fingers crossed that I get some SCOBY and no blue fuzz!

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Real Life CSA: winter share, week 6

I picked up my CSA share in a snow squall yesterday, so I feel like I get some extra bonus points – especially because I didn’t bring the right bag and had to walk out of the museum where I pick it up with lettuce in my arms. Keeping it real.

Here’s what we got this week!

Real Life CSA Winter 6

 

I think I might try drinking the apple cider warm, especially because of the frigid temperatures. Haven’t really wanted to drink it much cold this year – probably because I’ve been trained to not consume beverages that contain calories and to basically drink water all the time. But I really do like cider, so maybe I just need to revisit it.

Sweet potatoes and onions went down to the root cellar but I doubt the sweet potatoes will hang out there very long. The last time I roasted sweet potatoes, they were melt in your mouth delicious, so I can see that happening again. Have I ever mentioned that I adore roasted vegetables? Heh.

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I’m excited to have another jar of salsa, since this type in particular – Farmers Market – is really good for recipes that call for a jar of salsa. We make a crockpot recipe with black beans, corn and cream cheese that calls for a jar and this one works great. We eat a decent amount of salsa in our house because Taco Tuesday is a thing on a regular basis. So even though we can our own, it’s nice to add to the stash.

I think with the hot pepper jelly, I’ll make this pork dish again. We really liked it and it’s a great alternative to just eating it as part of an appetizer.

Lettuce will go in salads, as usual. (Even more delicious because it was carried delicately in my arms.)

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I’ve got to make another batch of granola this week, so I was happy to get some extra honey from Bedillion Honey Farm. No honey from the store can beat local honey – no matter how fancy it looks.

I am inclined to make a pasta dish with the goat cheese, but this recipe that Penn’s Corner linked to for Baked Goat Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes sounds amazeballs. And I could see myself sitting in front of the fireplace with a giant baguette, eating this.

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Not sure what my favorite roasted vegetable is – probably couldn’t pick just one. But rutabegas are up on the top. I roasted them with parsnips and blue potatoes last week and they were delicious. I usually roast with olive oil, but this recipe for brown butter roasted rutabegas looks great too.

AH, radishes. The vegetable I mildly enjoy and never really get around to effectively using. This week! This week! Going to pickle them, I think.

That’s it for this share. Stay warm and roast something!

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Real Life CSA: winter share, week 5

Since this is our fifth share, we’re now 10 weeks into the winter share. Which feels like a long time, but winter itself feels even longer. At the moment, I feel like it’s never going to get warm again. But it’s okay. Want to know why? Three words.

Honey. Puffed. Corn.

Let’s get to it.

Real Life CSA Winter Share 5

This is one probably my favorite share we’ve received so far this winter, because it has multiple squee worthy items. Let’s start with the fact that the farm eggs are very welcome, due to our own chickens not laying (much). We have purchased them from the online farm stand before, but it’s nice to get more in our share.

The ivory lace cheese is Havarti-style. I think the last time we had this kind we used it in paninis or grilled cheese. So perhaps that’s in our dinner future.

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These chopped tomatoes are one of my favorite of the Penn’s Corner value-added items (their canned goods). I think especially when we get to February and winter is being brutal, there’s nothing more delicious than good tomatoes, and this is the closest we can get to fresh ones. That’s why the focus of our canning and freezing every year is tomatoes – because it’s the number one thing we use in cooking. Most of my best pasta sauces (vodka and amatriciana, primarily) have chopped tomatoes as a base. So this will hang out in the pantry for probably less than a week.

Blue potatoes and red onions will go with our basement root cellar stash, which has been great. Though seeing the red onions makes me want to make salsa and fajitas. And the blue potatoes I especially love for their color. And they might be delicious roasted with these babies:

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Parsnips. Love them. Had never eaten these things until I got them in a CSA share years ago and I was missing out. I think roasted, they are like candy. Yeah, that solidifies it. Roasted blue potatoes and parsnips coming up this week.

We’ve already got some polenta from Weatherbury in the pantry, so adding some more means we need to make some polenta this week, too. Penn’s Corner gave us this recipe link for Spoon Bread, so that might work. As would this polenta with roasted mushrooms.

Lettuce will go in salad, like usual. It was cool to get two different kinds this week, too. Can’t say no to fresh greens. And the apples? I am STILL eating an apple every day in my lunch and have not grown tired of this. But I was about out of my farm stand stash, so this is another well timed share.

Last but not least. My great CSA love. The honey puffed corn.

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I just love this stuff. I would pretty much forsake any other snack items (including popcorn, which if you know me, that’s crazy town) for the rest of my life if I could have a steady stream of honey puffed corn from Clarion River Organics. This is not even hyperbole. I’ve been watching for it in the online farm stand every week. It’s really hard to share. I’m pretty sure Mark rarely gets any of this stuff, which might qualify me as a bad wife. But sorry not sorry.

So what are you eating and making lately? Favorite food item to get you through the winter?

winter north park

last week at next gen house

It takes me longer than the average bear to recover from long, busy weekends. So this past week was spent generally trying to get my bearings and get things back into a routine. That and actually trying to clean my house.

Anyway.

Last Week in Running

Mileage went up to 23 this week, my fifth in training for the Pittsburgh Half. It was also my fifth week of running 5 days each week. Which means my calves are the size of those giant turkey legs you see at state fairs, and they are pretty much tight all the time. I did my first hill repeats with Elite on Tuesday night for a total of four miles, and I thought it went well, though I was pretty cold. But I didn’t actually know what running in the cold was until I went out on Saturday to the group run at North Park. Six degrees with a “feels like” -3. And wind. I realized that gear is what makes the difference, because the parts of me wearing good gear, like my hands, ears, torso, feet? Nice and warm, once we got moving. But my butt and legs were another story, since I’ve been wearing Walmart tights all winter (after having found ones marked petite this year). And let’s just say they are not for arctic temps, because the wind went right through and it was for the first time, actually painfully uncomfortable. So this weekend I tried to buy new winter running tights from a company that sells them. And the only company I could find with available petite length tights was Athleta. And they were $86. (Hey other companies. Don’t be telling me that your tights are “short” when I see a 32″ inseam, get out of here with that. Under Armour and the North Face in particular should be ashamed that they don’t carry even ONE line of tights for an under 30″ inseam. Let’s just say they will be hearing from me about this.)

OK, rant over. It was nasty cold and I did 8.4 miles. With ice in my eyebrows. For real.

IMG_20150131_095307 I keep trying to tell myself that these cold temps and nasty conditions will fade into spring eventually. And that it’s weeks like these that produce the PR, the good race, the great feeling. So I keep going.

Last Week in Eating

I barely remember what we cooked last week, which probably means that none of it was particularly remarkable. This week is another crazy one, with one or both of us gone a lot of the evenings. So it will be more easy stuff – salads and chilis and penne with defrosted tomato sauce – and nothing remarkable. But it doesn’t need to be. Even people who are crazy about food, like me, need weeks where the meals aren’t photo worthy and they mostly just do the job. To me, when the weather is nasty and work is crazy and your life is busy, just making the time to cook at home is enough.

Last Week in Homesteading

I mentioned that I tried to actually clean my house this week. Which is about as much homesteading as I got done (though thanks to Deanna for the tip on the lights around the kombucha – going to see if that helps it maintain temp).

But can I just say something about house cleaning? Just like every other facet of modern life, there are blogs and books and Pinterest boards a plenty about how to keep your house sparkling and organized, as if giving me a 30 day challenge or a fun printable can just miraculously help me get this done. I would like to see a realistic cleaning list entitled “The Minimum #$%^ You Must Do to Not Qualify as Foul.” That is what I spent a lot of time this weekend doing, and that is the free printable that I would like to see next.

Last Week in Reading

I am about 20 minutes from finishing the third Dresden Files book on audio, so by the time I get to work, that will be finished and I will have started the third book in the Lunar Chronicles. I really need to stop reading books that are first in a series of 5,000.

I’m also reading a book called The Chain, which is about the meat industry, but not from the perspective of health or animal rights, but from the workers on the line at meat packing plants. I am about 100 pages in and will officially not be complaining about my job this week, let’s just say that. Review coming when I’m done.

Last Week in Randomness

Shout out to 1 of 4*, our remaining black austraulorp, for laying 3 eggs this week, when she hasn’t laid in months. Go get it, girl.

How was your week?

 

*Oops. Original post got the name of the chicken mixed up. It was 5 a.m. What can I say?

Real Life CSA: winter share, week 4

Super late with this, since this stuff has been in my house for almost a week now. But late is the name of the game right now, so here we go!

We’re into the fourth share of our winter CSA, and I love that we got two packages of fresh greens when we’re still in the dead of winter.

Real Life CSA - Winter share 4

 

The lettuce is already gone, of course, eaten in salads like usual. We also ate these delicious pea shoots in the same salad. I love these things and need more of them in my life.

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We haven’t had green cabbage in awhile, so I’m thinking either cabbage rolls or haluski. Let’s be honest, probably haluski, since there is nothing I love more than butter, noodles and other stuff mixed together.

Onions are added to our root cellar stash. I love the onions we get in the CSA and that I get from the Farm Stand, primarily because they taste delicious but also because they don’t make my eyes burninate like the onions from the store do. I wonder why that is, but I’m a little too lazy to Google it right now.

We have taco night frequently enough that I think I should make a batch of slow cooker refried beans from these Weatherbury black beans.

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The maple syrup is added to our pantry stash, though I’m thinking we should make something with a maple glaze. Like pork or carrots. Maybe?

We have a backup of apple cider right now, but I used some to make granola this week. Maybe we need to just start doing daily shots of apple cider to move through it more quickly. Part of our problem using it up quickly is that we just drink a lot of water. We’re a water drinking house and we never think to pour a glass of cider when we go to the fridge. Maybe I need to cut the apple cider with some sparkling water and make myself a non-alcoholic morning cocktail.

For this apple butter, I might research some baked goods you can make with it. I keep thinking that might be a way to eat it that isn’t slathering it on toast, which we aren’t really likely to do. Either that or cooked down into a glaze. I’m apparently into glazes this week!

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The ginger hangs out in the fridge until the next time we make an Asian dish, so while I don’t have a specific use for it right now, I am sure to pretty soon.

As for the beets, the opposite is true, so they were donated like usual. There’s another chance for beets somewhere in my future, but it’s not right now.

So what fresh food are you eating when it’s a frozen tundra outside?

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last week at next gen house

We traveled over a long weekend for some family stuff, so I’m feeling off kilter a bit. It’s amazing how much disrupting routine makes my head spin. I always return to my home and desk at work thinking “what was I doing again?” I have every confidence I will walk into my cubicle today and forget exactly what I do at my job.

So until I can get my head together on what we got in our CSA last week, let’s just chat.

Last Week in Running

Week 4 of training for the Pittsburgh Half brought 20.15 miles. Even though I didn’t technically have a “long” run this week due to my schedule, I managed two difficult workouts. Tuesday was my first time doing 800 repeats with my running group – on hills, nonetheless. I liked it for a speed workout and it definitely took effort to keep the pacing right. But it’s clear that my fast is getting faster and my slow is getting faster. And I’m happy with that.

The other difficult workout was in the hotel gym this weekend. 4 miles on a treadmill already approaches my personal treadmill limit, but the room was sweltering (literally 76 degrees) and my body was aching from all of the physical work I was doing over the weekend. It was at my “easy” pace, but nothing about it felt easy. But it got done. Which is exactly how I’m going to get to my goal.

Last Week in Eating

Definitely the best eating experience this week was going to lunch at Gaucho on Friday before we left town. I’ve wanted to eat there since we had a taste of their food at the Backyard BBQ even this summer. It’s Argentinian food, wood-fired. And so delicious. I could never be a restaurant critic because I have very few words in my vocabulary for delicious food besides “so good” and “amazeballs” and some various grunts and groans. But all of these apply at Gaucho.

IMG_20150123_122703Do yourself a favor, locals, and get there. (Early though, because there was a line out the door 15 minutes after they opened.)

Last Week in Homesteading

So that kombucha restart? Molded AGAIN. I have no idea what’s going on, so I need to do some extensive troubleshooting and break out the thermometers and whatnot. Maybe our house is just too cold right now for it? I’m not going to raise the heat in the house just to brew some kombucha, since that’s not remotely cost-effective. But still, frustration!

Also in homesteading this week? Shoveling snow. Hurrah!

Last Week in Reading

With virtually no time in the last four days to read, I’m still reading what I was reading last week. But when we travel in the car, we typically listen to an audiobook. We picked The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which is apparently something I needed to consume if I was going to keep my geek street cred. What a great choice for an audiobook – the humor is especially funny when narrated by a great British reader. Happy to have had a push to start it!

Last Week in Randomness

Not going to lie. Every time we get significant snowfall, I wish we got enough to get truly snowed in, like we did back in 2010 (?). Because I’d rather have a ton of snow, or no snow at all. 6 inches at a time just makes my commute a mess. I know that big blizzards like the one hitting the east coast aren’t really a good thing – but from this chair at 5:31 a.m., I’m thinking being snowed in sounds pretty good.

 

So how was your week?

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Real Life CSA: winter share, week 3

For some reason, I can’t get it through my head that the winter shares are larger because they are every two weeks. Because I go to pick up my share and think “my goodness! the bounty!” (Yeah, I’ve been watching a lot of BBC/Masterpiece Theater productions of Bronte novels lately.)

So here’s what we got in the third share. (The first one that feels like a winter share, due to the fact that we’re experiencing our first hardcore winter weather.)

Lots of awesome staples!

Real Life CSA Winter share 3
The lettuce will go in salads, like usual. I made thumbprint cookies the last time we had rhubarb jam, but I don’t know if I’ll do that again or just eat this with bread. Or maybe ice cream.  Even in frigid temperatures, I’m thinking about ice cream.

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I was really excited that we got this tomatillo salsa, because we don’t usually have it hanging around long. I love it on taco nights, but it also makes a great “dressing” for taco salads – the only type of dressing I like on salads at all. Really flavorful and not super spicy.

The potatoes, squash and shallots will go in our basement stores. Not super exciting, I know. But it’s super exciting to have this stuff on hand when we need it. And when it comes to potatoes, I need them in my life on a regular basis.

Apples resized
I’ve been loving the apples this season. It’s January and I’m still not sick of eating them just as they are. So far, my apple a day HAS kept the doctor away. Two plagues have swept through my life and I have yet to catch them. I know this wasn’t entirely due to the apples, but that whole healthy foods thing can’t hurt.

I don’t remember how this Temptation cheese tastes. (Do I need to keep a cheese log?) We will likely taste it and then decide how to use it.

Carrots will go in our fridge stash, but we go through them fast between salads, soups, stews, pizza night snacks and broth making. Love them.

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I’m glad we got some eggs this time too. Our chickens haven’t been laying since the fall, so we’ve needed to purchase eggs for the first time since we got our little flock. Always good to get farm ones!

Watermelon radishes. Well, let’s be honest. I forgot about pickling the last ones we had and they ended up in the compost. (Sad trombone.) Going to try to get it done for these ones!

What are you getting in your winter CSAs?

Real Life CSA: winter share, week 2

We’re in the second week of the winter share, and I’m kind of amazed that we got something that I’ve never received before in years of being a CSA subscriber and have not to my recollection ever eaten in my life. Penn’s Corner wins again for variety!

Real Life CSA Winter Share 2 resize

Can I tell you how awesome it is to see SO MUCH GREEN in this winter share? A third of the items this share are greens. (Disregard all the citrus hanging out on the kitchen island behind the share. I have no time to clear the island before I take photos. I’m not that classy.)

It’s such a myth that all winter CSA shares in climates where plants die/go to sleep from November – April are all turnips and onions. I love turnips and onions and would always welcome them in a CSA share, but it’s so great to get fresh greens mid-December.

Speaking of the greens, check out this spinach.

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This might make it into salads, joining the bibb lettuce, but I kind of feel like I might like it wilted in pasta or on a pizza. Maybe I’m wanting carbs because I’m ready to hibernate for the winter?

The sweet potatoes will go with our root cellar stash. and the beets will go out the door to Mark’s beet-loving colleague. If you don’t like it share it!

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Mushrooms from Wild Purveyors always make me squeee. They are always so delicious and fresh – probably because they’re sourced in the wild, locally. They also offer a lot of other stuff, but the mushrooms are stellar. Maybe we’ll make marsala with these. (We have a running joke about cooking chicken marsala for Mark’s roommate when we were dating. He was amazed that we basically destroyed the kitchen with dishes and mess, and then cooked him this amazing meal – the best marsala he said he ever had. I kind of feel like we should invite his former roommate and his wife over for dinner to share these.) If we don’t make them as an ingredient in another dish, I might just make them like the Penn’s Corner blog suggests – roasted with garlic and butter. Yes, please.

The goat cheese this round is flavored with dill and garlic, so Mark suggested we eat it on crackers, maybe as an appetizer. If I ate omelets, it sounds like something that would go well in those too.  Or maybe mixed in mashed potatoes.

Fuji apples are Mark’s favorite kind, so he will likely be excited to eat these in lunches. I have not yet grown tired with apples as a snack at work, so these will be great for me too. I always throw around the idea of baking with them, and then I just want to eat them plain.

I’ve been wanting zuppa toscana for awhile, so I will likely use the kale in that. The cold weather not only makes me want carbs, but soups. Ones with cream and potatoes and kale and sausage, apparently. Ginger appears in a lot of the Asian dishes we make, so I’m sure we’ll use it for something along those lines. Maybe a noodle dish or a stir fry.

And finally we come to the new vegetable – the one I can’t ever remember eating or receiving before. The sunchoke, or Jerusalem artichoke.

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The Penn’s Corner blog says these have the texture of a water chestnut, which is fantastic for me because I am that weirdo who always loved water chestnuts as the best part of that frozen bag o’ stir fry mix. No idea why.

Going to do some research on these babies and figure out how I want to make them for my first tasting. Any ideas?

That was the last share for 2014 – two weeks off for the holidays, so the next share is January 7.  Thankfully we have quite the root cellar going on right now with all manner of veggies to keep us busy!