CSA Weeks 5 & 6: Simple dinners and repetition

The 5th CSA share of the season:


-Peas (Ben’s new favorite thing)
-Summer squash and zucchini
-Weekly eggs

And the following week’s purple-hued haul:

-Purple cabbage
-Cavalo Nero
-Red lettuce
-Purple (thai) basil)

Twice in two weeks I made basically the same dinner–first because I hadn’t cooked chicken in a while and I figured I’d give it another go, then a week later as a welcome dinner when my parents arrived for a week-long visit.

First, for me and Ben:

You can’t argue with chard like this; the leaves were small and tender and the colors stun me every single time.

I started by cooking the chopped up stems, then added in the leaves and lots of garlic.

The chicken was marinated in oil, garlic, salt and pepper, sauteed and topped with a squeeze of lemon juice.

And we ate the greens and chicken with some israeli couscous, also doused with a bit of lemon juice.

The next week, for my parents, there was cavolo nero on offer! I’d also gotten a gorgeous little purple cabbage, so I made slaw using a cider vinegar/oil/salt/pepper/sugar dressing. (Make it sharp, about a 1-to-1 ratio of oil to vinegar, and keep tasting for salt. You need a lot of salt!) Everything I cut into, from celery and melon for snacks before dinner to the cabbage, had a gorgeous pattern inside. Isn’t nature amazing?

(Could you use this as a rose stamp?)

The cabbage was muddy, and I had trouble getting it clean. I shredded it (not finely enough) and then washed it, and the purple pigment turned the water BRIGHT aqua blue. Again, nature is amazing.

The last in this string of charming visuals was something I didn’t even notice until I was reviewing my photos–check out the dopey cartoon face in the salad dressing, pre-mixing.

Once again, I cooked the kale in oil and garlic, with a bit of chicken stock to soften it up. I left it fairly chewy, though, and got the edges the slightest bit crisp. I could have eaten the whole pot myself but I had to share. I have an unhealthy obsession with greens; it makes me think of the witch in Into the Woods*. Actually, I suppose a greens obsession is very healthy. As long as you don’t anger any witches by stealing them.


The next day we all headed up to Maine and NH for a few days–I have some lovely photos and I will post more tomorrow. We got back Sunday and my parents took off this morning; I’m just trying to get caught up after being offline for almost a week.

I’m also feeling a little down on blogging, I have to say. A few weeks ago I got a fairly nasty comment complaining that I don’t post enough, and it made me want to not post at all. I do this because I love thinking about food, writing about food, buying and cooking and eating food, and I like to think that a few people find it fun or useful. But I am also a freelancer who is seeking work and working on projects, as well as a real person who travels and gets sick and has obligations and sometimes can’t think of anything to say. Anyway, sorry it’s been sporadic, and I really am trying my hardest to motivate. It’s been a rough year for me and I treasure the friendships I’ve made through this blog and others. (On that note, check out some of the great folks I link to in my blogroll.) Thanks for your support!


*“Greens, greens and nothing but greens:
Parsley, peppers, cabbages and celery,
Asparagus and watercress and
Fiddleferns and lettuce…”

9 thoughts on “CSA Weeks 5 & 6: Simple dinners and repetition”

  1. Don’t stop blogging!! I love reading your tales in the kitchen, and elsewhere for that matter. And whether it’s once a week or once a month, I love reading your updates and feeling connected to your stories! I miss you guys!

  2. What is wrong with people?! How rude.

    Me, I’m delighted to find a whole batch of drool-worthy posts waiting for me here. Well, I’m also mad at Bloglines for not telling me they existed. Yum/grrrr.

  3. I love the way you talk about food (the goofy face in the salad dressing…perfect). It starts and ends my days on a happy note, and makes me grateful for simple food, and thoughtful preparation. Saute-ing greens with garlic is my favorite. Keep up the good work – whenever the mood strikes you is fine with me.

  4. You’re my real life kitchen idol, so whenever you’re inspired to post, I’m inspired to read!

    And you would not believe the hurtful things people have said on my blog. Unbelievably cruel stuff! Makes my heart race thinking about it.

  5. Thank you, everyone, for your kind words! It means a lot.

    (Also, Amy: Wha….??? That shocks me; your blog is the gentlest, sweetest place! Yours and “A Bloomsbury Life” are the two that make me dream of a soft-focus lense life full of swoonily romantic things. People, go read “An Apple A Day,” linked from my sidebar, and say nice things to the fabulous Amy!)

  6. Aw shucks. I wish my life was actually full of swoony, romantic things.

    My mom kindly informed me today that if I spent less time cruising ebay for antique delft tiles, i might have a boyfriend. Ouch. The truth hurts.

  7. I always want to try celery rose printing! Also, whenever I cut the base off of napa cabbage, I get the same effect. I definitely am going to try printing some teatowels or something! btw, I just discovered your blog and am enjoying it!

  8. Your photos are awesome. Would you mind telling me what type of camera you’re using? I’m using a cheap point and shoot digital camera for my blog and the photos are kind of ho hum.

  9. Kristen- Normally I use a Canon Powershot SD1000, but these photos (and most of those in the last month or so) were taken with my brother’s camera–we swapped so he could take my tiny one with him on a trip. It’s a Canon PowerShot SX100 IS and I have definitely seen an improvement–it has stability control that makes it easier to shoot in low light, and a real zoom instead of just a digital zoom. Definitely a nice choice if you want a point and shoot with a bit more oomph than the pocket models.

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