Friday, December 25, 2009

Co-op Christmas

A friend of mine says that the definition of "eternity" is two people and a ham.

I think another might be one co-op resident left alone in the house for Christmas and a large farm share.

Elizabeth, we'll all be home to help you eat all those tomatoes and tangerines ... and carrots and potatoes ... and turnips and zucchini ... and cabbage and green beans ... and avocados and apples ... and salad and squashes ... and peppers and kale ... soon!

After stomping through eight inches of snow (in the cold! in the dark!) to pick up our box this week, I couldn't help but feel a bit awed by the beautiful bounty of produce I unpacked -- some of it grown right here in Massachusetts. Is this rainbow of fresh vegetables in December not some sort of secular miracle?

Merry Christmas, fellow subscribers.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fond of Fondue

I'd like to tell you that our descent into 1970s kitsch had to do with clearing lots of vegetables out of our fridge before the holiday. But honestly, it was more about (1) a shopping miscommunication that resulted in our having twice as much cheese as planned, and (2) the impracticality of returning the borrowed fondue pot with its base still full of methylated spirits.

We did eat lots of vegetables with it, though!
  • broccoli (raw)
  • snap peas (raw)
  • green beans (raw)
  • apples (cut into chunks, raw)
  • butternut squash (cubed, roasted)
  • sweet potatoes (cubed, roasted)
  • potatoes (quartered, roasted)
The fondue is the cheddar tomato fondue from Epicurious, basically melted cheddar and half a can of diced tomatoes. (Some sous chefs were skeptical about the tomatoes right up to the point when they tasted it.)

Best visitor comment: "I don't know why we don't eat things you get to stab with a long fork more often."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Roasted Winter Vegetable Curry

Our usual solution for accumulated winter root vegetables is to peel and cube them and roast them all together (tossed with salt and oil, roasted at about 400 degrees for, say, 30 minutes for fairly small dice). This week we've been eating a mixture of squashes (butternut and delicata), turnips, beets, parsnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes we roasted on Monday.

Usually we eat our roasted vegetables plain (or seasoned with herbs/lime juice/cook's choice) as a side dish, but this week, Jack made the leftovers into a curry that proved immensely popular (and used the two underripe tomatoes we got in our box a couple weeks ago, to boot).

I'm told that the recipe is alarmingly simple:

  • Dice the underripe tomatoes and cook them into submission in a large pan. Push them to the side of the pan.
  • Fry a bunch of curry powder in the pan until fragrant. (Our house asserts that Indian spices taste better cooked--and cooking them certainly makes the kitchen smell like curry. If your lover doesn't like smelling curry in your hair hours later, adjust to taste.) Mix the curry powder with the tomato sauce.
  • Add the mixed roasted vegetables.
  • Add cream and coconut flakes (or coconut milk in place of both, if your kitchen is better stocked for Indian cooking than ours on a random Tuesday). Season to taste with salt, cayenne pepper, and additional curry powder to taste.
  • Serve over rice.
(The chef speculates that you should use yogurt or something tangier than cream if your tomatoes are not underripe. Judging from the amenability of curry to the flavor of underripe tomatoes, he also speculates, correctly, that there must exist some kind of green tomato curry.)

Again, apologies for limited posting: December has been more about travel than home cooking. I've been enjoying childhood favorites and Midwestern specialties like green Jello salad (with mini marshmallows and canned fruit cocktail), which underscored just how much my eating habits have changed since I've moved to Boston (much less started subscribing to a CSA and living in a co-op). Now when I read a blog post about someone buying 80 bunches of kale, I'm not like, "how weird," but instead, "hey, I know that guy."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vegetable Hiatus

As a note on the co-op refrigerator points out, we've been remiss in our vegetable cooking. Apologies for the long silence, and we'll be back to our orange-soup-making ways before you know it.

(Housemates who are home this weekend, I recommend starting with the squash I put next to the stove. It's getting sort of a soft spot.)

This is not to say, however, that I haven't been in the kitchen. Last week was our fifth annual wine and cheesecake party, so I baked twenty cheesecakes to go with the mulled wine and cider. No CSA content here, but comment on this post (with an idea for future farm share blogging?) for an invitation to next year's fete.