Posts Tagged ‘veggies’

july sunset

I wrote a post on margin recently, and as it often does, the universe laughed. The first half of July has been fast and furious and full. Hot days, crowded calendars, so many things jockeying for space in my brain. It has not been particularly restful. But there’s still lots of good stuff happening, and I want to note the details of how life looks right now.

Right now, in the thick of a hot, busy summer, I am:

  • waking up to the buzz of the window a/c unit and the piano music from Pride and Prejudice.
  • drinking my two favorite summer teas in my favorite mug: blackberry sage and ginger peach.

lady cop breakfast

  • making scones when I can stand to turn on the oven, and eating granola and Greek yogurt for breakfast when I can’t.
  • wearing skirts, sandals and all the work-appropriate short-sleeved tops I own.
  • living in shorts and bare feet at night and on the weekends.
  • lugging a box of veggies home every Wednesday (we’re doing a CSA share) and then trying to figure out how to use them all. green veggies
  • getting excited for the Rio Olympics.
  • eating tamales from the farmers’ market on Tuesdays.
  • tending basil and geraniums on my front porch.
  • dropping by Darwin’s a couple of times a day: for tea in the morning, a sandwich and chitchat at lunchtime, and sometimes lemonade and a cookie (and more chitchat) mid-afternoon.

darwins chai cookie bench

  • reading allllll the books (as usual). Recent favorites include Lady Cop Makes Trouble, Everyone Brave is Forgiven, The Atomic Weight of Love and Jane Steele.
  • aching over the news reports from so many places riddled with tragedy.
  • treading water at work as I adjust to new routines and responsibilities.
  • relishing the familiar faces and witty banter of my colleagues.
  • snapping photos for the #FlowerReport when I’m out and about. This bed of lavender is growing outside our town library.

lavender library

  • texting my sister and a couple of friends about the madness and the fun of daily life.
  • listening to Hamilton on repeat, learning all the words, and priding myself on being able to rap (almost) as fast as Lafayette.
  • hunting for a new apartment (we have to move next month for reasons beyond our control).
  • savoring the last few weeks in the apartment we have lived in and loved for six years.

dining room dusk twinkle lights

  • sipping a lot of lemonade and the occasional glass of rosé.
  • flipping back through Julia Cameron’s The Sound of Paper: such wise words on writing and life.
  • sneaking in a beach day here and there.
  • trying (always trying) to pay attention to my life and the people I love.

crane beach jer

What does life look like for you right now?

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CSA update

Last month, I posted about the veggie overload caused by our membership in the Brazos River Farm CSA. Since mid-May, we’ve been picking up a box of produce every other week, and then struggling to find ways to use it all. (I’ve given away LOTS of onions to friends and to a local nonprofit – Jeremiah can’t stand onions, and there have been dozens in each box.)

We ate tons of salad (with kale, bok choy, Swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, etc. etc.) in May and early June; then squash/zucchini season arrived and we’ve been eating it grilled, shredded, sauteed, in pasta, on pizza, stuffed and baked, in zucchini bread and even in chocolate chip cookies. (Scroll down for the recipe.) Recently, tomato season – as well as okra, eggplant and pepper season – has arrived. So our kitchen, while still full of squash, is looking a little different these days.

We’re still making lots of homemade pizza; that was on the menu last night, with tomato, zucchini, mozzarella, basil and goat cheese. We’re still sauteing vegetables, tossing them with pasta and topping them with a grate of Parmesan cheese. (I’ve also made several batches of pesto – I use Molly’s recipe.)

I haven’t yet found the energy, frankly, to mess with the okra, and the batch of wee carrots will probably just get peeled, sliced and munched. The tomatoes, however, we are using every which way – so much so that I’ve gone to the farmer’s market twice this week to buy more. I can eat them in pasta, on pizza, on sandwiches, as part of bruschetta (also on the menu for tonight), in soup, in salsa…the list goes on. I didn’t like fresh tomatoes until I started eating them on sandwiches when I worked at the Ground Floor (our sandwiches, if I do say so, were scrumptious). However, now I can’t get enough when they’re in season. Sauteed, roasted, sliced, chopped or whole – mmmm.

And the peppers! Oh my, the peppers. Our last CSA box had at least 20 of them – a few tiny serranos, several jalapenos, some neon-green banana peppers, lots of big milder green chiles and a couple of sweet peppers. What does one do with all that peppery goodness? I knew the hot peppers would overwhelm most dishes, though we do toss ’em onto pizza or eat ’em in veggie burritos. (We’ve become practically vegetarian by default around here, though my chicken-lovin’ husband will never voluntarily give up meat entirely.)

However, I did make a batch of jalapeno soup on an unusually cool, rainy night – it involves jalapenos, cream cheese, chicken broth and milk, and is completely delicious. And after that, Molly came to the rescue again (if you don’t read her blog, Orangette, you really should – if you like food, recipes and general yumminess). Her book, A Homemade Life, has the simplest, most delicious recipe for salsa verde, and I’ve made it twice and used six to eight peppers each time. (I made it again last night – my book club came over.)

It’s not posted online, so I can’t post it in full here, but I will say: Peppers. Cilantro. Garlic. Olive oil. Lime juice (I used lemon, since I had it on hand). Chopped and mixed and pureed and voila! It’s spicy and tangy and delicious.

They haven’t yet come in our CSA box, but I’m also currently obsessed with fresh peaches from the farmer’s market – I made a peach crisp last night, and have been eating them fresh at breakfast, lunch and dinner. (So sweet and juicy; the freshness of Fredericksburg and Abilene-area peaches has ruined me forever on grocery-store ones, I’m afraid.)

We’ve only got a couple more boxes left, before we pack up our lives and head to Boston. I’m hoping to find a farmer’s market and/or a CSA to join there; we’ve so enjoyed trying new recipes with our produce, or adapting the recipes we already love. It’s been a challenge at times, but a rewarding one; it all tastes so yummy and I love knowing I’m supporting a local farmer with my money. (And it’s definitely helped decide the eternal question of what to have for dinner!)

If you’re thinking of joining a CSA, I’d recommend it (though splitting a box with a friend might be a good idea). If there’s a farmer’s market in your area, go check it out – you can get beautiful produce from friendly people, and support your local economy. And to several of you who’ve offered yummy recipes for my produce, I thank you.

Any foods you’re particularly loving this summer?

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