Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Habanero Chile Oil and Hot Sauce

Even though the season is technically over for a few more weeks, Guy and I are still working on some of our produce. The last of the tomatoes are starting to turn, a few squashes are still hanging in there, and we are finally seeing the end of our Habanero peppers.

Although we've done a lot with those little Habaneros, our favorite recipes by far are Habanero Chile Oil and Habanero Hot Sauce.

The chile oil is simple to make and extremely hot. It's really good on a stir-fry, although I think using a different type of pepper might make a more interesting oil. Here is ours in the microwave, bubbling away:

The hot sauce we made is possibly my favorite hot sauce ever. And I do not say this lightly as, until now, I've been quite the loyal devotee to Frank's. We've already gone through one recipe of this ourselves, taken a double batch to Taco Tuesday, and gathered the ingredients to make ourselves a second batch tomorrow. Here it is working its magic on brekkie:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Mayo That Never Should Have Been...

Friday I decided to try to actually make the mayo. I followed the recipe, using Safflower oil, as called for.

After whisking for what seemed like an eternity, it was time to add the second half of the lemon juice... but I added the leftover egg white. Doh!

I went ahead and added the lemon juice and it seemed like all was well. Into the fridge it went.

And there it sat until the following morning when we gave it a taste.


I don't know exactly what went wrong, whether it was the safflower oil (which was quite old) or the extra egg, but it was not eatable.

Will I try it again? Or move on to another episode? Who knows.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Mayo That Never Was...

Just before Thanksgiving (well over two weeks ago), I noticed we were low on mayonaisse and thought what a perfect chance to make the Good Eats mayo from The Mayo Clinic episode (Season 4, Ep. 10).



We ran out of mayo days later. We watched the mayo episode. And then.... nothing. No mayo.

Laziness set in. It was on our to do list every day and never got done.

Guy asked if we could buy mayo. I'm still holding out. Will I finally make the daggarn mayo or will Guy demand mayo for his morning eggy sammiches? Stay tuned...

CSA Haul #7: End of the Fall Season

This weekend at the farm was even more fun than usual. Guy helped Marie run rows of drop tape while I harvested lettuce, Pak Choy, and Mizuna greens. Then we both harvested chard. Marie stayed in the field working, while one of the other girls and I went to the front of the farm to start sorting out the food for this week's share and help the other CSA members get their haul.

When Marie came up to join us, she even made us cocoa and brought us cookies! This was a great treat, especially since the temperature dropped 10 or 15 degrees from the time we got there.

Here's what we got in our last share of this season:

From top left, anticlockwise: red and green mustard greens, green tomatoes and red tomatoes, Pak Choy, some kind of squash (Calabash, maybe, I don't know but now we have two of them), baby beets, half gallon of milk, dozen eggs, one carrot, 3 turnips, 1 daikon radish, 2 turban squash, bay leaves, chard leaves, and red and green leaf lettuce. :whew: We paid extra for the milk and eggs, which has been well worth it. (We get a better price from the farmer's because we're in the CSA.)

Folks, that's the end of our first season. Overall, we are both really pleased. Guy likes the structure it brings to our meal planning. If we get a basket a food that needs to get planned into meals for the week, we don't just play it by ear. Now we generally know what we're having for dinner every evening. I like that I am eating foods I wouldn't normally buy, like turnips, beets, and sweet potato leaves. Plus, we both enjoy working on the farm with Marie.

Green tomatoes and Curry

Our tomatoes are turning.

We have three batches of them: one from before Thanksgiving, one from after Thanksgiving, and one from this week. We've eaten most of the tomatoes from the first batch but there are still a few holding on. I'm really impressed with how well it works to just patiently wait for your tomatoes to ripen. We've been eating them in salads or raw with salt and with few exceptions they've been delicious!

Not all of our green tomatoes have had a chance to turn red, and here's why: Green Tomato Curry with Potatoes and Garlic.

I can't get enough of this recipe. We ate it last week for the first time and I was shocked at how different it was from what I had expected. I wanted more... and I usually get what I want. ;) So, this week it's on the menu again and probably next week's too!

<--- This turned into this -->

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thoughts on wasted food

So far in this endeavor, Guy and I have done a fair job of eating everything we're given. However, we haven't been perfect. This week I didn't pick much Pak Choy because we ended up throwing out ours from two weeks ago. That was the first time we had really just not used something at all.

It got me thinking. Lately, I've slipped back into an "eat out" habit. For me this is less about craving the food at restaurants and more about not wanting to do the work of cooking and the subsequent clean up.

When we're eating at home and things are running smoothly, I greatly prefer the food we eat to the "eat out" options. But the never-ending dirty dishes seemingly springing up from every counter in the kitchen is sometimes just too much to bear.

No amount of menu planning or do-goodery can overcome my laggard ways. Is there anything that can convince me to eat my delicious spicy salad of raw garden-y goodness instead of ordering a pizza on a whim?

CSA Haul #6

This week our CSA was supposed to be fairly meager because of recent freezes. In fact, we expect that there will be only two more hauls before the winter break. Our next 200$ payment is also due this month. But none of that was a worry for Guy and I as we were excited to get our hands dirty on the farm again after two weeks missed.

We spent our whole two hours pulling up the weeds (:shakes fist at bermuda grass:) and such from rows of old tomato plants, getting them ready to plant snow peas. The time went by very fast; we didn't even have time for grasshopper catching! (Of course we made time before we left so we could feed the hens. It's one of our favorite parts of visiting the farm each week.)

When we were leaving, Marie told us to just harvest what we wanted and to grab a few things from the farm house that she had picked earlier. From the top left anticlockwise, a few leaves of Pak Choy, summer and winter squash (another pumpkin, 4 patty pans, and some unidentified dark green squash), red and green mustard greens, red and green mizuna, red lettuce, green tomatoes and Habaneros.

Instead of being a meager haul, this was our biggest box yet!
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Turning tomatoes

Our little green tomatoes (of which we received 4 lbs last week!) have been sitting patiently in a paper sack on the counter.

Farmer Marie promised that if we were patient they would turn into beautiful little red tomatoes. She was right! They're starting to turn and I couldn't be happier for this little taste of summer as the weather turns colder.

We actually used about half our greens to make a delicious salsa because we just aren't *that* patient. But the rest of these babies are going to be salad tomatoes... in another week or so. :widegrin:
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Smoky, Amazingly Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Guy and I just got back from a holiday trip at my mom's house. We didn't do our work share or pick up our box of food this week because we were gone. (Actually there was no work share this week, either way.) I'm eager to get back out in the dirt next week even though I'm sure it's going to be cold.

Aside from the chilliness at the farm, we're loving the cold weather. Cold weather means SOUP! I recently received an email from Rachel Ray about a smoky spicy sweet potato soup that can be made in just 30 minutes. While I'm not a fan of Ms. Ray personally, I've had great success with several of her soups and stoups.

Instead of the one chipotle pepper and teaspoon of adobo sauce that is called for, I used about 8 peppers and 1/2 c of sauce. I also used the sweet potatoes that we had from our last haul.

This soup is an easy delicious way to greet the cold.
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