9/27/12 CSA SHARE: What we got, what I took home, and what I am doing with it

POST #823
Spaghetti Squash – 1-3 pcs…….traded for .5 lb green beans
Green Beans – .5lb
Red Tomatoes – 2 beefsteak
Mixed lettuce leaves – 1 bag…..traded for 3 tomatoes
Carrots – 1 bun
Red onions – 2 tiny
Baby Arugula – 1 bag

  I was the first one to the share distribution, so I looked in the trade box and grabbed the tomatoes and green beans and promised to give back something as soon as I’d opened my box.  Someone was apparently assigned to make sure I did – she stood right in front of me as I opened my box, and didn’t leave until I had taken the bag of lettuce and the squash over to the trade box!  It was nice to have someone to chat with.

 These boxes are getting ever more parsimonious. Oh well!

Once home, I headed straight for the kitchen and pulled out all of my available mason jars, and started to work.  Washed all of the tomatoes – I had 4 that had survived since last week, too—and set them aside.  Washed all of the green beans (that bag of beans from the Chinese supermarket was about only half good – from now I will only buy green beans I can select by the onesies.

 Stood there and topped and tailed all of the green beans, and snapped the longer ones  in half (I can bear to chew for about half a green bean at a time).  This was the most time-consuming chore.  I began to think back to when my cousins and my sister and I used to sit with big bowls on the back porch at Grandmom’s and top and tail huge piles of green  beans.  Although it was a chore, it was still fun because we were together, talking and joking.  At last, I finished with the green beans and stuffed them down into 2 quart jars, along with a good amount of sliced garlic, chopped jalapeno peppers, and dill seed.  Poured on about 2 C of brine mixed with 2 caps of probiotics per jar, and lidded them.  One jar got one of my new re-usable lids (these are kind of weird – the middle part is plastic, the ring is probably rubber, and you have to put your own outside ring).

 I chopped up a large onion, more garlic, and some more jalapenos, and threw them, along with some dry cilantro, lemon juice, 2 caps of probiotic powder, and cumin powder, in the food processor to chop fine.  That done, I chopped up the tomatoes, and put as many as would fit into the food processor and chopped kind of chunky.  Then I emptied the food processor into a large bowl and processed the rest of the tomatoes, and threw them into the bowl and mixed everything very well.  I used my Champion juicer funnel to get everything into a quart jar and a pint jar.  I mashed the tomatoes down as firmly as I could, which brought up a lot of juice. Then, I lidded both, and set them over on the board I have over half the stove top, along with the green beans.

 It took me about 2-1/2 hours to do all of it.

 Along the way, at those moments when my mind strayed from the mindfulness of the job that I was working at maintaining, and I started to think about how my back and shoulders were feeling sore, I started thinking about how you just cannot get this kind of food if you don’t make it yourself.  That kept me going and helped me get back to that mindfulness thing.  Food prep as meditation.

 So, now, it’s all sitting there, waiting.  I will probably open one jar of the beans at 4 days, and leave the other one to 7 days, which will be about the same time that the first jar is empty.  That way I can decide which one tastes better.

I still have some lovely carrots, and I want to do them with garlic and gingner.  Not tonight, though.  I’m done for now.

 I need to get some more mason jars.  I looked on amazon.com, but they wanted @$22.00 for 12 (not too bad with my amazon prime, which gives me free 2-day delivery, but still it is @ $1.50 per jar.  Then I found out that you can order mason jars from Ace Hardware on-line and have them delivered to your local Ace Hardware (if they don’t carry them normally), and they are shopped to the store free. (This is even cheaper than ordering directly from the Ball/Kerr jar company website).  You just have to pick them up.  I’m looking for the Ace Hardware closest to the subway which will give me the most direct route home (12 mason jars are heavy to carry)

 Meanwhile, I’m eating a salad made with chopped baby bok choy, lentil sprouts, chopped wakame (sea weed), hijiki (seaweed), onion, garlic, a little jalapeno pepper, sesame oil, and apple cider vinegar. Yum!

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