Category Archives: LIFE AS IT IS

09/05/13 CSA SHARE: What they say we will get & Salsa update

POST #970
What the CSA says we will get on Thursday:
Green Beans- .5 lb bag
Butternut Squash- 1 piece
Zucchini- 2 pieces
Parsley- 1 bunch
Lettuce Mix- .5 lb bag
Long Green Peppers- 2 pieces
Tomatoes- 4 lb. bag

No matter how early I go over there, it seems that they have always started earlier. So I intend to go earlier yet this week.

Depending on the size of that squash, I’m thinking fermented squash salsa (of course, if it is tiny, that’s a no)
For the zucchini, I’m thinking of making a zucchini tomato ferment. If it’s big, then I might do zucchini sticks with tomato/garlic/onion salsa mix, but if it’s small, I might just cut it into chunks and put it with the salsa.

BTW, I opened one of the tomato salsa jars I put up on Saturday night – yumm!  I decided to see what would happen if I left it longer, so I’ll probably open the other one this weekend. 

(my finger is still attached and I am actually typing with it. I think I will change the bandage I’ve had on it since Sunday morning tomorrow. I hope it won’t look too scary).

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8/29/13 CSA SHARE- what we got and what I am going to do with it

POST #967
Without my blog, yesterday seems so long ago! I mean it! I’m so happy to be back on-line!

WHAT WE GOT
Yellow Potatoes – 1 qt
Scallions – 1 bun
Green Bell Peppers – 2 pcs
Garlic – 1 pc
Tomatoes – 6 lbs
Zucchini – 2 pcs

Somehow, I came away with 3 bunches of scallions and 3 pcs of garlic, and a thing of chard (what do you call a “thing of chard”? Thank heavens for the word “thing”)

I chatted with some interesting ladies at the share distribution (one on the volunteer side of the table, and the other right up next to me, bagging her boxed goodies (I gave her one of my Ziploc bags) Promised to send them some fermenting recipes (should I start a mailing list on these things? I’ll have to look into that!) I expect this weekend is going to be about fermenting – I have some cabbage, all those tomatoes, and, I hope some of last week’s cucumbers have survived)

I decided to keep the potatoes. All of the raw food “experts” are now saying that they are actually eating cooked food. I haven’t done that in a long while (I had the power company cut off the gas a good while back, when the last room-mate left, because I haven’t cooked food in 30 years or so). I do have a rice cooker , a coffee-maker, and a microwave, left by a former room-mate, so I am going to experiment with cooking the potatoes and making a real potato salad (with such raw entries as onions and bell pepper). We’ll see how that goes. (We’re talking: I’m dirt poor right now, and I live off what comes in the box, so, at least, this week, I am going to bend and see what all the hoopla of going off 100% raw is about — okay, folks! I’ve been telling you I am 95% raw, even though I have been 100% raw – this is where that comes in! I am finally going to do something you can point at). I’ll let you know how that goes (I’m feeling kind of sheepish. I mean, how do you cook potatoes without boiling or baking them? I guess I can find the info on the Internet somewhere. Somewhere somebody has put information about how to get boiled-like potatoes in a microwave or a rice cooker — if you know, I’d be grateful if you’d tell me – I’m thinking rice cooker)

So, anyway – I’m going to make a fermented salsa with most, if not all, of the tomatoes. Ferments last longer, and I can combine a fermented salsa with all sorts of things. I am probably going to take one tomato and make a fresh “pasta” with one of the zucchini.

An aside – I am kind of bummed that I won’t be able to go to the September meet-up of “NYC Ferments” – they are doing “fermented fruit” this time, and I was planning to take a fermented squash salsa  (check it out on meetup.com), because I have work that night (yea, work! helps pay the rent)

Stay tuned! I’m back! Yea! (thank you WordPress, and thank you, Lord!)

08/15/13 CSA SHARE: What they said and what we got

What they said and what we got:

Yellow Baby Watermelon –      1 pc 2 tiny baby watermelons
Potatoes OR Green Beans –       1 qt or 1/2 lb. bag green beans
Cucumbers – 5 pcs                      8 cucumbers
Baby Leeks – 1 bun                      1 sm. bun leeks
Red Beets – 1 bun                         X
Tomato – 1 pc                               2 tomatoes, 1 big one, one small one

I kept almost everything this time. After a glance into the “trade box”, since most people had discarded their cucumbers, I decided to trade in my small bunch of leeks for 8 big cucumbers – I can make a couple of my favorite cucumber dishes and also ferment a couple of jars worth.

I was disappointed to not get the beets, as I was looking forward to some beet salad this week. Oh well.
Glad to have the green beans, because I can experiment with my green bean gadget recommended by Raw Nouveau. (I’ll let you know that goes)

All in all — YUMM! Good food to eat this week!

06/27/13 CSA SHARE: What we got, what I will do with it, and miscellaneous comments

Here is what we got:
Fennel – 1 bun
Parsley – 1 bun
Red Romaine Lettuce – 1 hd
Green Boston Lettuce – 1 hd traded for kale
Toscano Kale – 1 bun
Baby Carrots – 1 bun
Garlic Scapes – 1 bun

I was kind of surprised because, when I went to trade two things from my box, I was told that there was a rule that each person could only trade one thing for one other thing. That was new to me – I’ve been a member of the CSA from the first year, and the rule has always been you put one thing in and you take one thing out, no limits. So…. I could not trade the lettuce *and* the romaine, and, once I had decided to trade the lettuce, I had to decide between taking the kale or the garlic scapes. I think that new plan is just plain mean, but I am not the people who are running the CSA, and they are they people who get to make the rules as they see fit. I do think that the rules should be published for all to know about, and I will post this thought on the CSA Facebook page (in case anybody watches that or cares what people think)
What will I do with all this?
I got about 4 fennel things (pieces? Fennel bulbs with stalks with some frilly leaf-like things), 1 little bunch of parsley, 1 hd of romaine, 2 bunches of kale, 1 bunch of carrots with greens, and 1 bunch of about 5 garlic scapes.
In addition, they let me take the carrot greens that some people had put into the compost pot.
I’m going to look into fermenting fennel – If I can’t find something interesting, then I’ll just chop it up and find a way to eat it with other vegetables (will let you know)
I will make dill garlic fermented carrots
The kale will go to kale chips – will describe the recipe once I decide
I will chop up the garlic scapes and use them as garlic for something.—maybe the fermented carrots (will let you know)
If I cannot bring myself to eat the romaine, I will dehydrate it along with the carrot greens and add it to my supergreen powder (I’ll let you know)
Things are tight here, right now. The CSA is about the only source of food I have, with my reduction in work hours. I am down about 20 lbs (down to 120 lbs @ 5’9”) living on what I get from the CSA, and what I can manage after my rent and utilities. So, I am svelte (and I do like the way clothes look on me), but wondering where I will go from here. (I’ll let you know more when I know more.)

DEHYDRATING DAY!

I’ve been dehydrating all day, while I’ve been cleaning, and playing on the computer (okay, that’s work, too – I’ve been writing, studying, planning….) — hey! I am on vacation, yes?

So, anyway, I took some leaves out of the dehydrator this morning, but I decided to wait until the Magic Bullet jar was dry (rather than dry it, duh!), and wait until the rest of the trays were dry as well.  So, anyway, when I got around to wanting to grind up those leaves, they were damp – it was like they saw it was raining outside and they decided they were thirsty. They were all wilted, so I had to put them back in the dehydrator for a while (I won’t do that again!)

Well, now, after a whole day of dehydrating, I got about 2 tablespoons more of powder, and I had to graduate to a quart jar.  Of course, since I had just scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees, mind you, I spilled some on the floor!  Never mind! When I open that jar, it smells really good (and I am that girl who does not like salads!)  

I’m thinking of grating up some radishes and turnips and adding them to the mix.  Or maybe I will just start another kind of jar, and mix them when I’m using them.  I keep thinking about Spike , my main seasoning – it’s a salt-free mix of an assortment of dried vegetables (I think it was originally intended to help people reduce dietary salt, although there is a Spike with salt)  So, anyway, if I grate up some vegetables and put them in the dehydrator, and then grind them up into powder and mix them up… well, hey! I could have my own Spike mix going.

Since this green powder I have going smells so good, I am starting to think that I could put 3 or 4 T into hot water and have an ultra-healthy “salad” soup. Add some cashews for creaminess…. who knows?  I am very grateful for my Healthy Homesteader class that woke me up to this idea.  Not only have I learned a lot, I have also become aware that many people who enjoy preparing foods in the way I do call themselves homesteaders. Thus have I been opened to a whole new network of like-minded people.  When I was offered the opportunity to take a Tera Warner course, I chose this one more or less out of the blue, never imagining how much it would allow me to expand my horizons.

I have a tray filled with 5 large white turnips-worth of grated turnips (I processed them in my food processor to a coarse grind – think chunky applesauce texture) and spread them on a teflex sheet placed over the plastic tray of my dehydrator

THE LOCAVORE’S HANDBOOK

POST #943
I think I bought The Locavore’s Handbook: the Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget,  by Leda Meredith, by accident – I was looking for books by Wildman Steve Brill, and books on foraging in New York City. Nevertheless, I am happy to have it – I inhaled it in one day!

Meredith is a New Yorker, and she mostly gives information as to how to organize one’s life to eat local as much as possible, in order to reduce one’s carbon footprint – that said, she does give hints as to where you might look if you are in another part of the country. (The basics will apply if you live in another country, as well, but you will just have to find your own way to the resources).

I’ll admit that, on differing levels, I knew most of this information (as I said, I bought this book by accident), but Meredith addresses a number of issues which are near and dear to my heart – I live in a tiny New York City apartment, and she suggests storage ideas that I might not have thought of.

Meredith is not a raw foodist, or even a vegetarian, but I think we are all grown up enough that we can read books and get what we need from them. She talks extensively about foraging, community gardening, CSAs, food coops, food preservation (another topic near and dear to my heart) and home organization issues. In my reading, I have gotten quite a few ideas about how I can reorganize my kitchen and apartment to include more storage space.

If you are interested in eating local or organic, and/or if you live in a tiny New York apartment,  and you want to organize a locavore/vegan/raw vegan kitchen, this is the book for you. It’s really good.

KOMBUCHA & KEFIR RESEARCH

POST #942
I have the kombucha scoby and the water kefir grains in the refrigerator. The Russell James Chef Homestudy course I’m going through now has, just this week, given me a very good grounding in what I need to do for kombucha and kefir brewing. I just like to read up on as much background as I can.

KOMBUCHA
kombucha scoby getkombuchaI’m finding out that I may have destroyed my kombucha scoby – who knew that you shouldn’t put it in the refrigerator. Well, it’s been in there almost a week, and I probably won’t try to do anything with it until at least tomorrow. (the scoby picture is from getkombucha.com)

Meanwhile, I have found two downloadable kombucha brewing guides on-line:

The Cultures for Health ebook  is very extensive – it covers in pretty much detail just about anything you want to know. This site also has quite a few informative videos on kombucha

Kombucha Kamp’s kombucha guide is concise and informative. I like it as a checklist for after I have read through the entire Cultures for Health book.

Yemoos Nourishing Cultures’ kombucha FAQ  has some useful information, as well.

More details at GetKombucha.com What is Kombucha

dried kombucha kombuchananaDrying kombucha – I kept trying to find out how to dehydrate kombucha, but never came up with anything much about using a dehydrator. Most of the info was about how to air dry it. I saw one mention of dehydrating at 105 degrees, but when I tried to follow that google link, I didn’t find anything further. It seems you are supposed to dry it to jerky consistency, but, on kombuchanana , which has some interesting ideas for what to do with dried scoby, I saw this picture where it looks pretty dry.

water kefir grains wikipediaKEFIR
Cultures for Health has videos on water kefir . Their ebook deals only with milk kefir, but it is free and has interesting information (the picture is from Wikipedia)

Yemoos Nourishing Cultures has an extensive online water kefir “book”  which covers just about anything you could want to know.

Wellness Mama’s recipe promises Kefir soda  .

Lea’s Cooking’s kefir article  gives her recipes , as well as recipes she has found in her web research