Friday, September 26, 2008

Fall arrives, and with it an update

Fall has arrived in the District, the temperatures feel like they've plummeted 20 degrees since last week. This month has been packed with my new job on weekdays and various fun social things that come up on the weekends in-between.

Although we've both been busy, we've managed to squeeze in some good cooking and eating in-between. Some highlights: lots and lots of tasty, garlicky and lemony bean dip for snacking, coconut curry shrimp over rice noodles (a last minute Plan B when we had to scrap our plan to eat goat curry leftovers), Italian pea soup, and eggplant and cauliflower curry with couscous.

A couple weeks ago our friend J. packed up and left DC to take a job in California. Although we were sad to see him go, the upside of this development is that we inherited his houseplants (including a basil and sage plant) and his CSA share, from Star Hollow Farms. So that's one more that I can cross off of my "to-do" list (along with "take out a community garden plot," since that's not going to happen anytime soon)!

The great thing about this share is that it works like a debit account, and so you don't have to commit to getting a box every week, they just take money out of your share account every time you order a box. It's very convenient for us as well, since Star Hollow Farms has a stand at the Adams Morgan farmer's market every Saturday morning at 18th and Columbia, which takes a matter of minutes for us to walk to from home.

Here is a breakdown of what we received in our first box last week ($15 for a small box):
1 huge head of cauliflower
1 cantaloupe
at least 2 pounds (I never weighed them) of green beans, the same variety my parents grew this summer in Minnesota
1 beautiful sweet red pepper
1 head of garlic
1 red onion
a box of concord grapes

Considering that our box featured produce that we wouldn't normally buy in the store (grapes, melon) mainly because it's usually too expensive for what it's worth, we estimated that this is a pretty good value.

Here's what we made with our produce:
-the aforementioned cauliflower and eggplant curry, with some cut-up beans added at the end of cooking time so that they were still a little crisp
-steamed beans dressed with a little balsamic and olive oil and eaten at room temp in lunches
-stir-fried beans and red pepper
-the garlic went into a pasta sauce I made last night with collards and tomato and served over shells
-melon and grapes for breakfast accompaniments and as a dessert on several occasions

Star Hollow Farms also has an online farmer's market on their website worth checking out if you aren't interested in getting CSA or they aren't open for adding new members.

Soup update: Italian pea soup (made with a hambone) for this week. Will have to figure out what to make next week.

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