Sunday, June 29, 2008

CSA Shares Week 5 and Garden Produce

This week from the CSA we got:
1/4 lb of salad mix (there was a lot less bitter stuff in this one so I quite enjoyed it)
A pint of goose berries (Bitter, but in a good way. When they ripen to purple they are quite good. We've just eaten them plain.)
A pint of cherries (Really bitter, in a not so good way. I dried them and will be adding them to granola.)
Two super yummy sweet onions. We haven't actually eaten any of the bulb yet. I need some green onion for a pizza I made. I just chopped some of the stem and it was so delicious! I just put sliced onions, olives, and stewed tomatoes on top of the sauce, and then covered it with a mozzarellas mix.

A recent garage sale I went to yielded up this prize food dehydrator with all it's pieces, and instructions for three dollars. I asked the couple if it worked since it didn't look like it had ever been used. They said, "Sure we used it one time to dry some parsley." OK then, I bought it. I've been wanting to try it since then and a local sale on peaches for 79 cents a pound was just the excuse I needed. I made a tray of fruit leather and a tray of dried peaches. Neither of them lasted past a second day. DELICIOUS! I canned three quarts and four pints of peaches. So yummy.

Once again we have a garden this year. We planted peas, peppers, both bell and hot, yellow squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, pumpkin, and tons of onions. Dr. J loves to plant onions. It is all part of our organic plan to keep down on some bugs. Actually we are probably just as organic because of pure laziness and convenience. Who wants to go to the store to get the bug killer and then who wants to keep the kids out of it. I can't keep the kids out of the garden. They always want to be digging things up and watering. Dr. J has also been a huge help in the garden this summer. He is out there every week weeding and watering. I really appreciate it and so do the plants. Here are some of the peas we've gotten. So far I've harvested about four lunch meat containers full. Sugar snaps are so sweet!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

CSA - Week Four

This week was a small week.
1 pint peas
1 pint strawberries
(Not picture. We gave ours to some else. I didn't think we could eat another full pound.)

My kids love peas out of the garden, but the baby and the picky one. We took these guys to a picnic today and they were gone before we got home.

What to do with CSA shares?

What to do when you have a bundle of rhubarb and some bitter strawberries...well make a pie of course. Our church makes pies for all the men on Father's Day. This was my contribution. I thought it was truly beautiful and lets face it a labor of love. The fact that they get pies every year drives me nuts. For mothers day we get long stem rose that our children love to turn promptly into swords. This is one girl here who doesn't really like flowers that much. Oh they are pretty and all but the shelf life is short and a lot of times they just make the water in the vase stinky. YUCK! Plus what is a girl to do with a single long stem rose. I myself am more taken with labors of love. Baking a pie is a labor of love and quite frankly reaching into that hot oven on an exceptionally hot June night is just a labor :) I got to try a piece of this beauty. It wasn't half bad. FYI it would be wise to use a little less sugar.

Printed from COOKS.COM

Pastry for double-crust pie
1 1/4 c. sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. fresh rhubarb, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 c. fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
2 tbsp. butter
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line 9-inch pie plate with crust. Roll out top crust. Mix all ingredients except rhubarb, strawberries, and butter.

Place half of rhubarb, half of strawberries in the pie plate; sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture. Repeat, then dot with butter. Cover with top crust. Bake 40-50 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

CSA - Week Three

2 pints strawberries
1 pint peas
1 1/2 pounds greens
2 heads of beautiful romaine lettuce (not received)

So here is the bummer deal on this week. I was picking up our share along with two other peoples and I had E and G along with our babysitter E. When we got up to Farmer Bobs place he said, "oops I guess I miscounted. Everyone else has gotten 2 heads or romaine lettuce but you guys only get one since I'm out." I was a little miffed at the time but now I'm a little more miffed. I wonder why he did give us an extra thing of peas or something to compensate for the fact. I mean I realize this is organic farming here but how about customer service. When you read the sign and get all excited about getting two heads of lettuce but then only actually get one, well it is a real let down. Then the really ridiculous part of the whole thing, and this is entirely my fault, when I was filling up the bags I somehow managed to forget to put one of those coveted lettuce heads in the bag. So I didn't even get one. It was a real bummer. I'd like to blame it on my disappointment but the truth is I really was just distracted by the kids staring at farmer Bob. Little man E could not get enough of Farmer Bob's beard. He talked about it all night long.

CSA - Week Two

This weeks haul:
2lbs of rhubarb
2 pints of strawberries
1 lb of greens
a bunch of garlic greens

Since we had some more rhubarb I decided to make a dessert Dr. J really loves. We are also pretty much just living off pasta, salads, and sandwiches. It is to hot to cook!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Circle of Life

The weather in the mid-west has been crazy. A few weeks ago a little bird was blown out of the tree outside our house. When I came out with the kids he was hopping around. E was concerned about him. He said, "Mom look at the bird. We need to pick him up." I looked at my darling boy and said, "Honey, circle of life, circle of life." Later on it hit me what I'd done. I grew up with a mother who was a sucker for animal rescue. We ended up with a dog because she saw the underfed flea bitten mutt chained up in someone's yard and offered to take her off their hands. More then one of our cats was an abandoned kitten and I to this day can remember her chasing our dog Sandy around the yard trying to extract some poor baby bird that had fallen out of a tree only to be picked up in big doggy jaws. She knew how to find the animal rescuer in town and would take little baby birds we'd tried to save there. You think with that example I'd have some compassion, some drive to do something more. I'd have a desire to instill the same love of all things precious and helpless in my child. In my heart though I am a biologist. I understand that even with help the chances of that baby bird making it were slim and there is no shame in entering the food chain. Predators have to eat. It is the reason I always feel uncomfortable in the ocean or in the woods. Circle of life.

Buy Dockers - Get a Gas Card

I just wanted to let everyone in on a deal we took advantage of today. Until the 15th if you buy $100 of men's Dockers you can send in for a gas card of $75. This deal was perfect for us. Between teaching at the MTC, seminary, normal Sunday church wear, and being a medical student who has to look professional, Dr. J's church pants get a lot of use. Recently we realized he was going to need some new pairs. We looked around but hadn't found anything we were really happy with. This deal was great motivation. We got two pairs of khakis (one light, one dark), a pair of nice gray slacks, and a nice looking blue shirt for 112 dollars (the pretax total has to be over 100). Once we send in for our gas card we will have gotten three pairs of pants and a shirt for $37...basically the price of one pair of pants. I was joking with the cashier on why they don't do deals like this for woman. Apparently though we don't need the extra motivation to go shopping.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

CSA - Week One Meals

With our veggies this week we ate two salads. One was a mixed green salad that we ate on the same night we had spaghetti made with chopped garlic greens instead of the onion. The second was a pasta salad made with our spinach. I also made rhubarb cookies which amazingly enough turned out quite delicious. When cooked the rhubarb got soft and while still tart reminded me of a cranberry. The cookies also stayed really soft for a few days, a feat my chocolate cookies never manage to do. I also made two rhubarb cakes. The funny thing about rhubarb is that you would think my kids would hate it but both of them loved it...and not only with sugar. They kept stealing the chopped up pieces I had until finally I just gave them each a stalk to chew on. Kids will be kids. At one point I also tried the garlic greens in eggs. I was not a huge fan and think I'm done with that from now on.


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 4 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 (3 ounce) package raspberry flavored gelatin mix
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line the bottom of one ungreased 9x13 inch baking pan with the diced rhubarb. Sprinkle the white sugar over the top. Then sprinkle the raspberry gelatin over the top of the sugar. Next sprinkle the cake mix over the top of the gelatin.
  3. Melt the butter or margarine and pour it over the top of the cake mix. Pour the water over the top of the cake.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes.
  5. If you are using frozen rhubarb reduce the amount of water used to 1/2 cup.
So this is the basic recipe I used. I'll be honest though I was a little wary of just putting the cake mix on top so I actually made my up with the water and eggs you would normally use in the cake and then poured that on top of the gelatin. Maybe next time I'll be daring enough to make it without mixing the cake mix and seeing how it turns out.

Printed from COOKS.COM

1 1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1 egg
3 tbsp. milk
2 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. soda
1/2 c. coconut
1 c. raisins
1 c. finely chopped rhubarb
1 c. nuts

Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Sift together flour, spices, and soda; add alternately with milk. Stir in remaining ingredients and drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

I used butter instead of shortening because shortening just makes me sick. I can't help it. I also left out the raisins, cloves, and nutmeg. It was still delicious.

Great Garage Sale Deals

I've mentioned before that I'm a huge garage sale queen. It is a great way to pick up cute clothes that I could never afford new for the kids and it is fun to spend time with my girlfriends. Last Saturday when I realized there was no way I could do another whole day alone with the kids, I called up my friends and they came and picked me up (they had started before seven). On our last garage sale I saw this little brown box. I opened it up and found this crazy little blade and cutting board, still shrink wrapped. They also had a brand new set of Martha Stewart dishes for sale so I bought the crazy little knife and cutting board and the dishes for seven dollars. Today I went online to see what kind of deal I made. The knife is actually a ulu knife and the set I bought sells on the site for 29.95. I bought it for $2, brand new, in the box with shrink wrap. The dishes sell for 29.99. I bought them brand new, never taken out of the box for $5. Our previous plates I bought for a dollar a plate at the dollar store. This was a better deal. Is it any wonder I just can't wait for summer!