New Ways: Food & Plans

We belong to a CSA, which is why I have a weekly flood of fresh food. This week was the first full-blown week at the CSA: both aisles were available. (The CSA is a mix and match of so many items each week.) This week I got two portions of carrots, with tops.

I make a midwinter dish I call “beans & greens.” This came from an old list serv back in the day. Not sure I could find the website, if it still exists, and I haven’t seen the recipe or anything like it elsewhere. Basically, it’s a bean dish with carrots and their tops. So first thing I cut off the carrot tops, chopped a bunch of the leaves, labelled it and put a bag of them in the freezer. Carrots with tops are ungodly expensive midwinter. I have never remembered this when fresh carrots show up before!

I also dried a bunch of the carrot greens and added that to the dried greens bottle. I think the bottle will be full before the end of the month.

Available the first time was broccoli. I stripped the leaves off first thing, removed the stems, then dried those leaves as well.

I am eager to try my idea of using vegetable powders as stock bases, in soups, etc. and apprehensive! If the flavors are off, I have no real idea how to “fix” it. As an experiment, I really like the idea. Hopefully, if it doesn’t work, the fix will be fairly easy, that is, we don’t like the mustardy component that mustard greens add, for example.

I do know that the green powder consists of leaves from lettuces, bok choy, mustard greens, spinach, carrots and now broccoli. I may add some basil, thyme and parsley to the mix. (Or maybe I’ll make an herb mix?) I think I’ll label this jar “leaves” and go on from there.

I love trying new things but sometimes I hate it too — I have no idea wtf I’m doing and stumble along trying to find methods and organization for the new thing. True with the “green” powder and dehydrating food in general. I now have a “system” for dealing with the going-to-be dried and dried foods to powder.

Part of that system is that the leaves I haven’t dried yet are all in cups, vases, etc., stems in water, on the kitchen counter. Previously, the stuff would have likely gone bad. There’s no room in the fridge to put three kinds of basil, the remaining greens from 2 bunches of carrots, cilantro, argula, parsley, etc.

One of my other necessary jobs is to cull the food down, again. That means figuring out what to use NOW, what to freeze, what to compost, and what to dry. One thing I did was pull the remaining yellow summer squash and zucchini out of the fridge. I got a new batch this week. The “old” squash got dehydrated, immediately! (Dried yellow squash is sweet, did you know? I didn’t.)

The new freezer space should be available, hopefully by the end of this weekend — that will help immensely! I wish I knew how to can things, there are times I think it would be easier. Or maybe I should just add a canning class to the mix of things I want to do?

The long-term list, aside from the writing projects I talked about earlier this week includes:

  • creating a capsule wardrobe with a “uniform.” I have one in mind, but don’t right now have the skill to make such a thing. I intend to learn. Associated with this is furthering my craft projects with old clothing.
  • Raising chickens and/or rabbits for meat.
  • My plant/sale idea.
  • Plant enough blueberry  bushes that we get more than a handful each year (assuming we fend off the chipmunks)
  • Actual landscaping in the yard, including fencing.
  • Using the bead collection to create gifts or items for sale or selling  the lot.
  • House decorating. 1) News on that is that the help/class I was going to take to redo what I call “the daddy chair” (a leather chair my Mom gave my Dad, 60+ years ago). The leather didn’t like moving from the beach, to the desert, to the swamp, to New England — it’s crumbling, and as I said > 60 years old. I intend to reupholster it. 2)Decided that carpeting for the stairs needs to wait, so no new carpets.
  • A real guest room
  • Give regular parties.

I have forms to make, inspired by my Aha! yesterday, and there’s painting, food prep, garden, and of course, more culling and cleaning to do.

Adding more to the freezer displaced a pint container of strawberries, so it was a hardship, but we had strawberry shortcake (of a sort) for breakfast.

I love summer!

J

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