My First Summer Share

We decided to try a new experiment this summer: our family will receive a full vegetable share every week, just as many of our members do. The first couple pick-ups were so large (with the Saskatoon and Battlefords groups picking up on the same day) that we didn’t want to add another order to the mix. But last week our delivery days were separated, so we initiated the Sanford Beck family share.

There are several motivations behind this project. We know that it is often difficult for new members to incorporate a CSA share into their meal planning and thought that if we shared what we were doing with the vegetables, it might help. We are also never sure how much is enough, and how much is too much, in terms of order size and, recognizing that the answer will be different for every family, we wanted to see how the order size meshes with our own eating. And, being accustomed to simply eating what we want from the garden, I have to admit that there are some items we don’t normally eat. It seems a little backwards for me to be advising others on how to eat foods that I’m not eating myself, so I wanted to challenge myself to cook with these less favoured items.

Our weekly menu began with a potluck supper on Sunday night, to which we took a black bean salad (with coriander and spinach from the order) and a green salad (with half our lettuce and many herbs, both in the salad and in the yogurt-based dressing). Monday we had an Australian meat pie with steamed asparagus, carrot sticks, and the rest of Sunday’s salad. Tuesday the leftover bean salad and asparagus were made into soup for lunch. We hosted our weekly farm meeting that evening, so I made a big greens casserole (recipe below — I doubled it for the 9 of us), which used our full share of orach and turnip greens, mashed potatoes (our full order of potatoes, mashed with yogurt, dill, and green onions), and a salad that used up the rest of our lettuce. Wednesday morning I cooked up the rhubarb for breakfast fruit (my favourite recipe is 4 cups chopped rhubarb, 1/2 cup honey, 1 Tbsp tapioca, and 1 tsp cinnamon cooked until soft). Since then, we have helped ourselves to more lettuce and herbs.

So what is still sitting in the cellar five days after the order arrived? Cress. I’m going to need some help on this one. I put some in Sunday’s salad, but I find the flavour strong. Judy loves hers in potato salad. I couldn’t find a potato salad recipe that calls for cress, and am not so confident in experimenting with this potent green. I’ve got some books on greens on hold at the library — maybe they will provide some guidance!

This week’s order will look quite similar to the last one, with a few subtle seasonal shifts. Our first seeding of lettuce is at its peak, so we will be sending a full bag of lettuce with each full share. The second bag will contain a mixture of orach and spinach (most likely a new variety, Lorelei, that is slower to bolt). We will also start sending the multiplier onions (to use as green onions — I got a head start this week) and your herb bag will contain some kale thinnings, along with cress, sorrel, dill, coriander, parsley, and summer savory. And there will be 6 more stalks of rhubarb. (If anyone wants extra for preserving or a big batch of baking, let us know.) We will hold off on the turnip greens, but if anyone especially likes them, let us know and we will be happy to throw some in.

Chard Cheese Bake

1 lb. swiss chard or other cooking greens (I used a full order of orach and turnip greens for a double recipe)

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

1 cup grated cheese (Swiss or other, I used homemade mozza)

1 cup bread, cubed

1/2 cup green onions

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Place the washed and cut greens in a covered pot or skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted. Drain well and combine with remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased 2 L baking dish and bake at 375 until set (25-30 minutes).

6 thoughts on “My First Summer Share

  1. Hi Janice, can you call me at the office to tell me whether or not you have a surveyors certificate for the Saskatoon property.

    Jeff

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  2. I tried the cress in egg salad sandwiches this week. I left out the mustard and used about 3/4 of a tablespoon per egg. I really liked it.

    Sent from my iPad Evelyn Brown

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