So tonight I thought I'd tell you about the joys of a Farmers Market. We crafters get to sit surrounded by farmers and their fresh produce, and the gobs of people buying that produce. Most days I succumb to the lure of the produce and buy, buy, buy. Some weeks I even eat most of it before the next week's buying spree. Next to stamps, paper and ribbon, I have no restraint when surrounded by good, fresh veggies and fruit.
This year, though, I am trying something a little different. Several of the farmers offer (participate in) something called CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The way it works is people buy a share of a farmer's crop. In the Fall, the farmers take names and a deposit. Then, based on the number of people wanting to participate, they plan their crops for the following season. Then once the food starts to come in the following Summer, you get your 'share' of the crop. If the farmer has a bad year, you get less; if they have a good year, you get more. The members get a vat of fresh fruits and veggies every week for 16-18 weeks. You can buy a full share or a half share; I went for a half share, being just one person.
For the past five years, I have been buying at least as much produce as comes in the shares I have been seeing picked up each week. The only thing is, if I do not eat all that I buy, I just buy less the next week. But with the CSA, I will get another vat of food the next week, so I must eat it all each week. Or give it away. (The beets will be going to someone else's home. And maybe the kale. I am a Yankee, after all.)
The way I figure it, this stuff was picked in the last 24 hours - can't beat that with a stick! And the price is about the same (or less) than you'd spend in the grocery, so it is even a better deal!
So today I thought I'd practice and plan to actually eat everything I brought home. I bought a sampling of the currently-in-season stuff, which included grape/cherry tomatoes, pickling cukes, radishes, lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, green onions, rhubarb, and two boxes of English peas. Not a bad haul for one day, huh? After I got home, I decided to clean and prep all this stuff. Here's what I created:
This is The Salad. It includes lettuce, maters, cukes, radishes, and peas. Yummm! No salad dressing needed! I just picked at it right out of the bowl.
Now if you must know, the real reason I made this tonight (aside from the fact that all those veggies would never fit into my fridge), was because today my lunch consisted of a bag of Terra Chips. Yes, the whole bag. Sigh ...
Next up is The Blender Drink. This one is pretty funny, actually. I had an overabundance of fresh strawberries and raspberries, and I just knew if I put them in the fridge, there they'd stay, so I thought about making a smoothie of sorts. Now normally one would put a liquid of some kind in with the fruit. Having sworn off alcohol due to the weird dreams I've had the past few times post-consumption, I went in search of a suitable substitute. To make a long, boring story short, I grabbed a mini-can of Mountain Dew, poured it in and threw the switch. And my, my, my, is it yummy!
Oh, and in case you are wondering, even though I do not drink soda, I have the cans of Mountain Dew on hand because I made this recipe, and it calls for Mountain Dew. What can I say? And if you have not made this recipe yet, do it now! If only one time in your life, you must try it. With Vanilla Ice Cream. I kid you not. Then go out and run a mini-marathon, or do two extra hours on the treadmill.
This last concoction is waaay yummier than it looks in the terrible photo I took of it. This is a bowl of cooked rhubarb and strawberries (told you I had a ton of them.) Rhubarb, all by itself, is bitter and nasty. You almost always see it paired with something sweet like strawberries. This dish is from my childhood, and is amazingly easy to make, as long as you keep the heat of the burner turned down so the pot does not boil over. (Ask me how I know.) When it is done cooking, it has the consistency of apple sauce, and since there is nothing in it except rhubarb, strawberries and a little water (and a squeeze of lemon, if I'd remembered to add it...), it is even good for you! A bowl of this as a side dish is perfect. It can also be eaten for dessert. And you could put it over ice cream. M-m-m.
Next week is my first CSA pick-up, and I am sooo excited. I already know my share will include some strawberries, and I think a Hosta plant. I'll report back on what I get and if I'm brave enough to try new things, like kale ....
The rest of today and this evening I have tried to stamp. Really, really tried. But it just seemed that everything I started - failed. I finally gave up and decided to report on the Market instead. Naturally, my monthly SU classes are next weekend, and I have no clue. I guess tomorrow I will be working in earnest to make up the five projects. Hopefully my mojo will return.
One last thing: This is one candidate for my Brother's very, very belated Birthday card:I figured it was so late already, that I should make something really special. I broke out my new Basic Grey Boxer paper, and also dusted off my SU Baroque Motifs set, and this is the first thing I came up with. And no, there is no special technique to get the striped look, except to use textured card stock so the flourish stamp comes out looking striped. I like the colors, but I am not sure if it is belated-worthy. And as belated as this one is, it'd better get kicked up a notch or two. ;-) I will play some more tomorrow.
Thanks for stopping by and reading through all this food stuff. I'll get back to stampin' here shortly. I promise!