Mel’s Box – Week 9

This week was our most colourful bounty yet!  This is because we have finally reached tomato season, which I am pumped for.  My own tomatoes were an epic fail this year and I was too stubborn to purchase seedlings when they died.  I regret that decision.  Big time.

CSA box_week 9

This week’s breakdown:

Cabbage: I’m on a bit of a kimchi kick right now.  I’ve been making batches all month with green beans and now I’ve moved on to the more traditional cabbage.  I have a batch on the go right now.  I think it will go really well with some fried rice when the time comes.

Kale/Dandelion Greens:  This was a nice mix; two kinds of kale and some large, but tender dandelion greens.  I made a salad with the kale and opted to add the dandelion greens to a few breakfast smoothies.

Basil: I have used most of the basil not for pesto, but in salads.  It adds such a nice kick.  The bunch was large so I did manage a small batch of pesto after all.

Tomatoes:  Lovely, little Roma (I think) tomatoes.  These were used in two salads; one with the kale and cucumbers, the other with sunflower shoots, our own lettuce and more of this week’s cucumbers.

Beets:  I steamed and sliced the beets and served them on a platter with black plums, basil, ricotta cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil and white wine vinaigrette.  A great summer salad based on a recipe I saw in a Martha Stewart magazine.  It was, indeed, a good thing. Continue reading

Green Bean Kimchi

Earlier this month, I was inspired by Desiree Nielsen to make kimchi. I had seen her whip up a quick batch on Breakfast Television and thought it was time that I give it a go. There was only one problem: I didn’t have any cabbage in the house. Although we have several grocery stores within walking distance of our house, I hate having to run to the store unless it’s absolutely necessary. The convenience is alluring, but it stifles ones creativity.

Thankfully, my beans were a success this year and I had a couple handfuls on hand when I wanted to experiment with the kimchi recipe. I have made this kimchi a few times since and it is neighbour and husband approved. It does have a bit of kick to it, so if you don’t like a lot of spice I recommend reducing the amount of red pepper powder. Conversely, if you enjoy a five-alarm fire in your mouth, you could add a little extra.

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Mel’s Box – Week 8

I can’t believe that August is more than halfway over! We noticed that it’s starting to get dark out much earlier and the nights are a bit cooler. It kind of crept up on us this year, at least it seems that way.  Fall is just around the corner…

happy to get peaches this week!

happy to get peaches this week!

Here’s the breakdown from this week’s share:

Beans: I’m still working on perfecting my kimchi recipe. The beans from this week are being experimented on just like last week’s batch. I promise the recipe will be up soon!

Carrots: A few for snacking, but most of them went into a batch of soup for the freezer.

Cauliflower: I made soup out of this week’s cauliflower. I had wanted to do that earlier this season, but ended up roasting it instead.  I’m glad that I was given another chance to make the soup. I used the last of the onion from a few weeks ago, some garlic from my garden, this week’s carrots and a couple of potatoes too.  The soup is tucked away in the freezer so we will have it for winter.

Cucumbers: I still have last week’s cucumbers. I think they will end up in a salad as usual.

Kale and Red Lettuce: Another weekend away, so the greens went to the neighbours.

Parsley: I made a batch of Chimichurri sauce with this bunch. It goes so well with grilled meats and fish. Last night we had it with halibut and I’ll be serving the rest tomorrow night with grilled moose and dear steaks.

Peaches: It was such a treat to get peaches this week! I just finished freezing and canning the ones that I got from the Okanagan when these arrived. I have enjoyed these ones just as they are.

Peppers: Grilled on the barbecue, along with this week’s squash.

Potatoes: The same way I always do them – boiled, olive oil, salt and pepper, and rosemary. I made a batch last night and finished them off on the barbecue so they were nice and crispy on the outside. The leftovers are good cold too – I had some for lunch!

Shoots: Made a salad with this week’s shoots. Added some steamed beets, beans, and lettuce from my garden.

Summer Squash: These went on the grill with the peppers. I either put them on a skewer and make kebabs or cook them in a grill basket. Oil, seasoning, and some dried herbs are all they need.

It will be fall in a couple of weeks – what are you doing to get ready?

Canned Peaches in Vanilla Syrup

Most summers I will take a trip to the Okanagan, either to Penticton or Osoyoos, for some hot sun and lots of wine. This year the trip was short- just the weekend with a couple of girlfriends. We left Friday after work and made it home on Sunday evening in time for supper. From Vancouver, Penticton is a 4½ – 6 hour drive, depending on traffic and the size of your bladder. We packed a lot in that weekend; the farmers market, beach, vineyards, and rip at The Mule. On the way home, we made the obligatory stop in Keremeos at Parson’s Fruit Stand. This year I purchased a bunch of freestone peaches. Rather than make jam, I decided to freeze and can them. This recipe is based on a small batch of peaches, so you don’t need a lot on hand. You will have plenty of syrup left too, which I recommend adding to sparkling water or wine.

canned peaches 4

This recipe assumes that you have previous experience canning, therefore, I have not included detailed instructions for how to sterilize and process the jars. If canning is something that you would like to try, I encourage you to check out my home canning resources post. Continue reading

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Home Canning Resources

canned peaches 3

Home canning is a great way to preserve seasonal foods for year-round enjoyment. It can also save you money and is a great tradition to share with your children or grandchildren. Below are some resources to help both new and experienced canners alike.

Home Canning Safety (Health Canada): A brief guide on the risks of home canning and the safety precautions you should take to ensure a safe product.

Boiling Water Bath Canning Method (Food in Jars): This link describes and illustrates the boiling water bath canning method.

Canning 101 (Food in Jars): Pretty much everything you need to know about canning. This page includes a list of links to all the posts on canning by Marisa McClellan on her blog Food in Jars.

How to Can (US National Center for Home Food Preservation): A comprehensive guide to home canning.

Are you a home canner?  What is your favorite thing to make?  Let me know in the comments section below.

Mel’s Box – Week 7

CSA box_week 7

We are getting close to the halfway point of our CSA season. It has been really interesting to see the foods change from week to week – definitely a new perspective on what seasonal really is! Our share this week was plentiful as usual.

Here’s the breakdown of what I did with everything:

Kale: We had a nice purple variety this week. I made a salad with most of it by adding dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and some cooked quinoa. For the dressing I just added some olive oil and the juice of half a lemon to the kale leaves and massaged it in before mixing with the other ingredients.

Cucumber: I have been enjoying our weekly cucumbers. They are perfect for salads or a quick snack. This week they went into two salads: one with lettuce and beans from our own garden and the other with the green pepper, sunflower shoots and some kale.

Fennel: I had an exam this week (physiology – yuck). I had planned on making braised sausages with fennel and potato, a recipe that I developed and posted last month, but I needed to spend more time hitting the books. So, my husband played chef and followed the recipe right off the blog. It turned out great and I got to see the recipe in action.

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Nutrition Resources for Kids

peeling potatoesLast week I read an article in the New York Times about a dietitian who takes a relaxed approach to nutrition with her kids. I really liked Maryann Jacobsen‘s attitude. Though I am not a parent, I would like to think that I would employ some of the same strategies as Maryann with my own children.

While I agree that it is good not to overdue it with kids and nutrition, it can be difficult to know what to feed them. I’ve rounded up a few resources to help you raise good eaters.

Dietitians of Canada: 5 Steps to Healthy Eating for Children aged 4-11
Dietitians of Canada: 5 Steps to Healthy Eating for Youths 12-18
EatRight Ontario: Cooking with Kids of Different Ages
Health Canada: Infant Feeding
HealthLink BC: Feeding Your Baby: Sample Meals for Babies 6 to 12 Months
Maryann’s Blog: Raise Healthy Eaters
New York Times: A Dietitian Who Won’t Oversell Nutrition to Her Kids

What do you do to encourage you children to eat healthy?

Turnip, Chard and Bacon Hash

Hash is a wonderful dish to make for Sunday brunch. It’s also a great weeknight dinner, if you’re a breakfast-for-dinner person, like me. Hash is best when you use leftovers for the starch component, but you can start with fresh turnips and it works out just fine (instructions are given for fresh). If you don’t have enough turnips on hand, you could always add-in or substitute with potato.

turnip and chard hash_close up

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