Eric’s Week of CSA Food- Part 1 of 3

This is the third post in the “Week in CSA Food” where CSA members tell the story of their meals and how they ate their food share.  Eric is our guest this week and he has an adventure in food.  You will not only see the CSA fruits and vegetables, but many from Eric’s amazing garden.  He shares recipes as well.  The beautiful photo on the left of raw potatoes is one of his meals and he explains why he ate it raw.  I will post his other recipes over the next three days.  Enjoy this post….and now off to his adventure.

Eric’s Week of CSA Food Adventure- Part One

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A large number of imaginary people are about to descend upon my kitchen, and my refrigerator seems very clean (meaning empty).  Luckily, today is CSA pickup day.

Lunch: The plan was to eat lunch before heading to Kitchen Angels so that lunch would remain a secret.  Snow, a strained muscle, and allegations of getting old delayed lunch, so it must be disclosed to the public.  Happily, I found that fresh, squishy persimmon is fabulous when drizzled on someone else’s cold leftover Thanksgiving turkey.  With or without the sandwich.

Dinner: Dill pumpkin spears, smashing potatoes, and pepitas cooked on wood stove.

Dill Pumpkin Spears

2/3 medium Acoma pumpkin (or one whole pie pumpkin)

4 heads of dill seeds

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

3 cups water

The Acoma pumpkin is on Renewing America’s Food Traditions’ list of endangered foods, so make sure you save plenty of seeds for growing next year’s pumpkins.  Slice the pumpkin into one inch slices.  Add the dill seeds, red wine vinegar, pumpkin slices, and a sprinkle of salt to just enough water to slightly submerge the pumpkin spears.  Place on the wood stove and add small diameter wood until the pot comes to a boil.  Then move the pot to a cooler part of the stove and simmer until the spears just begin to soften, perhaps 20 or 30 minutes.  Remove the spears from the hot water and place them in small containers.  Set the containers outside in the freezing cold to chill to serving temperature (40 to 50 degrees F).  Discard the dill seeds and save the hot water for making mashed potatoes.

Smashing Potatoes

1/3 medium Acoma pumpkin

2.5 pounds potatoes

2 turnips

6 small carrots

1 long leek

2 tbsp. green chile powder

Hot dill vinegar water

Chop the leek into fine pieces.  Remove eyes and any green areas from potatoes.  Cut the rest of the ingredients into two-inch or smaller pieces.  Add all ingredients to a pot on the wood stove and simmer until the potatoes are soft enough to mash easily, perhaps 30 minutes.  Drain the water and save it for another experiment later.  Mash the potatoes and serve.

Acoma Pumpkin Pepitas

Add 1/2 tsp. grape seed oil to a frying pan on the hottest part of the wood stove.  Add the pumpkin seeds (not the ones you are saving for planting!) and cook until they turn golden brown, stirring frequently and covering with a lid when not stirring.  Typically I will add salt and chile powder to the seeds while cooking, but these were so good that I was glad I added nothing.  That also made it easier to tell when they were done.

The smashing potatoes and the pepitas were each very good individually and with the seeds sprinkled on top of the mash.  I was also pleased with the dill pumpkin spears.  My imaginary visitors were relieved that the heat from the wood stove kept them from freezing on such a cold night.  I put some extra mash in the freezer for them to have later.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Breakfast:  Quince and Instant slow persimmon oats

To test the theory that all fruit will ripen eventually, I saved the quince until a brown spot began to appear and then ate it like a pear.  To experience the true flavor of the quince, this may be the way to go.  In this state it had a sweet, strong, pear-like flavor but the crunchiness of a firm apple, with a slight hint of sourness that is only noticed on the first bite.

Instant Slow Persimmon Oats: Fill a bowl with rolled oats (not quick oats) and add a teaspoon of flax seed, three teaspoons of pecans, and one ripe persimmon.  Pour boiling water into the bowl to a level slightly higher than the solid contents.  After a few minutes the slow oats will be ready.  Stir and eat.

Lunch:  Turnip green salad, microwaved eggs, and leftover mash and dill spears.

Turnip Green Salad: Lettuce, arugula, turnip greens, one sliced turnip, 3 small carrots.  Sprinkle with a bit of flax oil and red wine vinegar.  Some bites were quite spicy – I think I’ll chop the turnip greens next time.

Dinner:  Celeriac green chile dressing, raw root salad, and hibiscus spice tea.

Celeriac green chile dressing

1 medium-length leek

1 peeled celeriac (celery root)

1 very small spineless cactus pad (about half the size of a computer mouse)

6 small cloves of garlic (3 large cloves)

6 roasted, peeled, and seeded green chiles

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup flax oil

When I spotted the strange creatures lurking on the exchange table, I knew that they needed to come home with me, though I had no clue what they were.  Luckily, I grew potatoes in my garden this summer, so it wasn’t too hard to sacrifice a number of them to the exchange table in order to take home some fuzzy, dirty critters.  Celery root, also known a celeriac, is what the monsters turned out to be.  Add all the ingredients into the blender and grate until a fluffy green mixture is achieved.  Then add the oils and blend for a dozen seconds or so and serve.

The chiles were a little hotter than I expected, which seemed to conceal the taste of the celeriac.  The true flavor of the dressing does not come out until the second day, so it may re-surface.

Raw Root Salad

1 small purple Peruvian potato

2 small la ratte potatoes

3 small carrots

3 tiny carrots

3 radishes

2 turnips

5 tiny beets

3 Tbsp. pecans

The internet told me this week that people actually eat raw potatoes.  Much of the starch in potatoes is not digestible by humans without cooking, but potatoes are high in vitamin C, which is quickly destroyed at cooking temperatures.  I was surprised how good the fresh, raw potato slices tasted, but in the future I will be much more likely to eat a few slices while preparing potatoes for cooking than to consume an entire raw potato.

This dinner may be described as “good exercise for the jaws”, or as “warming the jaw muscles from the inside.”  The tongue also benefitted from the exercise, and the discovery of the yummy hibiscus spice tea that appeared with a share last winter was a delightful way to warm the rest of the body.  Another benefit of wood stove season.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Breakfast in Truchas:  pancakes and pseudo-pancakes

Quince Persimmon Pancakes

1 quince, minced

2 persimmons, mushed

2 cups whole wheat flower

2 cups milk

2 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

Butternut Squash Pseudo-Pancakes

1 Butternut squash

Pancake batter

Mix pancake batter (as above, but without the fruit).  Slice the neck of the squash into 1/4 inch slices.  Dip the slices in pancake batter and cook each side on medium-low heat until brown.  Thicker slices are likely to be somewhat crunchy, though thicker is great for summer squash variations.

Roast the squash seeds while cooking the pancakes and serve them on top.  Almond butter is particularly good on the squash pancakes.  Maple syrup and red chile jelly are great, too.


Butternut Soup: Add half a butternut squash (left over from breakfast), 2/3 cup buckwheat groats, 2 cups of milk, and 1/4 cup roasted squash seeds to the water that was drained from the smashing potatoes and set it on the wood stove.  Light the stove, forget about it for an hour, and then eat.

Watch for Part 2 of Eric’s Food Adventure tomorrow



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2 responses to “Eric’s Week of CSA Food- Part 1 of 3

  1. wow, looks great, it all looks great, gotta taste it now

  2. Cool article. This was really cool read if someone ask me. hope everyone can read it and learn something new.

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