CSA Share #15, and Gleaning-Endings and Beginnings

The Share, L to R: Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Red Peppers, Eggplant, Pumpkin, Jalapenos, Salad Mix. I love the colors here!

The Gleaning, L to R: Japanese Eggplant, Basil, Purple Carrots, Cabbage, Kale.

This marks the end of the summer growing season on our CSA farm. The Farmers’ Market, as well as other farmstands in town, will be open through the fall, one of them even switching gears to sell holiday greenery and Christmas trees. So seasonal, local fruits and vegetables haven’t completely disappeared, but the variety available will dwindle in the next few weeks.

Of course, the summer vacation has ended, and the school year has begun. I’ve mentioned how this transition befuddles me; I’m making the best of it. It seems writing about it here has made it easier to navigate this year, as if shining a light on it has made it less jarring and confusing.

The change of seasons manifests in my kitchen, too. During the height of the summer harvest, abundance often becomes over-abundance, and my menu/cooking choices are about eating/preserving all that abundance, before it’s lost through spoilage. Now that the harvest has slowed, I can make more choices about what I want to cook and eat, what I want to play with, what looks and sounds and smells good. It’s a more comfortable rhythm, giving me a chance to invent and dream, and I relish it.

That was my motivation for gleaning a giant pile of Japanese eggplant. I have two totally different ideas for these eggplant, one my own, one from The Perennial Plate, also a destination for some of the cabbage. (You’ll see those here as soon as I cook them up.) I picked more kale and basil because you can’t have too much of either; the little cabbages are the perfect size for the three of us to have a little slaw or to toss into a soup, and the purple carrots, well, they’re purple carrots! I had to dig them up myself with a shovel and my hands, like buried treasure. They will be beautiful and delicious paired with some orange baby carrots I still have on hand, glazed lightly with butter and sugar, a la Julia.

I have also ended (once again) my tenuous relationship with the “weight watching” program. I can see now that their reliance on packaged foods, and fat-free/diet foods is at odds with how my kitchen works, and how I cook and eat. It’s a sad state of affairs, if you ask me, that I should be effectively penalized by their system for eating freshly baked bread with all natural ingredients, instead of eating “light” bread, full of cellulose and chemical preservatives. Their system also makes it very tedious for me to “track” how many “points” are in each serving of a dish, when so often I have developed the dish on the fly, not so much measuring as brainstorming. So, I’m done fighting that battle. I have an idea now of what tools help me keep my weight in line (I ought to; I’ve tried so many), and I’m going to combine them all into my own little system. That includes getting back to my “rules” about flavor-building. I posted a couple of them a while back; there are more to come.

I can’t wait to share my autumn with you. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon on the Road.

  1. Always fun to read about what you’ve been up to at the CSA and around the house! Can’t wait to see what you cook up with the gleanings. And I know what you mean about those weight-watching programs…they can make eating so complicated and “getting healthy” so unhealthy!



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