CSA Week 12

Skipped week 11 (in Maine). Back to half shares.
Good veggies this week, not too much.

Eggplant, 2 white onions, Thai basil, green beans, boston lettuce, tomatoes, 2 kirby cukes, 4 beets, 7 red potatoes, 2 bell peppers. Gave the hot peppers to Amy & Nick as Chris can’t take the heat.  🙂


Hurricane Peach Cobbler Jam

What better to do in a storm than make peach cobbler jam?
Really it was just peach jam with cinnamon, which makes it taste more like dessert than jam.
This time I did it from memory and followed my instincts… I let it cook down for a while until it started to form a skin on top and looked like it was starting to jell.
We liked it…. now if I can only figure out how to make a hurricane-prevention jam.  🙂

12 peaches, peeled and chopped
4.5 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 packet sure-jell low sugar pectin
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions: Peel and chop peaches. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with pectin in small bowl. Add to peaches and cook until starts to boil. Add remaining sugar and boil vigorously, stirring, until starts to thicken and water cooks down. Pour into sterilized jars and leave out to cool 12-24 hours. Makes 7 half-pint jars.

Bread Pudding

Just out of the oven
Close up

Found this “Amish” bread pudding recipe on momswhothink.com (googling around).
Had a huge chunk of a big round loaf of yummy bread from Wegmans that was begging to be turned into dessert.
Made two changes: no nutmeg/more cinnamon, and let the dish sit for about 20 minutes before baking (while oven comes to temp). Smells delicious as it bakes!

After cooling 10 minutes… still warm and moist.

Chris’ expert-bread-pudding-eater verdict (the fiercest critic):
“Mmmm…it’s good”. He’s making lots of mmmm noises as he eats it.  🙂
“Vanilla ice cream on top would make it really good”. He would prefer that the raisins weren’t on top but mixed inside because they became caramelized on top, which made the flavor strong. He ate the raisins off the top first.  🙂

So next time I’ll mix the bread and raisins together before throwing them into the dish.

2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2/3 cup brown sugar (I used light brown)
3 eggs
2 1/4 tsp cinnamon (they called for 2 tsp cinn and 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups bread, torn into smallish pieces
1/2 cup raisins

Heat milk in saucepan over medium heat until film forms over top. Take off heat, add butter, and stir until butter melted. Let cool to lukewarm.
Combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla into mixer bowl, mix until blended, at least 1 minute.
Slowly add milk mixture.
Place bread in buttered 9″ square baking pan (or 1.5 qt casserole).
Sprinkle bread with raisins, pour batter over top.
Let sit on counter while oven comes to 350 degrees for preheat.
Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes or until set (took 49 minutes in my oven). Serve warm.

They also mentioned a sauce to pour over it, but I thought that would make it too sweet and gooey. Maybe that’s good, but it’s sweet enough. Here’s the recipe just in case. They suggest reducing the brown sugar in the bread pudding by half if you use the sauce.

1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar (or light brown sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp flour
dash of salt
Mix everything together and bring to boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside for 5 minutes, then pour on warm bread pudding.

Update: Chris liked it even better cold!

Corn Muffins (America’s Test Kitchen)

I made corn muffins to celebrate the start of Chris’ summer vacation.
The ATK Family Baking Book has a tons of great recipes, so I decided to try their recipe.
Simple, but not for the health conscious…. sour cream, whole milk, and a stick of butter! No complaints here.  🙂
Delicious warm after the oven! Smooth and buttery. Good the next day, but after that, in the fridge, they became dense (to be expected).
They aren’t super corny… maybe next time I’ll use less flour and more cornmeal. I liked them, and I don’t like corn muffins generally. Chris thought they were yummy but not corny enough.

Refrigerator Garden Pickles

10 kirby cukes from the farm share were begging to be made into pickles. The hardest part was not eating the cukes from last week so that I could save them up. We’ve been getting 5 each week.
This recipe is so easy. All of the veggies were from the farm share. Guilt-free pickles and no cooking or canning!

Filled jars. Click to enlarge.
Jars in fridge after a little settling. Click to enlarge and see the great colors!

8 cups sliced unpeeled cukes (about 3/8″) – was 10 longish kirbys this time
2 cups sliced onions (sliced very fine) – used 1 small red and 1/2 a white onion
1 cup julienne red bell pepper – (used mandoline to slice fine) used one small green and one small orange
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Vinegar mixture ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1.5 cups white vinegar
2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp mustard seed (used yellow)

Combine all veggies and salt in bowl, mix and let sit for 1 hour. Drain.
Combine vinegar, sugar, celery seed and mustard seed in container and stir until blended and sugar dissolved.
Put veggie mixture in jars and pour vinegar mixture to cover.
Cover jars and chill in fridge for at least 24 hours to blend flavors.
Makes about 8 cups. Lasts about 6 weeks in fridge.

This recipe filled three quart-size jars to the top (I don’t have pint jars, and half-pints are too small). I had to double the liquid part of the recipe.

My new favorite tool: the mandoline!

Cukes, onions, and peppers sitting in salt. Yum.  🙂

Can’t wait to taste this! Probably best after a week, so I’ll update the post in a week.

UPDATE: This is the best fridge pickle recipe… we love it. I make it every summer and use it on sandwiches and cheese and crackers, and by itself…. so good!

CSA Week 9

The summer bumper crop is beginning. This week is again a double as our friends are away and didn’t want their share.

Click photo to enlarge

There were:
4 bell peppers (1 orange, 3 green)
2 bulbs garlic
3 yellow onions
1 pint cherry tomatoes (mixed colors – pretty!)
6 large red tomatoes
2 zucchini
2 pattypan squash
5 carrots
1 canteloupe
1 eggplant
5 kirby cukes
1 head boston lettuce
1 large bag of potatoes (about 12…maybe yukon gold?)
1 bag of (cranberry?) beans (not mature… they can be eaten like string beans… very pretty!
Here’s a closeup of the beans:

As soon as I got home I made garden pickles with the cukes (plus the kirby cukes I held on to from last week), onions and peppers from the farm. Yay! That blog post will be next.