CSA Veggies . . . Working My Way Through

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PATTY PAN SQUASH

Lots of patty pan squash this week, so I made up this salad of roasted patty pan, roasted peppers, red onion, grape tomatoes, cucumber and a little curly kale.

For the roasted veggies, I rubbed them in a bit of extra virgin olive oil, spread them on a pan and sprinkled with salt and smoked paprika (what an amazing aroma!).  When everything was finished and cooled, I mixed them with a tiny bit more extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon, salt and hot paprika. This is the result.

CORN ON THE COB

We also enjoyed some delicious corn and fresh tomatoes with basil. I posted the tomato earlier this week. I discovered a neat trick with the corn. My microwave died, and Meijer’s was out of the wonderful Chipotle Just Mayo from Hampton Creek, so I used Hampton’s Mayo and mixed in some of the amazing chipotle peppers dry seasoning I picked up. Then I cut the two ends off each piece of corn (in the husks) up to where the corn starts. I put those in a hot oven, about 550 degrees. When the husks were pretty well charred, the corn was done.

I pulled it out (used potholders for that as much as I could) and pulled off the husks with the silks. When the corn was still hot but cool enough for me to handle, I spread the chipotle mayo on it, and…well, oh my. It was really good!

Farmer for a day, and what a beautiful day it was!

I joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this year, and what a beautiful start to the season. Yesterday was sunny with a few beautiful clouds and a cool breeze, perfect gardening weather. This CSA is on the edge of a forest preserve (Brunner Family Farm) just 10 minutes from my home in Algonquin. I signed on for a Worker’s Share because I want to be part of the process as I once was when I had a farm of my own. Although I’m interested in growing a lot in a tiny space like my deck, being out in the fields has so many advantages, and I couldn’t resist the experience. This was one of those days that provided them all!

Yesterday I got to water some of the plants just beginning to come up, moving from plant to plant, up and down the rows, giving each little plant a good soak. As I finished two rows, I moved the very long hose over two rows and began again.

After a couple of hours, Bob, the CSA owner-operator, came back to check on me from the fields where he was working, planting more rows. He thought I might be getting bored. Bored?! Oh my goodness, no. Being out in that beautiful place on a day like yesterday, feeling the warm sun and perfectly cool breeze, hearing little other than breeze and birds, watching the tall grasses wave and the plants grow, seeing the sunlight sparkling on small puddles of water as I worked…knowing that cows were over in another area being cows and chickens in yet another area being chickens…there’s just nothing better to restore one’s soul.

I thought about the plan I’ve had for several years to move but then thought how fortunate I am to not only live with my husband next door to my younger son and his family and not at all far from my older son and his, but to look out on a pond in a wetland conservation area, to walk to the corner for my groceries every day, and now to drive just ten minutes from my home and farm to my heart’s content. It’s time to give my soul a Sabbath, a rest from planning and reorganizing, and just be, appreciating where I am in this moment in all its amazing, miraculous details. Time to just watch the plants grow.

If you’d like more information about the CSA, please visit Bob’s Fresh and Local (produce) and All Grass Farms (livestock, chickens, milk and cheese).

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 For more, visit my blog, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.