Archive for the ‘status updates’ Category

Week 6: HELP!

So… as some of you have noticed *coughHemacough* I haven’t been posting. This has been partially due to the fact that I’ve been repeating recipes like the potato radish celery salad, and going to a lot of temple functions where Aunties try to stuff me with food and demand I take home leftovers.

However the main cause is that I haven’t been cooking. Which now means I have a CRAP TON of vegetables in my fridge. And when my roommate left for a week-long vacation on Monday night she left with the directive to “water the plants and eat the vegetables”.  So I thought I’d list all the things I have in my fridge and hopefully some of you will have recipes to use them in. Also, if you live nearby, you are welcome to come over for dinner repeatedly for the next week. 😀

Here we go:

Celery – 1.5 large stalks

Cucumber – 1

Garlic scapes – 5 (very potent)

Green beans – 1 grocery plastic bag full

Lettuce, red – 1 fresh stalk

Lettuce, green – 1 slightly wilty stalk

Onions, white – 3 big ones

Potatoes – 22 (yes you read that right, I have twenty two of these buggers)

Snap peas – 1 grocery plastic bag full

Zucchini – 1 yellow stalk (not sure if these come in multiple colors)

Cabbage thing – 1 ball/head/etc that is bigger than some small mammals (see picture below)

2013-07-03 12.23.29


Week 3: I Dreamed of Spring Rolls

As most of my FB friends and my roommate will attest, I’ve been SUPER PUMPED about trying to do spring rolls.

First I started off with this recipe, got lazy and moved onto this one and then finally this one.

Those of you who have looked through those recipes will notice they get progressively easier… and less related to my CSA vegetables. The last one (which I attempted) doesn’t actually use any of the vegetables. Oops. But the roommate had a quick solve at the end! 🙂

Anyways, I woke up early on Sunday to prep my vegetables… as you can see.

Beautiful cutting lines

Beautiful cutting lines

Julienned veggies

Julienned veggies

Then I went off to do some stuff outside the house and brought back a helper, my friend Arjun!

Diligently working

Diligently working

As he chopped up the mint, I went to set up the wrappers.  FIRST MISTAKE. See, the directions say “one at a time, dip the rice sheets into warm water to soften before wrapping quickly”. I put the whole block of thawed spring roll wrappers (not the same thing apparently) into water. So instead of nice cooking, I ended up with…



At this point Arjun and I panicked and called upon the Master Chef in Residence (my roommate). She tried to salvage my mess, but ultimately suggested I just move ahead with the peanut sauce and dip in my veggies.

Then she asked an important question, “What CSA veggie are you using?”

“Erm, the- oh. None?”

“Quick! Cut up the left over aliens kohlrabi!”

War of the Worlds, anyone?

War of the Worlds, anyone?

So we did. Yay for roomies!

Finally we got to the peanut sauce. I think she realized Arjun was getting super nervous at this point so she took over the mixing of things while my job was to chop up ginger and unfreeze the hoisin sauce.

My fingers smelled of ginger for a good hour.

My fingers smelled of ginger for a good hour.

Dainty hands modelling the peanut sauce

Dainty hands modelling the peanut sauce

Finally finally, we called it a success, dipped in our vegetables and tore through a variety of vegetables between the three of us (it was almost 3pm and we were starving). The sauce lasted through one green pepper, one red pepper, one large cucumber and two kohlrabi. Not bad at all!

I will one day attempt this whole spring roll thing… but not in the near future. I’m too busy enjoying the peanut sauce.

Week 2: I Dreamed a Kale Pesto

This recipe sounded delicious to me.  Unfortunately, legit summer (and vacation season) is upon us and has swept away my logical winter routines. Due to memorial day weekend, I was only able to prep the kale and chop the garlic. But definitely putting this back on the “make later” shelf.

Lesson learned from this week? A magic bullet is apparently NOT an appropriate substitute for a food processor. I might have tried to blend something only to end up with a Bullet that made strange dying noises. Time to start buying kitchen appliances. >.>

And speaking of which, my roomie just got a fancy salad spinner which will make dealing with this bombardment of leafy greens much more tolerable.

Also, our friend Hema is moving about 10 min away from us for a summer internship! Hopefully we can take advantage of her foodie expertise and force feed her some of these vegetables at the same time 🙂


Week 1: Setting Up

Lesson #1: Kale looks like really wrinkly spinach and apparently the most popular thing to do with it is make kale chips.

Lesson #2: Red scallions are actually red and look VERY similar to leeks, garlic, and other food things.

The beautiful cupcakes I had to pull out of the fridge to make space for this week's vegetables.

The beautiful cupcakes I had to pull out of the fridge to make space for this week’s vegetables.

My fridge looks like a farmer's market decide to move in.

My fridge looks like a farmer’s market decide to move in.

So it begins!

So a couple months ago, my roommate (who is an exceptionally good cook) talked me into doing a half-share with the organic co-op share program at work. The program my company supports (Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA) is a fantastic organization that helps local organic farmers find resources and buyers for their produce. Cheap organic veggies for 25 weeks? It seemed like a great idea!

However, I forgot a few key factors:

1. I don’t cook anything besides a few Indian and pasta recipes.

2. I don’t eat green things (other than peas)

But now the first shipment came in – and I don’t actually recognize most of the vegetables I picked up this morning. In fact, even my roommate didn’t know what one of them was! O.o (Fun fact: Mizuna is not a Ukraine potato but rather a Japanese herb).

So.. I decided that as I will likely need help gathering recipes and/or identifying my weekly assortment of green things, I shall appeal to the benevolence of the internet.

Family, friends, strangers that are still reading this for some reason: please help! I’ll be posting the vegetables I get every weekend and picking them up on Monday morning. Recipe suggestions, applause and/or commiseration about my lack of cooking technique, and general encouragement will be greatly appreciated. 🙂