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Dee’s Corner

by | Jun 29, 2021 | CSA Member Updates, Dee's Corner

Hi everyone and welcome to Week 1 of our CSA program. We’re so happy to welcome back our returning members and excited to greet our new ones. I’m Dee, and each week in this column I’ll be sharing with you some of the ways that I use the items in my share box. As the season progresses, you may find some vegetables in your box that are unfamiliar to you. That’s where I come in! I’ll help you learn about them, how to store them, and most importantly, how to prepare them.
This week, I’d like to start by going over the procedure I follow when I arrive home with my weekly share.
First of all, after picking up my share, I go straight home to go through the box and get everything refrigerated. It’s important to not let it sit in the hot car or out on the kitchen counter – after all, it is fresh produce, and subject to wilting if left unattended! I usually place newspapers on the table or counter and spread all my items out on them. I compare my items to the pictures in the newsletter, in order to identify them. I shake off any loose sand or farm soil, place each item in separate plastic produce bags, and refrigerate them. (A few years ago, I purchased a package of the Debbie Meyer’s green bags. The package includes an assortment of various sizes, they hold up well, and are reusable.)  At this time, I do not wash anything. Remember it’s best to wash the items just prior to using.
I like to use any of the greens that night or the next – items like lettuces, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, etc. With that in mind, I take note if any of the items have green tops which could be cut off and stored separately. Examples of these would be beets, radishes, kohlrabi, turnips, etc. To prepare the greens, I wash them carefully under cool running water, rubbing both sides gently to remove any excess sand or soil. I then place them in my salad spinner, and spread the leaves out on white terry cloth towels I bought just for this purpose. I blot them dry, and get ready to use them in my recipes.
Included in our items this week will be either strawberries or raspberries. Home grown berries have a shorter shelf life, so our suggestion is to use them within 1-2 days. Upon arrival at home, separate them and look them over carefully. If you come across one or two that have soft spots, just take them out, cut off the soft spots, and use the rest. No need to throw them all out!
I’ve offered two recipes this week featuring bok choy and radishes. Of course, radishes are delicious sliced thinly into a salad of assorted lettuces. But when they are included in a stir fry, it tempers that peppery taste and brings out the sweetness. I had some extra broccoli and cauliflower on hand, so I used it in the “Bok Choy and Radishes” recipe. And for those of you who made it out to the Pea Pick Harvest event, try a few of your pea pods in there as well.
Our family really liked the sauce featured in the recipe “Sweet ‘n Sour Bok Choy and Radish Stir Fry”. Personally, this would be filling enough for me as a main dish. But I do have meat lovers here at home, so it’s a great side dish for them.
Have you ever made kale chips? The recipe for “Crunchy Kale Chips” is so easy and kids really love them!

Hopefully, this will help as you embark on this CSA season with us. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I would love to help in any way. Enjoy your first week!

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