Tag Archives: farmers market

Meal planning with the CSA

18 Aug

I decided to try out a CSA. I briefly did a produce share from a coop back in a former life, and I remember enjoying the surprise and trying to figure out what to cook. They tend to be so expensive, though, so in recent years, I’ve just shopped around at the farmers markets. Then I found the South Central Farmers CSA this week and decided to give it a whirl. Our first pick-up is tomorrow, and I won’t be 100% sure of my haul until then, but here is a tentative list of my share contents:

  • Blue Kale
  • Chard
  • Armenian Cucumber
  • Parsley
  • Basil or Mint
  • Yellow Patty Pan Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Beets
  • Valencia Oranges
  • Avocados
  • Honey Dew
  • Watermelon

Who has great ideas for meals this week based on the above? I’m thinking this salad would be a good use for the cucumber and mint (plus the remaining dill in my fridge). Otherwise I’m a little stumped, especially with the beets, for which there is a note that says “it is the end of the crop…may be a litle tough…great for sautes!” I’m thinking maybe a version of this dish for the beets and chard.

What would you do with the above fruits and veggies? I would really love your feedback as I meal plan!


A beastly return

25 Jun

The reasoning behind this name is two-fold. First, look who is back in my life full time:

SULLY! Sully Sully Sully! My little stinky furball! The world’s greatest pug zu!

Holy heck, does she need a haircut.

Anyway, the second reason is that the little monster and I made our first trip to the farmers market this year as a matching (or not) set. I’m still digging into the recesses of my closet (you don’t want to see that!) to find my camera, so I didn’t take any photos this time of the market itself, but expect them as soon as I get my crap together. Here’s our haul this time, though:

Clockwise from top left:

  • Fresh corn: $.50 each, or $2 for all four ears
  • Summer squashes: $3 for all four
  • Un-freaking-believable fresh Havarti from LOMAH Dairy: $9
  • A green bean/new potato bag: $5
  • Natchez blackberries: $4
  • TOTAL: $23

Yes, the Havarti was expensive, and no, I don’t plan to eat it, but one taste made me realize that the boy had to have it. It’s so, so, SO GOOD. Plus, the dairy doesn’t use antibiotics, lets the cows roam free, AND doesn’t sell off the retired milkers: they have their own pasture in which to roam and graze. How could I say no? They also sell pasteurized, non-homogenized milk by the gallon. I will have to see if the boy wants some of that next time.

My bag wasn’t as heavy as usual, but I was trying to be realistic. There are still things in the fridge we need to eat, so I didn’t want to go stopped myself from going crazy. Next week is another ball game, though. What were Sully’s thoughts on the whole experience?

She was a little tired. In fact, after three attempts to get in the car herself, I finally had to pick her up. Those fuzzy legs can only work so hard.

One final note: I want to send a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to another veg blogger in Tulsa, Ashley! Check her out if you haven’t yet.

A perfect morning

21 May

The day could not have started more divinely. But first let’s back up to yesterday.

It was rainy and thunderous here in Tulsa, with a lovely wall cloud above, always reassuring. My theatre partner in crime and I were meant to set up at the Blue Dome Arts Festival in support of the ShakeDown in T-Town Shakespeare Festival 2011 of which we are the planners. We decided not to brave the elements, however, so I had a free day. Instead of eating bonbons while watching Netflix streaming, I ran some errands and then cleaned — yes, me, cleaning — for about three hours . . . while watching Netflix streaming. The living room hasn’t looked so good since I moved in four months ago. As much as I despise tidying and sorting and all that jazz, I felt so accomplished when I was done that I’m considering doing more today. I’m a Pod Brigid.

Anyway, I actually got so wrapped up that I forgot to eat lunch. Crazy, isn’t it? By the time I realized the fact, it was nearly 4:00, so instead of choking down whatever random thing might be lurking in the fridge, I decided to wait until the boy got home from doing big-strong-man-ual labor. We had a bit of a rushed dinner, due to his evening rehearsal, but it was still nice. Then I dropped him off at said rehearsal and went shopping with my wonderful mother until it was time to retrieve him again. We ended the evening with Laura and this:

Delicious. Highly recommended. It has a full, smooth body, a delightful dryness, and none of the “grapiness” of lesser pinots.

I slept like a very happy baby last night, feeling content, accomplished and loved. When my alarm went off at 7:00, I was full of the same beautiful energy with which I had ended the night, so I decided to walk to the Cherry Street Farmers Market — about 3/4 of a mile away — instead of driving today. The weather app on my phone said it was 66° F, and the sky was cloudy but not rainy, so I threw on yesterday’s clothes (classy), set my Pandora app to Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You into the Dark” (my theme for the rapture) playlist, and headed out. When I reached the east end of the market, I started with my usual small coffee from the Coffee House on Cherry Street (not pictured) and then made my way down and then back up. Here’s my haul:

Clockwise from top left:

  • Spinach: $3
  • Mung bean sprouts picked this morning: $4
  • Blue new potatoes: $5
  • Yellow squash: $3
  • Radishes: $2
  • Cilantro: $1
  • TOTAL: $18 (including the coffee, it came to an even $20)
I can’t wait to share recipes for where these delicious items are going!
On my way back, I saw a big, yellow sign that can only mean one thing in this town: a sale run by Estate Sales Plus. On a whim, I turned right and followed the road for a few blocks. It was truly breathtaking. The sky was starting to break a little, with a bit of blue and sun peeking through. The old neighborhood is lined with huge old trees — oaks, maples, elms. It was beautifully quiet. I got to admire the lovely old homes, with their brick facades, perfectly sized yards, gardens, wooden fences that rose to my waist, and all the charm midtown Tulsa has to offer. I wish my phone hadn’t been nearly dead or I would have been taking photos left and right. Ultimately, I decided I was too content looking at the neighborhood to go into the estate sale.

As I continued my walk, I saw a yard sale sign and couldn’t resist. It was in the Gillette Historic District, a neighborhood established by the oil boom in the 1920s. Some photos are here. If I hadn’t been on foot, I would have grabbed an excellent bookshelf for $20. Instead, I picked up the prop pictured with my market haul — a picnic basket for $1! One buck! Woo hoo! Check it out:

It’s in great condition, as you can see. (The dirt inside is from the new potatoes. Should be easy to clean.)
And the timing couldn’t be more perfect — I’m taking a picnic dinner to see my beloved’s play next weekend. How lovely. Now I must brainstorm with what delights to fill it.

I then made the short trip home. In total, I walked 2.5 miles and burned 160 calories in almost exactly an hour. It’s still overcast outside, but it’s going to be a beautiful day. I hope the same is true wherever you are!

For those with Netflix streaming, what is your favorite ridiculous thing to watch? I admit that I just finished Greek — yes, all of it — and am now on the third season of the British show Coupling. And do you ever stroll through other neighborhoods? I love to look at other people’s homes and dream about the day I buy my own.

A return to the market

7 May

Oh readers, I made you promises again on which I didn’t deliver. It’s the farmers market again, I said. I will certainly resume regular posting. Don’t worry!

Lies lies lies. You’ve heard them all before, of course, but that doesn’t make them any less unacceptable. Please, know that I’m sorry from the bottom of my little shriveled heart.

So today, I come bearing beauteous bounty:

I rose bright and early (i.e. 7 a.m.) to get my produce on, and I was not disappointed. Before you are (clockwise from top right):

  • mixed green lettuces ($3)
  • brown eggs for my man ($4.50)
  • arugula ($4)
  • sugar snap peas ($3)
  • green onions ($2)
  • Tidal School Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($16)
  • Hardesty Prairie Fire Cheese for my man ($5)
  • strawberries ($4)
  • unpictured: iced tea from the Coffee House on Cherry Street ($2.50)
For a grand total of: $44, or $28 if you subtract the wine. Not too shabby! What shall I do with all the beautiful things? Oh friends, it will involve salads and a hummus wrap. In fact, I can’t say anything else at the moment because it’s 8:30 a.m. and I want to eat my own arm, so telling you about the delightful meals I have planned might kill me. I will (I will!) post about them, though.
I did learn something tragic, though. Cute barista who always sells me my coffee and tea now sports a wedding ring. Oh, sigh. Our hidden forbidden love lives on. Single tear.
If we can get it together, I will have an extra-special farmers market post coming atcha soon. It’s only been in the works for a month, though, so don’t hold your breath.
What’s your favorite farmers market find? Mine will always be purple hull peas. I can’t wait until they return!

Even smaller bounty

27 Sep

Yesterday, I said goodbye to the Cherry Street Farmers Market for 2010. I shed a tear. Here’s what the entrance looked like at 7:30 a.m. that day:

And here’s a shot of some of the interior:

Since the season’s wrapping up, it’s not as packed as it had been. In the middle of the summer, there were tons of vendors and hungry shoppers packing 15th Street.

The real tragedy of the day, though, occurred before I even hit the market. On the way out the door, I reached into my purse to grab my debit card and ID so I could stop for some cash (and not get arrested for driving without a license). When I, with Sully in the back seat, stopped at Quik Trip to pull some money out of the ATM, I discovered that my “debit card” was actually my library card. I was in too big a hurry to go home, though, so I ended up with only the $5 I already had to spend. Here’s what I got:

Could have been worse. I asked myself what I would miss most and decided it was the fresh green beans. Expect to see them this week.

Goodbye, farmers market. I will miss you.

Small bounty

18 Sep

The withdrawals have started. My heart is pounding, though that could just be the coffee; my throat is scratchy, but that could be the allergies; and I have a sinking feeling in my stomach that can be attributed to nothing else. Yes, the Cherry Street Farmers Market will make its last appearance for the year on October 2. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go that day, which means next Saturday will be my last trip until May. Pass me a tissue.

I took Sully again today, so I didn’t bike. I had little money to spend, and as a result my bounty was not as bountiful as you’ve seen here before:

Before you are (clockwise from top left) purple hull peas, 1 lb of sweet potatoes, 1/4 lb of maitake mushrooms, and a block of Prairie Fire cheese from Hardesty Cheese. The latter is for my taller half, one cheese-eating fiend. I tried a sample of it once before I bought it for him, and it is good — smooth white cheese with some serious bite.

The mushrooms are, as always, from Mushroom Planet. You have two more chances to buy from her, so get on it! I’m madly in love with the maitakes. They are unbelievable sauteed in a little olive oil. They are great in risotto, in miso soup, and by themselves.

Suddenly lots of folks have sweet potatoes for $2/lb. I couldn’t pass it up. And the purple hull peas are one of my favorite discoveries this year. Look out for a wonderful recipe featuring them this week.

Sully, the little craphead, loves the farmers market. She is a people dog, not overly fond of other canines, but she’ll tolerate them for the chance that humans will adore her. And they do. I must tell her breed between two and five times every time we go. I am asked very frequently if she’s a Brussels griffon. (For the record, she’s a pug zu, born of the star-crossed love between a pug and a shih tzu. Apparently some people breed them on purpose, but I gather mine was an accident — an adorable, stinky one.) The 20- or 30-minute jaunt around the market wipes her out, though, even when it isn’t blazingly hot. Here she is post-trip:

Isn’t it great that I got a dog that matched the carpets? Or, rather, chose a carpet that matched my dog. That’s what she looks like most hours of most days, to be fair. Want a dog that doesn’t chew chords, bite, require much exercise, bark, or mind being the only pet? Get a pug zu. Want a guard dog, a pet to take on runs, or something to eat your leftovers that aren’t entirely wheat bread or cream cheese or ketchup? Then you’re barking up the wrong breed.

Do you mourn the farmers market when it packs up for the year? What do you do to get fresh, local veggies throughout the fall?

Sullying my morning

4 Sep

Today is not off to a good start. I passed out early last night with a migraine, so I did manage to wake up almost on time without the aid of my alarm clock. However, once I was showered and dressed, things did not go according to plan. The dog woke up in a bad mood, apparently, and decided to be willful and not pee on the dewy grass. This, my friends, is why many people recommend having stupid dogs. Smart dogs may learn quicker, but one of the things they learn is to be a royal pain in your ass. For reference, this is the little craphead herself with her BFF the Grinch (explains so much about her):

Ten pounds of stinky, stubborn fury.

And here’s a picture of her being a creeper:

And here she is dressed in her native Ewok garb:

And here’s a video of her from this past winter’s snow storm:

Anyway, typically she accompanies me to the farmers market on Saturday mornings. It’s one of her favorite things, and one of mine, too. So I decided not to ride my bike this morning so I could take her along. Instead, she acted like the little female dog that she is and got herself in trouble. I do not hit my dog, but this is one of the mornings that I really, really wanted to. Instead, she got a “time out,” which is 30 minutes alone in the bathroom. That is, after she FINALLY peed. It took 15 minutes. Usually she’s done in less than five in the mornings.

Anyway, I left her behind, and by now it’s a few minutes after 8:00. I decided to speed through the market so I could still make my 9 a.m. yoga class, located about 20 minutes from my apartment. I’m doing well until I make my weekly stop at the Coffee House on Cherry Street‘s outside booth. He fills my cup a little less than halfway and realizes he’s out of coffee. So I go inside to have it filled up the rest of the way. The people in front of me are chatting up the barista, a local singer, so much that I wait 10 minutes just to get my joe topped off. This little exercise in patience — a virtue I do not have — makes me even crankier. I want to apologize to the staff at my favorite coffee place for my curtness. I know it wasn’t your fault.

So, long story short (too late), I don’t get home until 20 minutes before my class starts, which wasn’t enough time to unload my produce and get there at a respectful time. I don’t think it’s OK to be late to class. Sigh. I haven’t been to class in, gosh, more than a month. The Y branch was closed for two weeks due to electrical damage, and then, as soon as it reopened, I injured my arm. I think the universe may have been conspiring to keep me on arm rest for another week.

On the upside, I did get some great buys this morning.

Before you is just a sampling of each item since I didn’t want to dump everything out. I bought (from top row) summer squash (three of each color pictured), three medium-to-small yams, 1/4 pound of shiitake mushrooms, eggs for my taller half, and about a pound of green beans. Add to it $2 for my coffee (which includes tip), I spent $18.75 today. I would have liked more, but I’m on a budget.

It’s going to be an absolutely gorgeous day, so I’m hoping to do something outdoors with my amazing lover man. Maybe a walk on the trail? Or a trip to Woodward Park? Or borrowing a bicycle for him to pedal alongside me? We’ll see once the beast emerges.