Wednesday, May 13, 2009

8th CSA Pickup and the Garden

This weeks CSA pickup had a white fruit/vegetable in it. My husband says it is a squash. I've never seen it before in my life. I'm excited to try it. We also received another bulb of fennel. When I noticed I looked at my husband and asked, "another one?" He said he mentioned to the people at the pick up site that we still had the other two fennel and didn't know what to do with them. He said one lady looked at him weird and just said she eats it raw. When he told me what she said I looked at him weird and said "raw!" I've had a few nibbles of the stuff and raw isn't exactly yummy. So while he took the girls swimming (it was my turn today, but he told me he would rather go and I cook today) I looked up some recipes with fennel (the baby in my arms). The recipes I used yesterday evening for dinner were: Sauteed Chicken Breast With Fennel and Rosemary from and Fennel & Parmesan from The main dish was the Sauteed Chicken Breast With Fennel and Rosemary and the side dish was the Fennel & Parmesan. We also had fresh boiled organic broccoli on the side. Well it was actually HEB frozen organic broccoli, but it tasted fairly fresh.

How did I and my family like the dishes I made with fennel? The cooking fennel made the house smell tasty. The look of the fresh fennel looked tasty. The taste of the chicken with fennel was delicious. The fennel with Parmesan...not so much, but I finally figured out what fennel reminds me of -black jelly beans. I never liked jelly beans so eating a vegetable/herb that taste like jelly beans doesn't score high marks in my book. I also don't like the fennel texture, but I guess the lady that eats it raw does like the texture and taste. To each her own. Oh well, at least we (my family) found out we liked Fennel better cooked than raw. My girls, husband and I loved the flavor of the chicken thanks to the cooked fennel. If we get another bulb of fennel I will have to try this recipe again.

Today I may try the Tomato-Fennel Soup recipe I found on It requires a bulb of fennel for the recipe, but all I have left are the leaves and stems. I've read and heard the leaves and stems are very eatable too. I hope so or a lot of fennel will be going to waste. I also read it is best to eat fennel as soon as you get it or it looses its freshness and flavor. That makes sense.

This week I hope to experiment with all the squash we received last week and this week. I will have to look recipes up for the white squash. First I have to find out what it is called.

By the way my husband and I were discussing at dinner yesterday evening while eating the fennel dishes if the veggie CSA was worth it or not. I mentioned to him, "It's a 30 min drive there and another 30 back. It is during traffic hours and we have to drive through a busy highway. In addition we still haven't received but more than a bag a week of veggies and so far we don't like or know how to eat a lot of them (like the bitter green leaves and the fennel)". I told him it is more trouble than it is worth and that I am considering switching next year to one of the other farms in the area because even if we receive more and better fruit the rest of the year from this farm it is still a far drive through a busy highway during traffic hour. To only come home with one bag full of veggies...just doesn't seem logical. The other CSA are more expensive and produce less weeks but at least they are closer. My husband agreed. We also both agreed that the meat CSA is worth it (though not much meat is provided per month and though it is expensive) because the meat taste absolutely wonderful (except the liver). They also deliver the meat to our door. This isn't a CSA necessity. I don't mind picking the foods up so long as they are not too far away or at very inconvenient times, but since the meat CSA does deliver it makes it all the more convenient. So instead of eating out we eat in. We still save money that way. In addition the meat CSA provides a very interesting and charming newsletter with each delivery, they gave us a free recipe book on the first delivery and they continue to provide us with recipes in the newsletters or via email when we ask them how to eat certain meats. We will very likely stay with the meat CSA next year.

In the mean time my husband and I are still working on our organic garden in hopes that by next year we can grow some of our own fruit and veggies. We have watermelon and melon and some herbs in pots right now. We are using a mixture of our very own compost soil and organic miracle grow soil in the pots. Our Topsy Turvy Tomato is growing well too. I believe I see the beginnings of flowers on some of the stems. I smile at the thought of my own tomatoes. My neighbor's Topsy Turvy is doing very well too. He already has flowers on his. My husband is out tending to the garden now. I better get at it too before the baby wakes up....oh he just woke up.

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