csa 2011: weeks 1 and 2

June 10, 2011 by Abby

csa (week 1)

The first taste of summer is finally upon us, and our first two deliveries from Golden Earthworm Farm have been wonderful. CSA Weeks 1 and 2 gave us rhubarb, turnips, so much lettuce and other delicious, unparalleled produce.  We took those French breakfast radishes above, sliced them and put them on a bed of lettuce with mustard vinaigrette and flaked tuna. Fantastic.

Week 1’s haul, dimly lit on our kitchen island:

csa (week 1)

The rhubarb was given a special treatment: Deb’s Big Crumb Rhubarb Coffee Cake, which is the perfect way to begin a Sunday morning (or afternoon, if you’ve decided to have a lot of beer the night before.) Reid brought three slices to work intending to share, but ended up eating all of them by himself. I call that a win in my book.
csa (week 1)

Week 2 (Couldn’t get great pictures):
csa (week 2) csa (week 2)

Those are garlic scapes, some beautiful and burgundy beets and swiss chard. The whole shebang also included red Boston lettuce, arugula, baby spinach and spring mix. Never heard of garlic scapes? Neither had we until last summer; it’s the top of the garlic plant that’s something you can only experience in late spring and early summer. It has a milder flavor than regular garlic, and is just as delicious. We usually saute them as you would garlic, or use them in pesto.

The biggest question that we asked ourselves last summer was “what are we going to do with it all?” Between two people, we were up to our eyeballs in leafy vegetables, so our upstairs neighbors are splitting the box each week with us. The rest is going to be obviously tried out in new recipes, and I hope to can and preserve some of the later vegetables for the first time.

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a (sweaty) update

June 1, 2011 by Abby

I really hate blogs that begin every post with an apology about not updating, so here’s the last one: sorry! Life moves at a frightening pace here at the Smith-Armada household, and it’s June. One second, it’s damp, bleak and all sorts of other terms one might describe as “abysmal” with a few scattered days of beautiful, and now? It’s a muggy, sunshiney, sweaty mess. When did that happen?

What I’m trying to say: a lot of shit has happened, and none of it bad, but none of it was especially cooking related. I mean, we ate a lot…

A couple quick notes:

  • A visit to Reid’s aunt Georgianne, who’s fabulous by the way, scored us a whole library full of Cook’s Illustrated. I love the hell out of that magazine so far, and it’s one of the best gifts ever, bar none! She also let me have her recipe for coconut creme pie, which will be featured on this site eventually (behind, like, everything else).
  • Despite never growing anything in my life, Reid and I started a raised-bed vegetable garden in our backyard as an experiment. It’s so cute and full of life, and makes me feel infinitely more like a hippie than I ever did in Los Angeles. In an era of locally-grown, ethically-sourced, organic blahblah, nothing feels better than tomatoes from 4 feet away. I’ll be posting about our growing adventures here, as well as recipes.
  • CSA season is here again! Our box from Golden Earthworm (an all organic farm local to us in Jamesport) starts this week, and while we are splitting it this year with our upstairs neighbors, it will be our main source of vegetables along with our garden.  Inspired by Michael Ruhlman, we’re going to show what comes in from our wonderful box each week.
  • I want to give props to DnA Foodcast, a wonderful and nerdy food podcast. Dave and Alexander cook a variety of fun recipes from across the country, and the results are hilarious and fun to listen to (especially when you’re stuck doing dishes). Subscribe! They deserve it.

I suspect that summer is going to overstay its welcome after the all too-brief visit from spring; but with summer comes barbecues, sandals, long hours at the beach and lots of delicious food. Like pie.

You’ll be hearing from us soon.

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cabbage casserole

April 5, 2011 by Reid

[Sorry we’ve been MIA lately. We’ve been busy with different things, but now will post regularly! Happy noms. The following recipe is amazing, by the way. – Abby]


Believe me, I know.  I would be hard pressed to think up a less inspiring name if I tried:  Cabbage.  WOOOO! Casserole. PAAAARTY!! Despite the handicap, this is one of my all-time favorite recipes. This has an excellent cabbage-caraway flavor  combination that I’ve seen used in a few other things (piroshky!) It is perfect for cooler days when you want something to stick to your ribs.  Plus it’s full of good stuff, so you don’t need to feel bad about the bacon and sour cream on top.

this tastes great.

Honestly, part of the reason I love this meal is nostalgia.  This recipe came from my mom, and I’m pretty sure she got it from her mother (or maybe a book that she got from her mother?  Whatever.)   It’s something I grew up with, and let it be known that my mother is a darned good cook.  As a kid, though, I didn’t really appreciate this fact nearly enough…  funny how dorm food can bring something like that into perspective.  MoM makes this whenever I go back to Spokane to visit, and it’s still great.  Test of time: passed.

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apple tarte tatin

February 16, 2011 by Abby

cutting it up.

Valentine’s Day! The two words conjure images of overpriced roses, expensive and hard to get dinner reservations, lacy lingerie and dark chocolate. To a lot of my friends, it also means “corporate swill,” “time for alcohol” and “grumpiness.”

I am in neither of these camps; I actually like February 14th. I like telling all my single friends how much I love and appreciate them, giving out candy to my coworkers and using those chalk-like candy hearts as writing implements. But with Christmas, New Year’s, my birthday at the end of January, Reid’s last Wednesday, and my best friend’s on the 11th, I have to admit: I was a little gifted and partied out.

So, no braving our town’s many delicious (and overbooked) restaurants, no trying to find a parking spot for 20 goddamn minutes, no annoying-trophy-moms-asking-our-favorite-barstaff-for-another-pinot! Last night, Reid and I made our Valentine dinner after a quick trek to the grocery store.

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→ 3 CommentsCategories: apples · baking · tarts

herbed white bean and sausage stew

February 10, 2011 by Abby

herbed white bean and sausage stew.

Having been born and raised some 24 years in the temperate climes of Southern California, stews, braises and all other things reserved for freezing weather were basically made out of novelty. Don’t get me wrong: I loved cooking a good stew, but the fact that cooking things over a low flame for a long period of time can essentially warm your house was lost on me completely (I mean, it’s always 65º in Los Angeles, right?)

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→ 3 CommentsCategories: beans · sausage · stew · winter