Farm To Fork, A CSA Series: Relying On Basics During A Busy Week

This is part 5 of a summer long series about our CSA boxes and what we do with them. Recipes for silky simmered cabbage, roasted baby potatoes, Mexican elote and Pasta with tomatoes and breadcrumbs follow.

I knew it was a bad week when the only thing getting me out of bed at 4:45 a.m. one morning was the promise of indulging in a fast food breakfast on the way to work. 


A fast food breakfast? I rarely eat fast food...let alone for breakfast.  


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Your CSA Box: Curing End-of-Season Fatigue

When I opened my most recent CSA (community supported agriculture) box, an adapted version of the old Sesame Street song went through my head:

Each of these things is not like the others
Each of these things just doesn't belong...

Here's what I got: turnips, radishes (both with their greens), spinach, broccoli, garlic, squash, lettuce mix, a few raggedy tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, potatoes (just a few this week, not like last time), and onions.

As I stared at my vegetables, and they stared back at me, I felt dread creeping in. Would I have to make separate dishes for all these ingredients? Calm down, I told myself. Take a few deep breaths. Walk away.

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Squirrel Away Tomatoes for the Winter by Roasting Them Slow and Low

I just realized that the last two articles I have written for Simple Good and Tasty have been about tomatoes. No one would blame you for thinking I was a tad preoccupied, maybe even obsessed with that sweet, juicy, toothsome, perfect, smart, funny, talented, handsome (ahem, excuse me) fruit. I certainly wouldn’t. In fact, I’m going to complete the trifecta of tomato obsession today with this post. Once you have had your fill of Spicy Moroccan-Inspired Gazpacho and Tomato Panzanella, you will need to turn your attention to the upcoming months and think about what you’re going to do about getting your tomato fix once the snow flies.

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Taste a Little More Summer with an End-of-Summer Panzanella Salad

I don’t even want to say it out loud, for fear it will come true, but does any one else feel like summer is... gulp... over? These dreary days, these gusty winds, these cool temperatures speak of change, of autumn, of... double gulp... winter. Mother Nature has decided that this year, she’s going with the rip-off-the-band-aid approach to seasonal change and she’s not messing around.

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A No-Hype Guide to What's Ripe

Can you pick up a tomato and sniff it to know that it’s ripe? What about a sweet pepper? Or a cucumber? In reality, there is no such thing as a “ripe” scent. Truth be told, you need more of a knack than your nose to know what’s ripe and when to buy it, so you won’t be throwing it away tomorrow.

As I’ve written before, I used to work as a farm hand for an organic vegetable farm. So I have a pretty good idea when a vegetable is ripe and ready to bring home to your kitchen.

Summer Squash

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Beat the Heat with a Spicy Moroccan Tomato Soup

Before I begin, I ask a moment of your indulgence. Picture me, if you will, walking around my office, proud puff pigeon-chested, handing out cigars to my colleagues, grinning from ear to ear and flashing the picture you see above to anyone who will stand still long enough to look.

Okay, I didn't really do that, but only because I don't have an office to go to. So you'll have to stand in for my hapless co-workers. Ain’t she a beauty? That pretty girl is my first tomato of the season and not only is she gorgeous to look at (do you see those striations of yellow? that smooth orange skin? that shape, my goodness, that shape?), she was gorgeous to eat. Cut cross-wise to reveal flower shaped rounds, I ate her all by myself with nothing but a dusting of sea salt. Divine.

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Top 10 Things to Eat and Do Before Summer Ends

Back-to-school ads are blitzing televisions and newspapers, the Minnesota State Fair is a few weeks away and Vikings football is once again the talk of the town. It can only mean one thing: summer is almost over.

But don’t put away the sunscreen and picnic baskets yet; the best of the season has only just begun and there’s still plenty of time to enjoy them. To help you do just that, here is our list of the most delicious seasonal foods to eat and fun activities to do before our magnificent Minnesota summer comes to a close.

Top 10 Things to Eat and Do Before Summer Ends 

1. Sun-ripened tomatoes

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How Growing a Few Backyard Tomato Plants Led to My Life as a Farmer

As I’m planting my crop of tomatoes this year, I couldn’t help but ponder about how much I’ve benefited from this one item of produce. In her recent Simple Good & Tasty post, Rhena Tantisunthorn described the history of tomatoes, so I reflected on my own history and realized how my love for tomatoes has been a catalyst of growth for me in so many ways. Here are just a few of them:

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Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato

My tomato seedlings are dying on the windowsill. In my absence, my husband put them outside on sunny, too hot days. It was more than their delicate leaves could take and the tips started to brown and wilt before I could return to rescue them. Maybe this is what made my reading of Arthur Allen's Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato, so bittersweet.

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Feeling Minnesota: What's in This Week's CSA Box

It's easy to be part of a CSA during the summer - the produce is beautiful and plentiful, the variety fun and interesting. Having perused a bunch of other blogs throughout the prime growing season, it was sometimes hard to tell in what region of the country the producing farm was based. Everyone seemed to get carrots, radishes, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and much more.

Many of you know by now that I was neither born nor raised in the Midwest. But a few farmshare weeks into the cold season, I'm feeling like a true Minnesotan. Delicata squash? Baby white turnips? Red kale tops? If those things existed on Long Island, none of my family or friends knew about it. (We did have raisins for Halloween though.)

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