Polenta: When Meal Makes the Meal

Sometimes I fantasize there’s a CSA Merit Badge for incorporating multiple sharebox items into a single dish. I had a four-bagger a couple months ago. One of the winter season’s final boxes included shitake and crimini mushrooms, red sorrel, a head of garlic, and a bag of Castle Valley Mill polenta. I guess technically that’s five items….

Miso en Place

My meals are often made out of sequence. Well, partially made, anyway. On the days I work the closing shift, if I want to boost my odds of eating a better dinner than carry-out slices or a bowl of cereal or a scrambled egg or two (and believe me, that happens often enough), I have to…

Alsatian Chicken Stew

Is there a smell better than leeks sizzling away in bacon fat? Probably. Somewhere. Maybe. But on a cold winter’s night, with flurries out the window and snow-capped mountains on TV, I can’t think of one. Here’s an easy, one-pot chicken stew—a riff on Nigella Lawson’s riff on Coq au Vin—whose leeks and bacon and…

Out of the deep freeze

Hey, maybe you haven’t heard—since, you know, the hysteria-industrial complex only reported it 23/7—but it’s been cold. Not just cold. C-c-c-c-c-cold. When just going outside to let the dog do his thing requires two layers and ends with crystalized eyelashes, going out the store—or out to eat—is out of the question. I know I’m not…

Heads up: Addictive Cauliflower Pasta

Cauliflower’s been spectacular this past month here in southeast Pennsylvania. The co-op included big heads in our last couple-three shareboxes of the spring/summer season (which ended with October) – and it was the centerpiece of last week’s inaugural fall-season box. Twice now, I’ve made crispy cauliflower, roasting half a head at high heat with a…

Squashapalooza 2.0: Squash and Beet Risotto

Eight. Again. Thanks to the swap box, a few forfeited shares, and my own carryovers from the past couple weeks, I now have eight squash clogging my kitchen counter. It’s Squashapalooza 2.0: Winter Edition.   But at least these cool-weather varieties don’t demand immediate consumption (or preservation) like my week-long zucchini fest this past July….

The Knights Who Say Nehi: Concord Grape Shrub

No romantic childhood memories in the lede this week, unless you count the Monty Python film festival my college pal, Becky, and I binged on in 1983 at London’s Barbican Centre. Nope, I’m a newbie. I’d never even heard of shrubs when Bryn brought a blackberry version to a Mann Center picnic a few years back. Then,…

Apfelfest 2013: Chops, Cabbage, and Riesling

Apples, apples everywhere. On Saturday night, apples were in everything. In the cider brine. Smothering the pork. Braising with the cabbage. And echoing through the wine. Hello, Oktober. Cider-brined pork chops with apples and onions Adapted from a recipe I clipped out of Bon Appetit back in 1999. I’ve changed the pan sauce up a bunch over…

Swap-Box Hero: Okra Edition

I might’ve thought we were close enough to the Mason-Dixon line for our CSA picker-uppers to consider okra a treat, but based on the end-of-night swap-box contents for the past two weeks, it’s vegetabilis non grata in these parts.   Truth be told, one of those bags last week was mine: I traded in a pound…

When Life Gives You Blueberries . . .

. . . make blueberry lemonade. And if it’s been a long (11 hours), hot (90+ degrees), perfect-storm, retail workday (pre-holiday weekend + visiting winemaker + last Saturday of our semi-annual sale + quarter-end inventory), you make an adult version. Christened by my good pal, Michael (who swears he will start blogging again soon), the Tonic…