Sweet and Tart Shortcakes

This week is a “skipped” week for our CSA, as we’ve had a bit of a delayed growing season around here. (Ahhh, the Polar Vortex…) So far this week, I’ve bought a bag of romaine lettuce from the grocery store (the whole head kind) and threw it away, as it was a wilted, soggy mess. I need some fresh greens! We managed to eat everything in our half share except for a bit of mustard greens and some radishes. Another time, I will post about the very simple and amazingly delicious scallion and pine nut crusted chicken we had for last night’s dinner.

From this week’s share of veggies, I was most excited to use the rhubarb, since I could use it to make something sweet and tasty – and my husband raved about how much he liked eating strawberry-rhubarb desserts as a child. Because my friend and I split the share, I didn’t have enough to make a pie; the internet seemed to imply that this was the most popular use. I’m also not sure I should make a whole pie for just my husband and I (although, I am confident we could eat the whole thing before it spoiled!). So after staring at mouth watering photos of rhubarb-based desserts, I decided to make strawberry rhubarb shortcakes. I actually found only one recipe that combined strawberry and rhubarb in a shortcake, but it used the berry-rhubarb mixture as a filling in an actual cake. I prefer shortcakes that are more like biscuits, so I ended up using a strawberry shortcake recipe, then modifying it to include the rhubarb. Continue reading

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Just a taste

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Saturday was a beautiful spring day to get our first CSA box. Since we are sharing a full share, my friend and I divided up the veggies – and swapped our stinging nettles for some extra asparagus. (Although stinging nettles are apparently useful for making a digestive-aiding tea and a kind of hair conditioner, having to wear gloves while cooking them seemed like a rough way to start this culinary adventure.)

My husband and I are big salad eaters, so eating all the fresh spring lettuce has been amazing. Probably we are forever ruining our ability to eat lettuce from the grocery store without complaining…. And although I have plans for the asparagus, radishes, and rhubarb, I decided to start with some of the less appealing (to me) veggies – mustard greens and collard greens. I’ve never made or eaten either, so I wasn’t really sure what I was going for. Originally, I intended to just saute the collard greens with garlic and olive oil, but then I found a more “traditional” braised collard greens recipe that also involved mustard greens, and I figured “two birds,” right?

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Getting Started

Beginning something new is always a little awkward. The first day in a new job, meeting someone for the first time – there’s always a learning curve, but once you get through it, you have expertise, a good routine, a new friend.

So I’m going to awkwardly attempt to share my idea for this blog, and then let’s just forget this first part and get started!

I’m Linda, a wife and a new mom of one (adorable) little boy. For now, I get to stay at home with him. In my mind, this would mean that we would have interesting and fun daily outings, I would cook tasty and thrifty well-planned dinners, and our house typically would look like a magazine photograph. In reality, I change a stunning amount of diapers, spend hours (literally) coaxing my baby to sleep or freaking out that he’s not sleeping, read books and blogs about baby sleep and (more recently) solid foods for baby, and try to keep us all fed and in clean clothes. It’s the most exhausting job I’ve ever had (likely due to the fact that I now sleep in 3 hour shifts), but I wouldn’t trade it. Someday I will get actual things accomplished on a to-do list; for now, I make the to-do list and then throw it away without looking at it by the end of the week. Ahh, good intentions…

My good friend and I decided to join a CSA this spring. I’d love to have a garden one day, but the only green space we own is 4×4 patch of grass, weeds, and dirt that we call a front lawn. And, let’s be honest, getting a box of fresh vegetables and fruit that I had to expend no effort to produce, is pretty nice. So, this spring and summer, I will try to use nearly all of the produce that we receive. I will try cooking and eating new things – because it’s fun (and I’ve already paid for it). I’ll share some ideas – good and bad – along the way. My hope is that you’ll feel inspired to try something new (not necessarily the recipes that I share), and that my family, and maybe yours, will enjoy seasonal produce that’s a little more local.

So, here’s to procrastinating on things like vacuuming and organizing the closets. Our first box comes on Saturday!