I've been fielding questions about the best way to organize and plan out a week of CSA eating. I hear from several of you that you are stunned by how much food there was in this last weeks box, and stymied by how to use all of it. Let me tell you: come the end of July and August, our weekly shares will be nearly twice as much food. It is best to get a system and plan in place now, so that you'll be in good shape when the weekly amounts get larger. Here are some basic tips on what worked for our family last year:
- Clean out your freezer NOW. You will need it by the end of the season. Along those lines: if you're able to do some berry picking, freeze up gallon bags of those fresh strawberries and blueberries.
- When your weekly share comes in, start to think about what needs to be eaten when. That mesculin mix will only last the week, but those fingerling potatoes will hold much longer, if they are kept cool and dry.
- Figure out what your family is not going to be able to eat that week. Can you blanch and freeze it? Can you trade with another family or donate it to the food pantry at your pick up site? Will it be a good addition to a large batch of minestrone or lentil soup, half of which can be frozen?
- If you've never cooked an upcoming ingredient, find someone who has. Reading what Alton Brown or Ina Garten has to say on the matter, at http://www.foodnetwork.com, is generally a good bet. Corollary: if you don't have a vegetarian cook book in the house, you should pick one up.
- Eat your turnip greens and beet greens. Don't let them go to waste! When in doubt, saute them with the holy trinity of garlic, olive oil, salt, while you roast their roots with the same ingredients.
- Keep a well stocked pantry, and a decent variety of proteins in your fridge/freezer/pantry. On the weeks when I'm baking our bread or we're pulling Freihoffer's out of the deep freeze, we're generally able to buy milk, fruit and toiletries and call it a day.
- Do the rest of your shopping after you receive the week's share. Plan out your meals and shopping lists according to your share. Check out http://www.sundaysaver.com/ as an additional jumping off point
Share and enjoy!