Okay. Confession time…again.

I am slightly overwhelmed. It’s like someone planted a garden in our fridge awhile back, and what was quietly growing in there suddenly EXPLODED.

Need some juice? A piece of cheese, maybe? Okay, sure…but only if you can find it amidst the green bags FILLED WITHVEGETABLES.

Am I complaining? Absolutely not. Am I overwhelmed? Again, yeah. Totally.

I had all these big plans of regular, weekly CSA updates, complete with a bajillion photos and great how-to information. That, obviously, is not the case. I’ll admit, this last weekend was pretty full… Not a whole lot of opportunities to do any real cooking…but that’s a flimsy excuse at best.

“So, Lauren,” you ask, “did you guys purchase too large of a share?”

I’ve been thinking about that one, and I say we still made the right decision. So what’s the problem, then? Let me tell you: we have been LAZY. It’s a whole lot easier to throw something together that is easy and familiar than to figure out what the heck to do withChard. Now, if we were continuing to think creatively, and rely more heavily on our CSAproduce, rather than try to fit it in to existing meals, we’d probably be saving about $60 dollars on groceries every two weeks.

So it’s time to re-group. Last night, we meal-planned. I always start this and then crap out (eerily similar to my exercise habits) about three weeks in. Hopefully we can keep this up. This time, though, I’m planning a little differently.
Instead of saying, “On Thursday we shall eat Pesto Pizza. SO IT IS WRITTEN!”, I’ve got ‘meal options,’ that way, if we don’t feel like eating Pesto Pizza on Thursday, we don’t have to…and my OCD doesn’t punch me in the face for screwing up our schedule. I may write day-of-the-week suggestions, based on the age of the produce involved, but they’re not set in stone.

All that being said, we did manage to have a CSA-inspired dinner with our friends. For privacy’s sake, I’ve decided to call them B-Town and J-Sauce. Now, these two are vegetarians…and before you leave immediately for reading the V-word, let me defend myself. Since vegetarian recipes don’t use meat, they are forced to rely on creative ingredients, herbs, and spices. All this means is that you get a much more strategic and flavorful dish. Any carnivore can throw meat in one of the recipes and revel in the flavorful glory of the vegetarian’s resourcefulness.

Aaaaaaanyway, for starters, we had some sauteed Kohlrabi to munch on. We dipped it in tahini and spicy peanut sauce. I’d never had Kohlrabi before, and it was surprisingly good! It was crunchy and tasted like a cross between a turnip and a water chestnut.

For the main meal, we had an awesome salad using Red Fire Lettuce from our CSA, cucumbers, apples, dried cherries, and a yummy balsamic vinaigrette that J-Sauce whipped up. We had sauteed turnips and turnip greens with cashews and raisins, and then we had a variation of Paul’s and my specialty: Spanakopita. This is a Greek Spinach pie, and Paul and I have gotten pretty good at whipping up a big batch of them. This time, however, we made them with Chard, Turnip Greens, and Kale…and they were totally delicious.

Did you notice the pints of beer surrounding the meal? As it turns out, B-Town is a beer enthusiast, and always has a couple home-brews on tap. Here are some descriptions of the beers, straight from the Brewer himself:

“The beers: Belgian Pale Ale, a copper ale with supple, nuanced malt flavors paired with fruity yeast notes. It is nicely balanced with a slightly sweet opening and a clean finish.
Black IPA: Hops! An IPA brewed with roasted malts. The color is black but the roast character is very subdued and blends into a supple malt undertone. The beer is dominated by a citrus/hop character and a grapefruit aroma.”

Sounds tasty, huh? I’m no beer expert, but I had the Belgian Pale Ale and found it to be yummy and refreshing.

Overall, it was a pretty delicious meal. It was nice to eat dinner with people who are a little more acclimated to the CSA way of life than we are. Hopefully we can learn from them and next week you’ll get to read a post that involves a much better utilized round of produce!