Monday, July 19, 2010

Food, glorious food!

Every two weeks I pick up a CSA box from a local farm. Well, the farm drops it at a coffee shop near my house and I pick it up form there. CSA is Community Supported Agriculture, which involves paying a fee at the beginning of the year and receiving a weekly (or, in our case, every-other-weekly) box of fresh, organically grown, local vegetables. The "growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production" and having a box of surprise vegetables is very exciting! And I like knowing that my veggies are from a local farm that we're helping to support instead of coming all this way on a boat from a far off land. It has been ridiculously rainy this year so the veggies have been kind of slow to start and we've been getting mostly salad and radishes until this week when we got a variety of beautiful and strange looking food.

Which leads me to the newest feature! It's called... Vegewhatable?!

Today we got two of these...

At first I thought I'd just google it, but then I realised that a search containing keywords such as "firm", "smooth", and "protuberances" was unlikey to lead to appropriate results. So I thought I'd ask you all instead... I need to know what this is, and what to do with it!

Round two of Vegewhatable!? features this...

Googling is just as risky with this one... "mottled... slightly knobbly..." so I need some ideas of this too. I assume it's some kind of banana, but who knows ;-)

So, please help!

As promised in the last post, I'm going to tell you all about crouton and guacamole. We've been eating lots of salad, and Ben's favourite part of a salad is either jalapeƱos or crouton. And it turns out it's actually super easy to make your own crouton! I just slice some bread into squares. Small, large, whatever. It works best if you have bread that's a little more rustic than regular sliced loaf, but that'll work too. Then toss the squares around in a bowl with some olive oil and salt and pepper, then bake them. I usually do around 400F but it doesn't really matter what temp. After about 5-7 minutes pull them out, flip them around and stir them about a bit, then bake them some more, usually about 7 more minutes. Sometimes longer. Just bake them until they're pretty much brown all over. Voila! Crouton!

Recipe 2 is guacamole. Mmmmmm guacamole. I love guacamole. Sadly, often the stuff you buy turns out to be nasty, so I started to make it myself. Here's what you do... start with ripe avocados. These will be a little bit squishy when you press on them. It's important to know this. Don't use non-ripe ones. Trust me. Then mash up the flesh. Add some finely chopped red onion. More if you're an onion fan, less if you're not. Add some salt. And some lemon juice. If you're using the stuff in a bottle, I use about a dessert spoonful. Add some jalapeƱo if you're brave. I'm not. Mix it all up. Add more of anything that seems to need more. Usually salt. Eat. Mmmm good.

Well, I hope you enjoyed today's production. After I figure out what to do with my vegewhatables I'll let you all know...


david said...

The first item is clearly a capple, the unhold union of a cabbage and an apple. Sadly it is 100% toxic to humans, The only way to safely consume it is with fire.
The second item is actually a cow egg. Though cows were mammals? wrong. They lay eggs just like that one. Steep it in milk for 24/46 weeks and you will have a cow - man.

Kate Smith said...

Your friends are just as amusing as you! [Not me though, I like to go against the grain. I will stand firmly, square and boring.]
I'm excited for vegewhatable... growing up in Texas you don't see these strange items, so I also find it intriguing. My guess is the second is some kind of cucumber relative? No idea on the first.

Tanya Cothran said...

The first things is a kohlrabi. Check it out on wikipedia. I think we peeled it and made a sort of cole slaw salad with them last year.

Wow that guacamole looks SOOOOOO good. There is a great, cheap Mexican grocery store up the street from us that has super ripe avos. Yum.

Gena said...

Don't listen to Tanya! That first thing is to be walked out to the back alley and thrown as far as you can throw it, then never think of it again.

I couldn't figure out either vegetable, but I did come across this fun vegetable identification challenge:

Louise said...

Thanks David. Helpful as always!

Kate, you're not boring! Don't you remember all the fun we had with that very serious discussion of that town in Canada? :-)

Thanks for the info Tanya! I'm going to look for some recipes. Hopefully it doesn't really taste like broccoli stems :-/

Gena, I failed the test. :-(