The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fun with the CSA box

A friend of mine let me have her CSA (community supported agriculture) box this week since she was on vacation. I was excited to get it, but didn't quite know what to expect. We are relatively picky people (okay, at least I am a picky person), so I was a bit nervous that it might be full of things I would be pressed to figure out what to do with.

Could not have been further from the truth. And I am getting a little more adventurous too.

So, this weekend I experimented. It came with an eggplant, and I recall from my youth that I do not like eggplant, but I was determined to use it. I found a recipe for spaghetti sauce with eggplant and decided it would be a good addition. I diced up a bunch of eggplant and threw it in the crockpot with tomatoes and red wine and a bunch of spices for a spicy arrabiata sauce. About an hour before I was ready to serve it, I poured it all in the blender and liquified it. The eggplant made for a wonderfully chunky texture when liquified, almost like a meat sauce, but without meat. So tonight, we had a deliciously fresh vegetarian meal. It was fantastic.

In addition, I also decided to make some salsa for tomorrow. I have some grass-fed beef I have been saving for tacos, so I figured if I made it in advance, it would have time to get happy. I got crazy fancy with it too. I roasted all my veggies on the grill- tomatoes, peppers, and corn. I pureed the tomatoes and peppers, but also threw in a bunch of fresh tomatoes too. Made a great mix. At first, it was so crazy hot, but then after I let it get happy for a while, some of the sweetness from the corn made it tolerable. I just had a bite of it a little bit ago, and it is an interesting mix. The sweet corn mixing with the smokiness from the roasted tomatoes and the spiciness of the peppers make a great mix. I am so excited to make tacos tomorrow night.

I honestly wish the box came with more tomatoes. I could make limitless tomato recipes, I swear.

The rest of this week's menu includes a chicken chili soup with roasted corn (ton of corn), sundried tomato chicken with roasted or fried okra (haven't decide which yet) and rice , and possibly some spaghetti squash with the leftover spaghetti sauce from tonight.

 Tonight before bed Vinny and I had a little fruit tasting session so he could decide what to bring to school tomorrow. He discovered he likes pears, but apparently not as much as peaches. This is good for my family. I think I may just have to do it.   :-)

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