October 1st, 2012 — 11:46am
We decided this year that we would sign up for a CSA with Waxwing Farm in Webster, MN. For the uninitiated, “CSA” stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” and is a way to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer, with no middle man involved. Farms offer a certain number of “shares” which usually consists of a box of vegetables, delivered weekly or bi-weekly. Many farms also offer dairy, meat, and flowers in their shares as well, if they’re available.
It’s an amazing way to learn about what’s really in season at what point in the year, and to eat incredibly fresh food. One of my favourite things has been getting exposed to new vegetables and therefore new ways of cooking because of an item popping up in our box that I’ve never used before. This happened with kohlrabi and tomatillos this season.
The other great thing about a CSA is that you develop a relationship with the farmer who grows your food and learn a TON about how it’s grown. Anna and Pete, who run Waxwing, kept us in the loop throughout the season with news on what was growing, what was struggling and everything in between.
We had to witness them and their crops suffer devastating floods in June which affected our boxes later in the summer. Understanding what weather patterns were contributing to the contents of our box, really helped me to appreciate the food we were eating.
And finally, the ultimate bonus was getting to visit the farm this weekend for a harvest party and potluck. Meeting and chatting with Anna and Pete in person, walking through their fields, and being invited into their home really made the whole the experience of being part of a CSA share feel special.
There was a warm feeling of community between all the CSA share-owners and that was deepened by us sharing food we’d made for each other to enjoy.
If you’re interested, you can check out Waxwing Farm’s share options here. Needless to say, I highly recommend their CSA!
Have you done a CSA share before? I’d love to hear about your experiences!
4 comments » | farmers' market, food experience, homemade
July 18th, 2012 — 9:12am
Here is your Chicken Wing Party Manual.
Take twenty pounds of chicken wings.
Heat one vat of vegetable oil to scalding.
Add three different homemade sauces and one dry rub.
Blue cheese dressing mellows things out in a super cheesy way. Crudites are optional but not really that welcome at our parties. Let’s keep it wing-central.
Throw in a cooler full of beer, a couple dozen loud, awesome friends, tiki torches for those mid-summer mosquitoes, and you have yourself the perfect recipe.
I’m married to a chicken wing lover. This is how things go down once a year in our backyard on hot, steamy, beer-fueled, bug-y nights. I highly recommend it.
Dry Jerk Rub
recipe from Food.com
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried hot pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Combine all herbs and spices together and transfer to a seal-able plastic bag.
- Add chicken wings and coat with rub. Makes enough for 12 wings. Or after the wings are cooked, transfer to a mixing bowl toss wings to coat with dry rub. Increase recipe as desired.
adapted from here
- 8 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce (Frank’s is the brand used in Buffalo)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt to taste
- Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan, and over low heat bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then turn off.
- After the wings are cooked, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the hot wings and toss to completely coat.
Blue Cheese Dressing
from David Lebovitz
- 4 ounces (115g) blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
- 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream, regular or lowfat
- 1/4 cup (60ml) buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- a few drops of red wine vinegar
- In a medium bowl, mash the blue cheese with the salt and a few grinds of pepper with the back of a fork until the pieces of cheese are finely broken up.
- Stir in the chives, sour cream, buttermilk, and lemon juice or wine vinegar until well mixed.
- Add a few drops of red wine vinegar. Taste, and adjust any of the seasonings to your liking and if the dressing too thick, add a bit more buttermilk.
5 comments » | homemade, recipe
July 16th, 2012 — 7:46am
Homemade ice cream without a machine? I was gob smacked when I realised how easy this is. Learning to bake and cook over the last few years has included a series of fun surprises: I never would have guessed that any old person could make ice cream at home so dang easily.
I started my ice cream adventure with one of my all-time favourite flavours, coffee. Everything about this is reminiscent of Vietnamese coffee for me – the intense sweetness from both the heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk immediately transported me back to backpacking in South-East Asia, enjoying iced coffee on hot, steamy mornings. Not a bad thing to reminisce about on these humid, 100F Minnesota days with a cold cup of ice cream in hand.
No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream
adapted from Vanilla Bean
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup/4 oz strong coffee, chilled
- 2 cups/16 oz cold heavy cream
- In a medium bowl, stir together the condensed milk, vanilla, and coffee.
- In a separate bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. If you’re doing this by hand, as I was, prepare for a major arm ache. Tips for hand-whipping cream here.
- With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into condensed milk mixture until incorporated. Pour into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight.
7 comments » | homemade, recipe