October 1st, 2012
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
September 26th, 2012
Today, I just want to tell you about this stew. I made some last weekend for dinner and to fuel my lunches through the first chilly week of autumnal weather we’ve had. It’s delicious.
Really hearty – full of butternut squash (both chunks and mashed to thicken the stew), shredded chicken, quinoa – and inherently very good for you indeed. The flavourful broth, herbs, and olives all bring a little pow! to make this wholly satisfying and such a great reintroduction to the kitchen for me.
The recipe is from Cookin’ Canuck and I urge you to go over there right now, jot down any ingredients you don’t have on hand, and get about making it sooner rather than later.
P.S. The winner of ‘My Berlin Kitchen’ by Luisa Weiss has been announced! Thanks so much to everyone who entered and left such thoughtful comments – they’re really worth reading.
4 comments » | healthy food, links, recipe
September 18th, 2012
I have something very exciting up my sleeve today: a copy of the brand new book, My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes) from Luisa Weiss, who many of you will know better as The Wednesday Chef.
My Berlin Kitchen tells the story of how Luisa grew up with her heart split between two places, shuttling back and forth between her dad in Boston and her Italian mother in Berlin. Luisa was working as a cookbook editor in New York when she decided to bake, roast and stew her way through a massive collection of newspaper clipped recipes, which she’s since documented on The Wednesday Chef.
The one place she could always look to for steadiness and comfort was the kitchen – something I think so many of us can relate to. I know that when I make shepherd’s pie or eat a really good bacon sandwich, I’m transported back to England in an instant. It’s a powerful thing.
It seems that Luisa (isn’t she cute?) never really stopped hankering for Berlin, and My Berlin Kitchenis her story of finding her way back home (and falling in love along the way), complete with recipes in every chapter.
If you’d like to win a copy, please leave a comment below telling me which two places (metaphorical or actual) your heart is torn between when it comes to cooking and baking.
For a maximum of two additional entries:
1. Tweet about the giveaway (e.g. “I’d love to win a copy of @wednesdaychef‘s new book from @angharad_guy! http://bit.ly/Rnn5L8″)
2. Link to the giveaway on Facebook (my facebook page is @EatingforEngland if you’d like to tag me in your post; Luisa’s is @The-Wednesday-Chef).
**Leave additional comments here telling me you posted it on facebook or twitter.**
This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents and will close on Tuesday, September 25. Good luck!
The winner is comment number 7 (generated by random.org): Annie!
“I’m continually torn between the meat and potatoes food model of my relatives from rural southwestern Minnesota and the vegan-ism I’ve come to appreciate in my current urban life!”
Congratulations Annie! Email me your address and I’ll get Luisa’s book out to you asap!
65 comments » | food and culture, reading