Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box week 7

Ok we’ve missed a few boxes due to holidays and life getting in the way but here’s week 7 in our Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box adventure. For more on the whole CSA thing see here.

Its interesting to see the seasons change through the produce in the boxes.  The citrus are now starting to make an appearance and the summer fruits and veg are long gone.

So what was in the box?

  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Purple carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Spring onions
  • Silver beet
  • Kale
  • Celery
  • Oranges
  • Mandarins
  • Pears
  • Apples

Cabbage.  This is the first box where we’ve had cabbage, and its red cabbage.  It’s really fresh and crisp so I’m thinking of  using it in some kind of salad.  But I did see  recipe for a cabbage and onion tart which I might try out.

Cauliflower.  Well There’s not quite enough of it to make a soup, so I’m thinking of a good old fashioned cauliflower with cheese sauce to accompany a roast.

Purple carrots.  These are purple on the outside, but orange on the inside.  I’ve been waiting to try out a recipe for carrot pancakes  and this week might be the week.

Potatoes, well I can’t go past baking them, scooping out the insides, mashing with chopped spring onion and grated cheese, popping this back in the potato and baking with cheese sprinkled over the top.

The silver beet (chard) and kale will be used in green smoothies and to accompany meals.  I also really must try making kale chips.

The celery, well there is only 2 sticks of it, so it will be the base for a casserole or used in stir fry.

The oranges are so good, really sweet and I’ll just eat them as they are.

My daughter loves mandarins and will easily eat the lot, as well as the pears, and everyone will eat the fresh crisp apples just as they are.

Part of the In Her Chucks CSA link up party

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Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box – week 5

Up to week 5 of our Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box (more info on the whole CSA thing here). I totally missed posting about last week’s box as life got in the way. I also almost missed out on a box for this week, cue panic. But all ended well and I got a box.

Anyway, what was in the box

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Onion
  • Spring Onion
  • Cauliflower
  • Pumpkin
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Plums

So how did I use all this amazing produce

The Spinach, well I’ll definitely use it in green smothies, or served as a side dish, as I’m the only one in the house who really fancies it

There were only 2 carrots so I really don’t think I’ll make a meal wound them, but together with the potatoes and parsnip and onion I might do a meal of roasted vegetables, perfect for a winter dinner

The spring onions, well I’ve used them in omelettes, fried rice and maybe just maybe might whip up some cheesy spring onion potatoes

The cauliflower, well I’m roasting some right now with olive oil and cumin seeds. I might do a soup, or make cauliflower with cheese, which really is up there as ultimate winter comfort food.

The pumpkin well, its one of those gorgeous heirloom pumpkins – potimarron. I’m so excited about this as it was amazing last we had it. I’m thinking I’ll make this pumpkin tart and any leftover will go into the roast vegetable party I’ve described above.

There were only 2 sticks of celery and I used one in a fried rice and I’ll snack on the other one.

Apples well, we’ve been chowing down on these as they are so good, but if I can save a couple, I reckon I can see an apple tea cake in our future

Kiwi fruit, daughter loves them, so there are all hers (she’d be most unimpressed if someone else ate them)

Plums well, they were pretty good and have just been eaten by themselves (in fact I ate the last one while typing this post).

For more info on Jupiter Creek Farm see here

 

Part of the In her chucks CSA link up party

My Minestrone Soup

It’s coming into winter, which equals open fires, red wine, casseroles and of course soups

I make soup at least once in the cooler months. Obviously its tasty, but it’s also cheap and filling and usually easy. This soup we would have at least once a fortnight. It’s a thoroughly unauthentic and probably nothing like a minestrone. I suspect it started of as minestrone and throughout time it’s kind of morphed into what it is, which is delicious.

It’s also really flexible and I always make it with Italian soup mix, potatoes, carrots, celery and tomatoes, but whatever else that goes into it is what I have on hand. Always add the pasta last and don’t overcook it. If you aren’t serving it straight away only par cook the pasta as it will go on cooking in the hot soup after it’s been taken off the stove.

Let’s make minestrone soup

There is chopped onions & garlic

Potatoes, celery and carrots

Italian soup mix

Zucchini

Kale & spinach

Pasta

Minestrone Soup (makes a lot adjust as required)

1 cup Italian soup mix (the dried Italian bean mix, in where you also find dried lentils)

1 tbsp good olive oil

1 onion chopped (sliced leek also works well)

1 clove of garlic chopped

1/2-1 chilli chopped (depending on how spicing you want it and the quantity your making)

1-2 medium potatoes large diced (depending on how much you want to put in)

2 sticks of Celery sliced

2 carrots sliced

1/2 Zucchini sliced (optional and I only ever put it in if I have some, you could also put in some chopped capsicum in its place or just leave it out)

handful of spinach and or Kale, roughly chopped ( again this is optional I only use it if I have it)

1 810g can of crushed/chopped tomatoes.

1 cup of small pasta (in this case I used small spirals but have used macaroni or spaghetti broken into smaller pieces)

small handful of herbs (Basil/oregano/thyme/parsley whatever I have on hand that is vaguely Italian)

The first thing you need to do it cook your beans. You can do this via soaking them in water overnight and then boil them for about 1 hour. I’m never that organised so I do them in my pressure cooker. For this pop them in pressure cooker cover with water to a depth of about 10cm, pop lid on and bring up to pressure, then simmer 10 mins turn off heat and let it cool down and depressurise (is this a word?). Either way strain beans.

Heat oil in big stock pot or very large saucepan, then add garlic, onion and chilli fry until soft. Then add in potatoes, celery and carrots as well as beans, and tomatoes. Fill can tomatoes came form with water add this to soup. Bring to boil and simmer 15 mins or until carrot and potato are nearly cooked

Add Zucchini and spinach, simmer 5 mins. Add pasta, cook till done if serving straight away, if serving later par cook pasta as it will go on cooking in the hot soup after it’s been taken off the stove.

Serve hot. I like mine with basil pesto and parmesan I doubt this is at all authentic and nobody else in the family likes it like this, but I like it and think it adds to it in a delicious way.

Garlic bread goes spectacularly well with this

Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box

There’s no recipe involved in this post, this one’s about thing produce behind the cooking.

This week I got my first CSA box from Jupiter Creek Farm. What’s CSA you ask? It stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Essentially it’s a box for fruit and veg that comes direct form the farmers, no middle man (or 20) involved. In this case it comes from a farm called Jupiter Creek Farm. They grow a large chunk of what’s in the box and source the rest from other farmers. It’s all organic and local, and soo fresh. I like it for these reasons.

Yeah its more expensive than popping down to the supermarket and you don’t get to choose its contents but I like spend my shopping dollar in supporting local farmers and giving them a fair price for their produce as well as buying seasonally. It doesn’t provide all our fruit and veg needs but a least a fair chunk of them.

Back to the actual box. You pick it up from a local pick up point (PUP) and take it home to find out what’s inside. In this case there were

  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Permissions
  • Plums
  • Spring onions
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Sweet Corn

What did we do or will we do with the produce?

The Apples, Oranges and plums well these are eaten as they are, super fresh and delicious. The plums tasted like the ones we pick from our own tree, so full of flavour which you just don’t get from supermarket/shop bought ones. The permissions well I haven’t encountered them before so after a bit of research I’ve left them in the fruit bowl to ripen up where by I should be able to cut the tops off and eat them with a spoon.

The spring onions I’ll use them in place of onions where I can swap them around and probably make my favourite carb cheese combination – baked potatoes halved with the filling scooped out and mixed up with some grated cheese and sliced spring onions then this mixtures is popped back into the potato halves and some more grated cheese is sprinkled on top and browned in the oven – YUM

The spinach – well my husband doesn’t like it (read hates it) so it’s a bit hard to make a meal based around it but I generally treat it with love and respect and don’t over cook it. This morning it was lightly sautéed in butter with garlic and served with bacon and eggs.

The potatoes well they could be used above in the spring onion cheese carb fest or they will accompany a roast I’ll do later in the week.

The pumpkin is gorgeous, it was a variety I hadn’t seen before and after a bit of hunting around I was informed it was a heirloom French variety potimarron, best served baked. This will be roasted up to either accompany the roast or even just by itself or with olive oil and may some cumin seeds as cumin and pumpkin go so well together. I might even make some haloumi cheese as that also goes well with roasted pumpkin.

The onions well they could be used any number of ways and won’t go to waste.

The carrots were real proper carrots, funny shaped and all. They reminded me of the carrot s my grandfather used to grow where they weren’t all shaped perfectly and tasted so carroty (for lack of a better word). The carrots will in honestly probably just be eaten raw as a snack or otherwise included in the above mentioned roast, a stir fry or salad.

The celery well like the carrots will probably be snacked on and included in a stir fry or casserole or pasta sauce. That’s one of the things I love about celery you can just use it so many ways.

The sweet corn well I love sweet corn and could happily eat it just boiled and plain or another really good way is to remove the leaves and silk and rub some olive oil on it season with salt and pepper or rub some butter with lime zest grated into it and chilli and bbq it. However I think we will use these in corn fritters as it fits in well with the menu for this week.

For more info on Jupiter Creek Farm see here

Part of the In Her Chucks CSA link party