I realize I haven’t usually mentioned which day I’m posting… Because of the kinds of freelance work I do, my weeks don’t have as strong a pattern as the weeks of most people. There are things I can do any day, there are jobs I do on any weekday, and there are gigs booked for specific days – but that day varies.
But six months of the year, we pick up the CSA vegetables on Tuesday. And I realize that gives a certain rhythm to my cooking.
On Monday I go over what I still have from the previous week, and decide what needs to be finished, and whether I have anything (like the herbs) that I should freeze or pickle. The pickup is pretty much right before I start to cook on Tuesday, so Tuesday’s dinner is planned as a stand alone protein and carb (possibly finishing a veg) that will go well with whatever we get that I want to eat immediately at its peak. (Corn, for instance…) Or a nice big bunch of leafy greens that I’d rather cook than find space for. Or whatever I want…
On Wednesday (or Thursday, depending on work schedules) I start planning – and sometimes researching. One classic part of a CSA is that you may get vegetables you’ve never cooked before – kohlrabi and tomatillos, in the past, for me… Now, I have some bitter melon. So on Wednesday I research anything I don’t really know how to cook… or look for new ideas for old reliables. I start chopping salad ingredients, and plan what needs to be eaten when. I continue that phase, really, through the week. Sunday there is a Greenmarket just a few blocks away, so I swing past it, pick up fruit, and anything that I could use more of – am I running out of lettuce? Do I really need some onions? (I can get to other markets during the week, and do, if I need a specific ingredient for a recipe.)
This was Monday. I’m playing with muffins, again… this time, buckwheat. Buckwheat was a very traditional flour in the American kitchen, especially used in pancakes and quick breads – my turn of the last century cookbooks all have recipes for it – and then it became unpopular and hard to find. Well, now it is coming back into favor… so I got some and am trying it out. With the muffins, I had a protein shake flavored like a salt lassi, with the mint I’d frozen. And I’m back to my morning coffee, instead of the tea I was trying. (I’m also down to a more rational collection of tea… for various reasons I’d ended up with entirely too much. It does keep well, but not forever…)
The usual salad for lunch, But, well, Monday – we didn’t get a lot of lettuce last week. (Whereas this week… we’ll have dinner salads, too!) So this finished the lettuce, and there wasn’t very much – but with a big, beautiful, fully ripe tomato – who needs lettuce? Tomato, yellow squash, and green bell pepper all made the foundation of the salad, to which I added feta and cooked beans, and my fresh herb salad dressing. Rice cakes on the side, and a big glass of ice water completed the meal.
For dinner – I had pinto beans I’d simmered with some ham. (That’s the very last of the ham I got at Easter… Time to get another! A small amount of ham adds a lot of flavor to other foods. I like beans, or eggs, or greens, by themselves, too – but it’s a nice variation.) I sauteed the last of my onion, and some jalapeno (and cut up and froze most of the rest of the jalapenos, because it was Monday and I wanted to get them out of the vegetable keeper) and added the beans, a cube of frozen oregano, and cooked rice. Meanwhile, I cut up a patty pan and a small zucchini, and sauteed them lightly, then covered the pan to steam them in their own moisture, with a touch of basil. Very simple, and remarkably good.
As usual, linking to Jenn at Peas and Crayons (Who, probably because of a format change does not have the code for her pretty button – so – just the link.)