Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rhubarb Crumble

My first CSA share was pretty small, comprised of asparagus, green onions, and rhubarb. I had never tried rhubarb before, but my mother-in-law had coincidentally just given me a recipe from a magazine for rhubarb crumble. It was basically chopped rhubarb covered in A LOT of white sugar and a smidge of flour and then topped with a lot of brown sugar, butter, and flour that had been blended together and crumbled over the top. My rhubarb was green instead of the traditional red (the red is not an indicator of ripeness, just the most popular commercial breed of rhubarb) so the whole crumble turned out a kind of caramel color. The color was fitting because the brown sugar and the butter melted into the rhubarb and the whole dish tasted like tangy caramel. It was delicious, and definitely a good use of my first CSA share. The remaining ingredients went into an asparagus and prosciutto risotto that I will be reporting on soon.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Refugee Garden Opens on 19th Street

A new community garden opened on 19th Street. The garden is being coordinated by People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH), who have been working with several refugees from Burma to develop this vacant lot into the pictures you see above. Ten Burmese families will each have their own plot to cultivate with whatever they choose. I spoke to a gentleman named Za, who is a refugee from Burma and who spent time in a Burmese prison before coming to America. I wished him success on his garden and he said that it was what he dreamed of when he was in prison--having land he could cultivate. It made me think of Nelson Mandela's story in his autobiography about how, in his final years of imprisonment, he was able to garden. It was basically what helped him get through the last difficult years before he finally became free. I think both of these stories say something about how essentially human it is to want to grow things.
This will also create economical, fresh local food for other residents on 19th Street. At yesterday's ceremonial planting a young family planted okra and broccoli. More vegetables, including some traditional elements of Burmese cooking, will be added soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Our CSA Has Begun!

Today was the first day that my CSA offered produce for pickup. I am a shareholder with Promised Land (the Oles). Whitney was a shareholder last year, and has re-upped for this year as well. This is my first experience with a CSA and I am very excited.

So, now I have two pounds of asparagus, a bunch of green onions, a lot of rhubarb, and a cob of real popcorn. Looks like I will be making pie and risotto this weekend. I'll save the popcorn for football season.

Also, I just want to say thanks to everyone for your patience while posting has been light here at Locavore. All of us have been just swamped with work and finishing school and other essential things that had to take priority. We all just got together to talk about features we want to focus on for the future and I think I can safely say that we have a renewed focus and are ready to get back in the blogging groove.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

First Farmer's Market Trip of the Year!

Oh happy day! Yesterday was the second weeked of the East Aurora farmer's market and my first trip of the year. I was suprised to see how much produce and greenery was available; I seem to remember the first couple of weeks last year were a little on the slim side - obviously, since the growing season is still a bit early - but there were plenty of plants and flowers to choose from. The regulars were there: Pasta Peddler, the honey guy, the spice lady, the dog treat lady, the beef peeps, etc.

We did well, buying a too-much-for-two-people portion of Italian chicken sausage, which we enjoyed last night BBQ'd with the potatoes we also bought there and some steamed asparagus. I was most happy about buying eggs from my little friends, the grandkids of the couple that also sells plants. The kids weren't there but grandpa gave me a free dozen eggs and told me to return the cartons (yes!).

Lastly, I was really happy to get more of the cherry vanilla jam I love from Peppermint Farms. Now that I'm not doing a CSA this year, I'll be spending more local dollars at the market and can't wait to taste the good meals that will come from it.