Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bye Bye to CSA for This Year

Curly kaleImage via WikipediaThis weekend we had the "Pig-Out" at our CSA farm.  It's our last and biggest harvest to close out the year.  So hubby and I went and picked huge garbage bag fulls of kale and broccoli.  We also got a little radicchio and parsley. 

I have been making my favorite kale soup.  It's taken me a long time to get to like kale but I've finally found a recipe that works.  It's an Italian recipe and nothing bad ever comes from Italy food-wise.  I throw kale, garlic, chicken broth, white beans, and canned tomatoes into a Romertopf, turn the heat on to 500 degrees, and bake for 1 1/2 hours. The kale gets really nice and loses that nasty bitter taste.   I am freezing up huge quantities because food prices are set to jump next year and I am feeling frugal.

I need to find another kale recipe.  My kale soup is great.  But we can only eat so much of it.    The soup freezes well

I made a broccoli soup for the first time, but I am not sure I am completely happy with the results.  I did blanch up my broccoli so we can freeze it.   I also have a great recipe for broccoli salad.

Radicchio still needs to be conquered.  I am not that thrilled with the salad recipes that I have tried.  Grilling radicchio with balsamic vinegar is OK... I'm not that thrilled with it.  I am going to try a recipe  for grilled chicken, radicchio pasta and see how that goes.  If anyone has any great ideas for radicchio please let me know. 

We really enjoy the CSA.  My tummy has gone organic and is really rejecting chemicals in food.  I just feel so good with really fresh vegetables in my system.   Part of the fun of the CSA is making friends with strange vegetables.  At the beginning, hubby and I ate some really noxious combinations because I didn't understand vegetables like kale, kohlrabi, and rutabaga.    But they are now my friends.  The last to be my friend is radicchio  and I trying to work on our relationship.

I also like belonging to the CSA because it enhances a seasonal rhythm from anticipating the spring planting, waiting for each vegetable to come in throughout the year, and then the final harvest, "Pig-Out', to say good-bye.  We then revert to eating our frozen or canned vegetables.  With a bit of luck, we have enough to carry us through the winter until the spring.  There's a very nice sense of being somehow in harmony with nature's cycles that's very soothing. 

Belonging to a CSA, makes me feel like I am taking some defensive measures against toxins in the environment.  There is a lot of research in epigenetics, the study of inherited changes in phenotype (appearance) or gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence, and brain dysfunction.    There is a constant theme running through statements by major institutions that somehow there may well be an environmental link with autism.  No one in the major medical community is pointing a finger at a target but they are mumbling about  some part of autism probably having some environmental trigger.   When the mainstream medical community  states this, however, there is a lot of waffle words and hemming and hawing.  The alternative community definitely has their suspicions as well.   One likely candidate that seems to have backing from both communities is mitochondrial dysfunction.   I don't know my biochemistry well enough to weigh in on this... so, I am withholding judgment.  Sometime later next year, I will sit down with my general practioner and get a sense of where mainstream medical logic is going and try to cover what is textbook medicine.  Regardless, avoiding chemicals in food seems to be a good thing in general and if it helps with brain problems, so much the better.

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