Ode to My CSA

It’s been one of those weeks in front of the computer.

I’m revising a manuscript and there’s this one scene in this one chapter that isn’t cooperating. The words are just loitering there on the page. None of them are getting along. No one’s playing nice. Maybe you can relate? Please tell me you can relate.

Some days of revision are more difficult than others. That’s just how this gig called writing goes. But the need to get to that place where a scene makes sense and the prose feels right remains the same. When there’s a buggy bunch of words on the page, words that aren’t taking me anywhere, words that are literally all holding up their middle fingers at me, I’m finding more and more that I have to shift gears. True, sometimes I can write through those tough spots, just plow my way through to stronger prose. But when I’m revising something, stubbornly writing through often doesn’t work for me. Sometimes I have to cook my way though.

This year I joined an organic CSA. (CSA stands for community-supported agriculture.) Each week the farm hauls its harvest down to the city and members get fresh-picked organic vegetables and fruit. So, with the CSA season about to wind down and with my week in words having been a bit bumpy, I thought this latest vegetable bounty might help me shift gears. Maybe as I cooked, the wheels in my head would unwind the crankiness in that troublesome scene, and maybe, just maybe, things would click.

Thus, what follows is Hail Mary to the writing muses: a pictorial Ode to my CSA.

Whether next week will prove more productive in front of the computer remains to be seen. But I think shifting my focus for a short time helped. It always does.

If nothing else, this past week my husband and I ate like vegetarian kings. 🙂

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I was surprised that there  was red leaf lettuce and arugula so late in the season. I tossed it with an apple cider vinaigrette, which…
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also dressed up a hearty kale salad nicely…because you can never eat too much kale.
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This chopped red onion +
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This smoked paprika…
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= This sensational mess. I’ve added some yellow bell pepper at this stage too…
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…and some red bell pepper. Lest we not forget…
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Kale, which makes everything good and the whole world happy. 🙂
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And finally, cooked quinoa is added at the end. Also, it should be assumed that I season throughout. I love salt.
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This little acorn squash cutie got sliced in half, seasoned with salt, pepper and cayenne, and baked. I bake the seeds right next to the halves, goop and all (it makes the seeds taste so much better).
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When the squash is tender, I fill with the sauteed mixture. Seeds were removed from the sheet, salted and scarfed down immediately.
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I couldn’t resist taking a picture of mine on a clean plate (before the addition of salad). Yes, that’s a mound of feta cheese behind it. Because I’ve yet to find something that feta doesn’t improve.
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The scraps from my veggies all go into the freezer for when I make vegetable stock.
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Which brings me to my freezer-overload problem.
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It’s serious. There’s barely enough room for ice, which makes the husband, who, it should be mentioned, drinks iced coffee every morning, so happy.
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SO happy. :l
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Fortunately, my sous chef doesn’t care how full the freezer is. His kibble is kept on the counter top.
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Then, because the weather was turning chillier, I decided to make like Ma Ingalls and cook up something soothing. So I sauteed onions, red bell peppers and herbs…
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Added carrots, then potatoes, barley and beans. Then simmered it all in homemade vegetable stock.
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It’s not soup, it’s not stew…it’s STEWP! Okay, I’m still working on the name. But what’s in the pot is perfection, I promise you.
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There was a bumper crop of sweet potatoes, so I roasted them this way with salt and pepper.
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Then roasted them that way with salt and cayenne.
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By this point, the freezer no longer closed properly, so it was time to take all my accumulated bags of veggie scraps…
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And make some vegetable stock (with lots of fresh stuff).
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Strained and cooling stock…awaiting packaging to be put in the freezer. I know, I know, the freezer issue is ongoing. Circle of life, my friends. Circle of life.

2 thoughts on “Ode to My CSA

  1. Cooking days like this have literally saved my sanity in this crazy country! PS….am I right in guessing that your mother’s freezer also looks like this? I’m seeing a common theme. 🙂

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