What's in the box? July 7, 2015

It's weeks like this when I'm really grateful for my CSA box. It was just so packed full of produce, and my fridge was just so empty, owing to a couple of jam-packed days with no time for grocery shopping. More importantly, everything was just so darn good looking!

I tend a 20" x 20" community garden plot, where I grow many of the same vegetables that I receive in my share. But, although I am proud of my weekly harvest, it is never as abundant—nor as good looking—as what I get from Native Son Farm.

After seeing what month after month of rain has done to my own vegetable patch, I am regularly astounded by how good Will's produce always looks and how full my box is, when I know he's been dealing with the same soggy conditions. Maybe next year he will take up blogging and share some of his gardening advice...

In the meantime, let's tally up what all was in the box this week:

Large heirloom tomatoes, 7
Roma tomatoes, 15
Cherry tomatoes, 26
Bell peppers, 2
Sweet peppers, 2
Eggplants, 3
Yellow squash, 3
Cucumber, 1
Onions, 3
Garlic, 2
Celery, 1
Basil, 1

Here are a few tips to maximize the utility of all that produce:

Like, dicing onions. Apparently, I have been doing it wrong. This method really is so much better.

All you need to know about eggplants. We received three of them this week, and there is no sign of slowing, so let's get this right. Eggplants taste best within a day or two of harvest. Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight—not the refrigerator! Or, bread and freeze it for later.

Basil: 1) How to keep it fresher longer, and 2) store it for later.

And here is my plan for incorporating all of that produce into a week of meals for two adults and three children:

Wednesday Breakfast
Quiche, with peppers, onions, tomatoes, basil, and sausage

Wednesday Dinner
Eggplant, Cherry Tomato and Feta Salad

Thursday Lunch
Sarah's Southern Bean Salad (recipe to come)

Thursday Dinner
Tofu and Eggplant Stir-Fry

Friday Lunch
Veggie Spears (cucumber, celery, and pepper) with dip

Friday Dinner
Roasted Garlic on toast
Homemade Pizza with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella*
*Yes, we have a version of this pretty much every Friday night. It never gets old!

Saturday Dinner
Roasted Chicken with Sautéed Squash, Basil and Feta

Celery Soup