What’s My Share?
- peppers, 3
- celery, 1 bunch
- potatoes, 7
- heirloom slicing tomatoes, 5
- cantaloupe, 1
- cucumber, 1
- basil, 1 bunch
- cherry tomatoes
- onions, 2
Meet a Member
After seeing the many drool-worthy meals she has making from her share each week, I felt Mori Sykes was a natural choice for this week’s “Meet a Member” profile.
Mori lives in Tupelo with her husband David and their four children: university students Reed and Eliza, and high schoolers Bella and Sidney. She works part-time as a pharmacist and David owns his own engineering firm.
Theirs is a family who “loves to eat,” says Mori, and with four nearly grown-up children, mealtime is one of the ways they stay connected. “As with most families our schedules don't always align, but we try our best to have at least one meal a day together.”
Both Mori and David grew up in families that grew their own vegetables, which is what led them to sign up for a CSA with Native Son. “David and I both have memories from helping in the garden or sitting with a bowl and shelling peas,” she says. “We want to still have part of that in our lives and love to support local businesses. My dad was a farmer, and I understand the ups and downs of farming. There are no guarantees, but there are a lot of rewards.”
Here are several of the dishes the Sykes have been enjoying for their weekly share. Thank you, Mori!
Tuesday is pick up day for us. Typically I pick up our share and spend about 30 minutes preparing the vegetables for storage. Taking time now pays off later in the week. This Tuesday, I trimmed the sunflowers, put them in water and headed to Blue Canoe for dinner and music! No cooking tonight, but here are a few tips:
I keep our tomatoes by the kitchen sink for easy reach. The cherry tomatoes I snack on while preparing a meal or washing dishes! I never wash them until ready to use them. The basil we received from last week's share is still on my counter as well. I just placed it in a cup of water, and it is thriving. It has actually grown roots! I am considering trying to plant it. I will let you know if I actually complete that idea.
If I don't know how to store or prepare a vegetable, I do a little research so I can make a plan for the week. Savoy cabbage, radicchio, and fennel were not common items in our gardens growing up. I have had to broaden my horizons and learn ways to use these items.
David is the creative chef at our home. He can certainly follow a recipe, but he often creates his own. Tonight he grilled eggplant and topped it with toasted pine nuts, feta, tomatoes, and balsamic vinaigrette. He made lengthwise slices of the eggplant and grilled until tender. Then he just topped the eggplant with the sliced cherry tomatoes, feta, and toasted pine nuts. The vinaigrette is three parts olive oil and 1 part balsamic vinegar. You can keep it simple and just use the two ingredients, or you can find numerous recipes to follow. One easy upgrade is to simply add minced garlic.
David also made a pizza on the grill. We have a pizza stone that has been around for years. We preheated the stone in the oven at 400 degrees. We then rubbed the stone with olive oil and sprinkled it with corn meal. We used a refrigerated pizza dough for our crust and topped it off with our favorite toppings. The onion and bell pepper from our share added great flavor to our pizza! (Looking to make your own homemade pizza from scratch? Try this recipe.)
With the summertime heat bearing down, I like to have a few light and refreshing choices to add to our meals. Tonight, I served sliced cantaloupe and also used a standby: tomato, cucumber, and onion salad. I chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. For the cantaloupe, I find that if I prepare the fruit ahead of time, my kids are much more likely to eat it. When rummaging through the refrigerator they can find fruit ready to eat.
This is our traditional night to eat out, so I will just share a recently used recipe! This is Cheesy Squash Casserole, but you could certainly use zucchini.
Simple tomato sandwiches. I prefer toasted bread and sliced heirloom tomatoes. I tried something different and added the marinated cucumbers and onions from earlier in the week. This along with a thin slice of provolone made a refreshing change to my tomato sandwich. For those trying to stay away from the carbs, ditch the bread and you have a tasty tomato salad!
Breakfast on Sunday for me consisted of tomato biscuits. We had an abundance of biscuits leftover from our Saturday class at "The Biscuit Shop" in Starkville. Michelle Tehan graciously taught us how to make delicious biscuits from scratch. David and I brought our prized biscuits home to share, and we all enjoyed them for breakfast.
For dinner, David prepared ribs and our daughter, Sidney, tossed potatoes and carrots in olive oil. She sprinkled some salt and pepper on top and roasted them in the oven.