What’s My Share?
- zucchini squash
- yellow squash, 2
- Savoy cabbage
- yellow carrots
- red onion
- Red Leaf lettuce
- Sungold tomatoes
Meet a Member
This week I’m excited to profile a woman who likely needs no introduction: Jana Eakes, the "original" work-share CSA member at Native Son Farm.
“Will [Reed] gave a talk to my garden club back in 2009/2010,” remembers Jana. “I was intrigued and jokingly asked, ‘Can I work for my food?’ to which he replied, ‘Yes!’ And he was stuck with me.”
For the past six years Jana has filled, at various times, nearly every job on the farm, from field worker to farm stand employee, as well as the difficult-to-define role of “behind-the-scenes email/spreadsheet/crop-planning/seed-ordering/payroll/deposit-making/keep-Will’s-genius-and-passion-translatable-to-the-rest-of-us person.”
But you probably know her best as one of the smiling faces behind the counter when you pick up your share in Tupelo.
Jana lives in Tupelo with her husband Ben, son Warren (age 8), and daughter Harlow (age 2). In addition to her job at Native Son Farm, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer at NMMC Wellness Center and a nearly full-time volunteer with the Tupelo Public School District, the Tupelo Junior Auxiliary, and First Presbyterian Church, Tupelo. “I am a full-time stay-at-home mom who is never at home,” she jokes.
Yet even with four family members always on the go, family meals are sacred to the Eakes. “Even though we don’t always make it happen, we treasure the time all four of us can sit at a table together: breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Jana cooks most of their meals, relying heavily on recipes from Cooking Light and Food & Wine magazines, and any cookbook by Deborah Madison or James Peterson.
“My pickup day is technically a Thursday,” explains Jana. “Since I’m typically working the farm stand each Tuesday and Thursday, I sort of have a sneak peak of what’s to come and some time to think about how I’ll use it. One of my favorite things is to peruse recipes and discuss cooking methods with CSA members and farm stand visitors. However, I’ll admit to being a bit lazy this year. Likely it’s that with two children and more and more demands on our respective family members’ evening home-time, I find myself falling into quick-and-easy cooking patterns more often than not."
"This type of cooking does, however, appeal to my family’s appetites," she continues. "We like to taste the flavors of the vegetables we are eating, simply prepared, highlighting the individual characteristics. While my 2-year-old daughter eats nearly anything I offer her, my 8 year old is quite a finicky eater, although not necessarily in a negative way. He prefers things raw (texture issues)! Even as a 2 year old, he enjoyed kale, but when I sautéed it once he exclaimed ‘Yuck, mom! I want it the regular (raw) way!’ Ah, well! Makes my life easier, I suppose.”
Lettuce: Trim it, wash it, spin it, lay it on towels to dry, then store in a Tupperware (not Ziplock bags) container in the fridge.
Squashes: Leave on the counter, perhaps covered with a towel, until ready to use.
Radicchio and cabbage: Seal in Ziplock.
Celery: Top it, then store in separate Ziplocks or Tupperware containers.
Carrots: Top immediately, store in separate Ziplocks.
Tomatoes: On counter; not fridge.
Cucumbers: In crisper.
Parsley: Air-tight Ziplock.
What’s (not) Cooking?
I’m going to be real honest, the celery is not going to make it into a recipe. I’ll be snacking on my celery every day, most likely with a “healthy” (ha!) portion of homemade pimento cheese, or, if I’m really feeling lazy, I’ll be quite content with a tub of Neon Pig’s Benton’s Bacon Pimento Cheese. Sure, it would be great to make stock with the tops, but this isn’t the season of my life to be doing that. Been there, done that, and will do it again, but right now, less is more. However, I will share a cool recipe that CSA member and advertising guru Kim Collins shared with me for making your own Celery Salt from the tops. I would like to try that, time permitting. And there is this cool recipe I have yet to try it but have it faithfully stored from Food & Wine, 2010: Quick Vinegar-Braised Chicken with Garlic and Celery Leaves. So you could do that with your celery leaves.
Same story on our cucumber. Even with Warren going out to harvest his own cucumbers most Thursdays, the kid can still eat at 1-2 cucumbers a day—more if he’s at the farm all afternoon. It’s served with nearly every meal of his, per his request.
Same story on our Sungolds and cherry tomatoes. I picked up an early pint last Friday when I had to deliver a share, and between Harlow (my 2 year old) and I, we finished it within the 20 minute drive, round trip. So no great recipe ideas for those either–they’re snacks for us. They WOULD be amazing slow roasted (insert recipe), but I doubt mine will ever make it that far!
Roasted Chicken with Grilled Radicchio over Grits with Balsamic
I’ll be working at the farm stand until roughly 6:30 p.m., so it’s definitely going to be something quick and simple. After seeing the radicchio in the share, I think I’m going to run by Tupelo’s Neon Pig and grab some Grit Girl grits to create a meal based around those.
Potlatch-Seasoned Cedar-Smoked Salmon with Zucchini and Yellow Squash Salad
There’s this amazing Potlatch seasoning I buy from Williams-Sonoma that I love on salmon. It’s the best version I’ve ever found. At lunch, I’ll set some cedar planks in the sink to soak, and around 5pm I’ll pull them out to use. I’ll season my salmon with the Potlatch (heavy on mine, light on the rest of my crew’s) and set the salmon on the planks in a medium-high grill. When the fish flakes, it is ready (10-15min). Before I set the planks out, I’m going to shave my zucchini and yellow squash into long, thin ribbons (I use my old fashioned carrot peeler to create these ribbons). Stir together 2T EVOO, 2T fresh lemon juice, 1t Dijon mustard and ¼ t sugar. Toss the shaved squash in (you can even shave a few of your carrots and toss in too), then sprinkle the resultant mix with ¼ cup of your parsley along with 2T torn mint and ¼ t each salt and pepper.
Roasted Pork Loin with Simple Salad
My dear friend and long-time CSA member and farm supporter, Aubre Wells, shared this pork recipe with me a few years ago, and it’s become a staple in my household. Oh, for some of those new potatoes right about now! Anyone else wishing we’d had more of those? Yum!
Sautéed Savoy Cabbage, Roasted Yellow Carrots and Herb-Marinated Steaks
For this meal, the cabbage IS sautéed, so it’s more of a fall dish, but I use this one year-around as it isn’t mushy or layer-less.
This point in the week is when I’m particularly grateful that I work at Native Son. My share will be gone by the weekend, but I can purchase extras or re-stock with a few items on Tuesday at the stand. Please note that we have extras for sale nearly EVERY Tuesday and Thursday between 2:00-6:00 p.m. So if you, too, need some help getting over the hump, we’re here for you!
Savoy Cabbage and Shredded Pork Loin Soft Tacos
It’s a leftover night. I’ll probably serve some fresh fruit on the side to brighten things up—and cucumber for Warren! Missing the strawberries…
Bacon, Basil, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches
I’m working the farm stand from 2:00-6:00 p.m., so dinner is whatever I can grab. I’m keeping my fingers crossed we’ll have basil in the share next week, but if not, my garden can cover me. It’ll be a great night for these as our Cherokee Purples and Red Slicers are starting to pour in! Get ready, farm friends, tomato season is upon us! Gazpacho soup, tomato sauce, salsa, hooray!
It’s going to be takeout, unless I get a craving Tuesday at the stand. Probably a great night to hit up the Blue Canoe or Neon Pig. Hmmm…wonder what the special will be? What’s your favorite local spot for the night(s) you’re not up for your kitchen?
Hope you’re all enjoying the season as much as we are. It’s been a truly bountiful year so far, and we are grateful for each of you. Happy eating, and see you on the farm!
Thank you, Jana Eakes!