Brussels Sprouts Bliss – Winter Farm Share Week 4
This is Brussels Sprouts Bliss week. I had no idea I would ever say that in my lifetime! Winter Farm Share Week 4 (Vegetarian Pilot) from Fresh Fork Market had several standouts and some of them weren’t so obvious until the cleaning and sorting was done. That’s when I realized the size and volume of the Brussels Sprouts we received was quite amazing.
I’m not a huge cabbage fan and to me, Brussels Sprouts taste like little cabbages, but when they’re roasted. Oh my! Even our little mistakes of leaving too many of the loose leaves on during roasting for Thanksgiving day turned out to be crunchy goodness that taste like well-done potato chips. I’m not kidding — they were really good! So good, in fact, that I’m thinking that Brussels Sprout Potato Chips may be a thing of our future. Recipes for our Brussels Sprouts experiments coming soon!
This week our small Vegetarian farm share included (featured photo at top of this post is full share)…
Brussels Sprouts – 1 large stalk
Apple Cider – half gallon
Apples – 5
Hubba Hubba Squash (baby orange Hubbard) – 1 (Hubba Hubba looks similar to this squash)
Acorn Squash – 1
Sweet Potatoes – 4 lbs.
Parsnips – 2 lbs.
Carrots – 2 lbs. of multi colors
Lettuce – Green Leaf – 1 small head
Cabbage – Napa – 1 large head
Spinach – 1/2 lb.
Braised Red Cabbage – frozen entree – 1 quart
Leeks – 1 bunch of 4
My half of the Vegetarian small share this week (above photo) and what’s left since Friday, December 4…
Brussels Sprouts – 1/2 of one large stalk which fills about a half of a one gallon storage bag – look at how huge these are compared to small apples!
Apple Cider – half gallon – I gave this to my parents. We eat apples more than cider and they love the cider.
Apples – 2 – unknown variety but they smell good!
Hubba Hubba Squash (baby orange Hubbard) – 1 – I gave this to my parents to try with their half and I took the Acorn Squash.
Acorn Squash – 1 – I have another one leftover from a previous share so I have to find something fun to do with these.
Sweet Potatoes – 2 lbs. – As you can see, my one Sweet Potato is enormous! We microwave them, split one between us and save half for another day. They come out wonderful in the microwave, if you love them soft to mash and top with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Parsnips – 1 lb – that’s a lot of parsnips! Maybe some kind of soup? I may have to try this recipe with my Brussels Sprouts! So pretty!
Carrots – 1 lb of multi colors – these are gorgeous. I had so many carrots stockpiled that I sent some home with my parents. We have plenty and we eat them several times a week: cooked, in soup or sliced for salad, but I was running out of room!
Lettuce – Green Leaf – 1/2 small head — this is a the type of leaf lettuce that needs to be eaten fast so we ate half our half that very night with some spinach and black olives. YUM. That means what’s picture here is half eaten already. LOL
Cabbage – Napa – 1/2 of a large head – this is a beautiful cabbage and one I’ve never tried. It looks tender enough for salad too.
Spinach – 1/4 lb – I kept finding more spinach so I’m not sure how much I got — it sure is good for fresh eating which we did right away!
Braised Red Cabbage – frozen entree – 1/2 quart- this is an interesting combination with shallots, apples, raisins, spices, etc… anxious to try.
Leeks – 2 – I had ordered the cauliflower (below) to make an interesting soup with these, so I need to buy some since they were out of it.
Extras added from the Farm Share…(above photo) – we purchased some extras since there will be 2 weeks in-between shares.
Eggs – 2 dozen (1 dozen per family)
Pasta – Tomato Basil Linguini (no sharing!) – I put 1/2 of this in the freezer – we love this with the roasted tomatoes we froze this summer.
Pumpkin Pecan Pie (no sharing!) – this is half gone already – yum! It’s an interesting flavor with Pecan in the Pumpkin Pie.
Cheese – Veggie Jack – grass fed (1/2 per family – we ordered Cauliflower but they were out so we chose this instead)
Butter – 2 lbs unsalted (1 lb. per family) – we’re trying unsalted this time — we got the salted last time.
Onions – 3 lbs. bag – (3 onions per family) – we love onions in everything and these are beautiful.
Honey Puffed Spelt – (no sharing! Mr. Carnivore and I like this for a change. It’s not as sweet as store bought cereal and very fresh)
As you can see, there were many other beauties in this week’s Ohio winter farm share and I guess I was so obsessed with cleaning it all to put it away, that I did just that, and forgot to take a photo of my half of the share. I also think my parents got one half of half the spinach, instead of the full half they should have, because I keep finding more spinach as if it’s multiplying like rabbits in my refrigerator. hahahaha
I’m a full believer of letting mistakes be opportunity – so, after I drug all the vegetables back out for their second photo shoot, I decided to take a picture of what they look like going into storage. The bagged veggies are going into the fridge and the unbagged ones are going on the counter or in my pantry. That’s plenty of good eating!
I also discovered that the parsnips were “sweating” moisture inside the baggie, so I put a paper towel in there and left the baggie open to see if that’s a better option for them. I may have to take them out to dry. We’ll see. A lot of what we do is trial and error. I can read recommends just like anyone else, but you really don’t know the best way to do something until you’ve tried it yourself. Receiving more veggies than crisper drawer space, I started using one shelf in my refrigerator to “pile” vegetables in baggies, one on top of another. The root crops go on the bottom and the leafy, more easily damaged veggies go on top. The air circulation is better in this larger section because it’s the door we open the most, not something I thought of when doing it, but it seems to be the place that gets the best longevity out of anything we put there. I open bags as needed to keep the air flowing. I don’t think I would have thought of this if we weren’t getting such a huge volume of veggies weekly.
One more thing that you might be interested to know. Sometimes it takes me a while to get home in rush hour traffic, like this week, and things start to wilt in the heated SUV without a cold trunk. That means that sweet potatoes and carrots may be a little wet at the bottom of the bag before I get to them. I don’t store them wet because they’ll spoil faster, especially the potatoes that I store in my pantry. So I use this drying rack combination to set them on after giving them a good wash to get the mud off. I’ll leave them on there until they’re dry, which might be that night or the next day.
I prefer to wait to wash the veggies right before I use them, but I judge each vegetable by how mud caked it is and what type of vegetable it is. For example, leeks or cabbage can get especially mud soaked so I like to get them somewhat clean before storing. I may just brush off carrots and potatoes or gently wipe with a damp cloth — again, it depends on whether they’re caked with some mud, or look fairly clean. I don’t want mud crumbling all over inside my pantry and if it’s wet mud, that’s a recipe for disaster in the refrigerator. For example, this time the carrots were a bit sandy. They could have been easily wiped off with a paper towel, but I chose to rinse them and dry them on my drying rack since I was already doing that with the sweet potatoes that had gotten wet in the bag.
In the winter, this makes washing the vegetables a bit different because we have put away our outdoor hose and don’t have a utility sink to wash the veggies in. It’s not that difficult to just use a bowl of water and throw it out the back door when finished, so we’re not putting mud down our kitchen drain. Different, but not difficult – just something to think about. 🙂
Okay — I hope you enjoy my rambling. I’m off to see what kind of trouble I can get into!