Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring has sprung!

You can always tell that the season has changed when your local produce changes. Here in Oregon, spring has sprung. For months the CSA box from Hood River Organics has been full of lots of root veggies and some braising greens. Today a big change happened! Today's box contained:
  • 2 loaves of bread
  • 1 block of farmhouse hard cheese
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 8 fuji apples
  • 8 Bosc pears
  • 11 new potatoes
  • 3 lb bag of mushrooms (mix of portabello and cremini)
  • Kale Rabe
  • big bunch of Kale Rabe
  • GIANT bag of arugula
  • big bunch of baby bok choy
  • Box of micro greens mix complete with edible flowers
I can't wait to switch my diet over from a staple of root roasts to a staple of salads! Eating locally is not only good for your health and the environment, but as you can see, you get put on a built-in diet around this time of year.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Working with what you have, सन्तोष

While in Philly I was part of a buying club called Philly Winter Harvest. It was great! I got all local food, and I got to pick what I wanted on-line. However, now that I'm in Portland, I've joined a CSA (Hood River Organics). This is a fantastic CSA delivering veggies, bread, eggs, and cheese to my door. Most of our food comes from the delivered box. The 'problem' with the CSA is that you don't get to pick what veggies come to you. You get what the farms have to offer. This has led to pleasant surprises, like sunchokes, which are great. Unfortunately, it also brought turnips in a recent box. I hate turnips. I avoided them in the fridge drawer for weeks, but I hate waste and finally broke down and consulted my cookbooks. A note I had made next to a simple preparation spelled it out for me: 10/09-This taught me how much a HATE turnips. They taste like raw cabbage. Perhaps dressed with something sweet and tangy they could be good, kind of like coleslaw. This sent me searching in little used books, including a German cookbook in my possession, that gave me exactly what my earlier observation suggested. Although this might have not been exactly the healthiest way to consume turnips, I ate them and actually enjoyed the vitamin C-rich (who says you need citrus, where is that coming from?)vegetable with this recipe: Weisse Ruben 2 pounds small white turnips 3 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons sugar 1-2 cups stock or water salt 1 tablespoon butter +1 tablespoon flour, blended together Wash and peel the turnips and cut into round slices. Melt butter and stir in sugar; saute over low heat until sugar turns a rich caramel color; do not let it burn or blacken. Add turnip slices cover and braise 5 minutes. Add stock and a little salt. Cover and braise 30-40 minutes, until tender. Bind the sauce by adding the butter-flour concoction in lumps. Bring to a boil and simmer a few minute until sauce is smooth and thick. My new comment: 3/09-the ONLY way to eat turnips, creamy & delicious Another situation that has me working with what I've got is the fact that I owe the yoga studio money the next time I show up, and I'm broke until I get my next financial aid check (aw, the life of a student). This is forcing home practice on me, despite my desire to hit up the 7 AM practice every morning during spring break, I just can't afford it. Home practice is nice, but I really miss the studio for the shared energy and breath, the motivation to practice the whole way through, the security that comes with knowing if you get lost, the teacher will tell you what comes next in the series. The benefit is that I'm getting to experiment more. Working a little more with asana that aren't so easy, having some yin practice pre-Mysore, and adding some nice juicy twists right before savasana. I'll be back at the studio when I have the ability to hand over a $95 check, but for now I'll just practice santosha at home...turnips and all.