You know how I was talking about ordering that CSA basket from Plumgood Food? Well, it showed up Thursday and it was a bounty of vegetables. Something like 20-25 tomatoes, 20-25 okra, 8 ears of corn, 3 cucumbers, 3 leeks, 1 zucchini, 1 crookneck squash, 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, 1 head of cabbage, 1 eggplant, and 1 cantaloupe. It barely fit into the fridge. And then I got overwhelmed by the idea of how to cook it all up and not waste any, so over the weekend we only ended up using, like, 2 ears of corn, 2 tomatoes, and the cantaloupe. I planned to make a big pot of ratatouille but it was always too much to think about.

Eggplant stir-fry
Well, I’m home sick today but I had a little energy, so while I was taking a break from writing use cases, I started chopping some vegetables. And once I had the eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and okra chopped, I didn’t feel like going any farther. So I tossed them gradually into my big frying pan and sauteed them. The outcome is this:

I don’t think the picture does it justice. I tasted it a few times as I was finishing it up, and it’s amazing. I hardly added anything to it — just a healthy dollop of safflower oil at the beginning to get the juices goin’. It’s all veggie-flavor-power from there, baby.

And the bad news? After that little victory, I started to attack the tomatoes and found out they’re nearly all bad. Well, all the ones that the cats hadn’t already eaten since Thursday, that is.

Oh well. I have delicious eggplant stir-fry to enjoy for lunch for the next several days, and I’m happy.

Take the good (veggies) with the bad (veggies)

16 thoughts on “Take the good (veggies) with the bad (veggies)

  • August 14, 2006 at 4:19 pm
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    The CSA basket is pretty cool – the Delvin farmers pick the produce, and the next day they go out in peoples orders. Contact Cust Service to let them know about the bad produce. It happens with organic – some stuff really doesn’t keep long at all.

    Do you pick up your order? You should say hi next time – ask for Daniel.

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  • August 14, 2006 at 4:26 pm
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    Next time, simmer some of the (edible) tomatoes and onions and add it in! Veggie masala!

    I forgot to start okra this year, so I’m bound to the farmer’s market for my clemson spineless needs. I adore bhindi masala. Yum.

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  • August 14, 2006 at 4:39 pm
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    The link is to a local host, but I went to the site and completed the customer service form. Thanks for the suggestion. That was really disappointing, but I’m pleased with the rest of the veggies (well, like I said in my note to customer service, aside from the little worm-things in the corn silk, but I figure some of that is to be expected with organic produce).

    These tomatoes were just stomach-churningly putrid, though. Yuck.

    Anyway, no, I didn’t pick the order up last time because I had a promotion for a free delivery, but if I decide to do the CSA thing again, I may pick up the order just to save the delivery charge. And, of course, to ask for Daniel. 🙂

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  • August 14, 2006 at 4:41 pm
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    Yeah, that’s kind of what I had in mind when I started prepping the tomatoes — I thought maybe I could still throw some in at the last minute… but yuck. Didn’t expect the putrid smell that came from some of those ‘maters. Bleh.

    I still have crookneck squash, leeks, and cucumbers left over. Suggestions?

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  • August 14, 2006 at 4:43 pm
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    For the cucumbers, I’d go with Alton Brown’s Kinda Sorta Sours recipe from his American Pickle episode of Good Eats.

    For the squash, slice it thinly, toss with olive oil, and roast. It’ll be done in 15-20 minutes.

    If it’s just one squash, dice it. Slice the leek. Saute in olive oil. Lots of olive oil and garlic and fresh herbs. Got mushrooms? Add those. Toss with white beans and pasta.

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  • August 14, 2006 at 4:46 pm
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    I’ve never pickled anything before — that might be fun. I’ll see if I still have the energy to try anything else after I get done writing more use cases. 🙂

    And that last idea for the squash and leeks sounds great. I’ll probably give that a try for dinner.

    Thanks!

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  • August 14, 2006 at 4:57 pm
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    Yeah, that last idea is one of my summer standbys. Good with carrots, too. And sprinkle nutritional yeast on top! Yum.

    The pickle recipe is easy. Refrigerator pickles don’t require canning time/effort. 😉 It’s something I could generally do on my housebound days when the CFIDS was pretty bad. I often took breaks from the slicing, but it all got done eventually. Don’t breathe in the vinegar fumes, of course. Don’t be surprised if the garlic turns blue after a week in the fridge. It does that when pickled with an acid. Leeks sometimes do, too. Pickled leeks are yummy.

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  • August 14, 2006 at 7:05 pm
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    Oh, that sounds *wonderful*. Got some leftovers? 🙂

    -J

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  • August 14, 2006 at 8:45 pm
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    Lots! Wanna come over and eat? 🙂

    (I steamed a big batch of brown rice and I’m freezing most of the stir-fry along with the rice in small portions that will be just perfect for workday lunches. Topped with some hot garlic pepper sauce. Yum.)

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  • August 15, 2006 at 3:19 am
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    Organic corn is nortorious for worm problems. Our organic produce delivery place has ordered very little corn this year because the worms have been that bad.

    One thing I’ve noticed with organic produce delivery (I’ve been doing it for five years now) is that stuff tends to show up much riper and ready to go than we are often accustomed to from grocery stores. Not that that excuses rotten tomatoes showing up at your house, but they will do bad much more quickly than you may be used to.

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  • August 15, 2006 at 11:28 am
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    It’s funny, because I’ve been buying mostly organic produce in grocery stores for a long, long time and didn’t anticipate the almost-too-ripe factor. I guess when you’re picking stuff out yourself at the store, you can decide if you want the super-ripe tomato to use today or the one that’ll be perfectly ripe in a few days, but when you just get a big bag of ’em, you don’t really get that choice. It’ll take some getting used to, for sure.

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  • August 15, 2006 at 4:21 pm
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    tell me you DID NOT put the tomatoes in the refrigerator! if so, then that is probably why they were so bad.

    nashveggie
    http://www.nashveggie.com

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  • August 15, 2006 at 7:56 pm
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    i tend to grill a lot of the veggies we get from our csa on the grill, with just a little olive oil and some herbs if i feel like it. they taste great with very little seasoning.
    For summertime we’ve really enjoyed the cukes in plain yogurt with a little garlic, olive oil, dill, salt, and mint.
    keep us updated on what you try!

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  • August 16, 2006 at 4:34 pm
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    Did you hear back from Plumgood per the bad tomatoes?

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  • August 16, 2006 at 4:38 pm
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    Not a peep. And I went ahead and placed another order today, so I’m showing incredibly good faith as a customer in spite of neglectful communications from the company.

    I can’t help but contrast this with the treatment I got from Amazon last week when I complained about some shampoo that arrived leaking. They re-shipped the whole order (no return of the original product needed) AND refunded it. I didn’t ask for a replacement, but was delighted to get it, and I only asked for a partial refund to cover the product that was lost in transit. I was tickled pink at how they handled it.

    Looks like Plumgood should be studying the big dogs for successful customer satisfaction models.

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  • August 16, 2006 at 4:40 pm
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    No, I didn’t put them in the fridge (I don’t, as a rule), but even if I had, I can’t imagine them going rancid that quickly just from being stored in the fridge. In my experience, they usually just lose flavor when they’re stored that way.

    Reply

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