Saturday, September 01, 2007

Hectic Summer

August was a really crazy month for me. It's been a busy (and surprisingly stressful) summer for me overall; I've been working at the restaurant and I had an internship that required quite a bit of driving. Add to this the arrival of my new roommate in our new apartment (Whitney is very nice, by the way!), a last-minute research/training-related trip to South Carolina, and an even more last-minute search for and purchase of a new car, and the result has been no posts from me, and lots of pictures saved up.
Well, now the fall semester has started. I will be teaching (more on that later), working, taking classes and working on my thesis research. If I don't take care of my blogging backlog now, I'm afraid I'll put it off until Christmas!

Stay tuned, as I'll be writing about my trip to South Carolina, my new car, the unfortunate situation the University has put me in, and some recent purchases that have delighted me.

First, however, is to share the bounty that I have been receiving this summer. I've been working at a distribution site for the Fox Creek Farm CSA (community supported agriculture).
The bounty we receive each week has been increasing steadily through the summer. This past week was the most plentiful yet.
I've been eating a lot of salad, and trying out various new recipes.
Without really fresh tomatoes and cilantro, I've never really felt the urge to make my own salsa before. But when I received ample quantities of both, I decided to try it out. It was really simple - chopping up quantities of tomato, red onion, garlic, hot peppers (I used jalapeno) and cilantro, and adding some salt and lime juice - but the results were much better than your regular, supermarket, bottled stuff.
And, of course, with the salsa I also had to make guacamole.
I made an egg-white omelet using the whites left from making two key lime pies. There's a story about those pies, which I never got to eat! I had guacamole, salsa, and a beet salad with the omelet.

This is my first attempt at peeling tomatoes. I cut a little X on the bottom of each tomato and put them in boiling water for a minute or so, then dunked them into an ice bath. The skin came off pretty easily after that, except near the top where the stem used to be attached. With so many fresh, sweet tomatoes, I knew I wanted to make a fresh-tasting tomato soup.
In the end, I made a pureed, chilled tomato soup. I made some garlic bread and cupcakes to with it for Whitney's birthday dinner. It was hot that night, so the soup was just right.
I also got a load of carrots, some of which I chopped up....
And turned into a creamy carrot soup with nutmeg. That's some chopped, fresh tarragon on top, from my little balcony garden. Next year, I think I'll be more careful buying my tarragon. I'm not convinced that my local garden centre was selling real, French tarragon, because it doesn't have much flavour to it. The soup was still good, though!
I still have pesto left over from the last time I made some, but I couldn't let a whole bag full of fresh basil go to waste, so I tried doing something that I've read in some books. I chopped up the washed basil,
and I put it in ice cube trays to make ice cubes of them. It won't be the same as fresh, leafy basil but, in the cold winter, I'll can add these frozen cubes of basil into soups or other dishes where the actual texture of the basil isn't too important, and I will still get much better basil flavour than I would get from dried basil.
Here's a chopped salad I threw together, with leafy lettuce, lemon cucumbers, sweet red tomatoes, and fresh corn cut off the cob (how it pains me that I can't eat it off the cob, now that I have braces!)
I'll be sad when the end of the growing season arrives. We stop receiving vegetable shares in mid-October. I probably won't be eating half as healthily then!

1 comment:

Kea said...

Drool..... Vegetables have never looked so good.