What’s in the box… week one

Lauren’s first week as a work-share CSA member

This week was exciting for a number of reasons.  The weather in Chicago has been absolutely perfect, so I took my first of what I hope will be many summer jogs on the lakefront. I put in my first shift pulling weeds as a work-share at Midnight Sun Farm in Grayslake, and the resulting CSA box fed me all week long.

Throughout the summer I hope to give you a peak into what’s in my CSA box and the resulting gastronomical feats I achieve each week.  

The overall goals are:

  • To not let anything rot and have to go in the compost
  • To not buy produce from the grocery store all summer
  • To get that healthy glow that can only come from eating multitudes of fresh, local, seasonal produce all summer long

In my box this week were:

  • salad mix
  • one head lettuce
  • one head curly endive
  • asparagus
  • Carola spring potatoes
  • pea shoots
  • Prize bok choi
  • mixed radishes

So, what became of this random box of green goodness?

I used the potatoes to make a German Potato Salad with some leftover bacon, and substituted fresh arugula from my friend Ann’s garden in place of parsley.  I discovered about three days ago that it’s really delicious for breakfast with melted cheese on top.

Pea shoots and bok choi went into this stir fry with some sauteed tofu and onions, soy sauce, a slash of red wine vinegar, and a little bit of H20.

My favorite meal of the week has to be the grilled asparagus with black forest ham and pinapple skewers.  Ok, so I know pineapple didn’t exactly come from a farm in North Central Illinois….. In my defense I bought it a week ago before I got my first box and it was on its last leg.  The whole package deal of this meal, combined with my first time grilling and a glass of Cabernet made for a lovely, lovely dinner.

Lots of salad is in store for tonight and tomorrow to use up the greens and radishes, and then we do it all over again…

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Lauren Warnecke is a freelance writer and critic based in Chicago, IL. She is the dance writer and critic for the Chicago Tribune, a culture critic at Chicago Magazine, and has credits with See Chicago Dance, the Windy City Times, Dance Magazine and Pointe, among others. Since 2009, Lauren has blogged about dance in the American midwest at artintercepts.org. She is also a group fitness instructor and part-time faculty member at Loyola University Chicago

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