farmer’s market

Bounty from the Box, the CSA Farm Cookbook

by Anne Maxfield on June 12, 2017

Accidental Locavore Bounty From the Box CookbookAnother cookbook. Even with careful (and constant) pruning, they threaten to overtake my office.

Because of that and the availability of almost everything online, I’m getting very picky about whether a cookbook get a seat at the table, shelves, floor, or donation pile.

When Mi Ae Lipe, the author of Bounty from the Box, the CSA Farm Cookbook, contacted me about the book, honestly, I was pretty lukewarm about it. The fact that it was months before I was going to see anything from my CSA may have played a part in it too.

Then the book arrived. It’s huge.

Think Manhattan phone book huge.

OMG what am I going to do with this thing?

But it’s amazing!

Accidental Locavore Zucchini With Flowers from CookbookForget about figuring out what to do with the fifth week of zucchini from your CSA, this book is indispensable for anyone who buys produce.

Besides what you’d expect–cooking ideas and recipes, all the fruit, vegetables and herbs she writes about have guides to selection, storage, seasonality, nutrition and even whether they can be frozen.

There are side-bars with book and cookbook recommendations, quotes and even the pros and cons of joining a CSA.

One of my criteria for judging a cookbook, and the reason I prefer a real book to my e-reader, is the index. I don’t think I’ve ever raved about an index, but Mi Ae has one that’s just recipes by ingredients. So, if you have a mess of arugula and want to do something with it, there are a bunch of recipes that use arugula giving you lots to choose from.

Accidental Locavore First CSA Pickup for CookbookThe only downside to this index? You’ll see at least another four things you’d like to try.

The upside is that if you have a choice at your CSA (like we do) or farmers’ market, you’ll get brave and pick up a bunch of something you’re not familiar with because you’ve got help at home.

Who knows, your new favorite vegetable may be lurking there!

 

 

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Three Green Goals for 2017 and Beyond

by Anne Maxfield on January 23, 2017

Accidental Locavore Green Goals EarthThese three green goals are all works in progress for the Accidental Locavore.

And they’re the kinds of goals that should be works in progress for all of us.

No matter why you do it, every step helps the planet (and in these days, it’s going to need help from all of us).

How and what you eat is a big part of that.

So, here are a couple of goals I’m setting. They’re not big, just some small steps in the right direction. How about you?

Support local business.

Accidental Locavore Green Goals Nice Market GuysWhether it’s a local grower, farmer, purveyor, or the small very specialized business down the street, local is better.

And get out of your comfort zone with food.

A green goal might be to try a cut of meat you’ve never had, experiment with an unusual vegetable at your farmer’s market, or go for a different type of fish that might be more sustainable than the best sellers.

Most sellers (especially when it comes to food) are more than happy to explain what it is and share ideas on how best to cook it.

You can’t believe how much I’ve learned from talking to the people behind the counter. That’s one of my favorite things about farmer’s markets and local purveyors.

Clean out your refrigerator, and fill your freezer.

Accidental Locavore Green Goals FreezerOne of your green goals should be to clean your refrigerator.

Believe it or not, the experts say you’re supposed to clean your fridge every time you go grocery shopping.

If by cleaning, they mean shoving stuff around to make room for the new food, I’m there.

You know that’s not it.

We’re all guilty of keeping stuff around past its prime, or not tossing that bottle of ______ that no one will touch.

And how many jars of mustard do you have in your fridge? There are at least 4 in mine (that I can find).

I’m going to do a complete cleaning and toss all the science experiments. Then when I reload it, I’ll do it the smart way, so everything stays fresh as long as possible. If you have questions about keeping or tossing food here’s a useful site (that obviously my mother has never been to).

Why fill your freezer? A full freezer works better and more efficiently than a partially full one. Mine must be working pretty well….

Swap plastic for ___?

Accidental Locavore Green Goals Food WasteHere’s where I could use some help with my green goals.

We go through an amazing amount of plastic food storage bags, and while I’ve made some inroads in swapping some Ziplocs for small, reusable containers, I’m always tossing plastic bags.

What do you use?

The problem for me with glass containers in my crowded fridge is that if it slides off the pile, it breaks. I’ve found that Ball jars work for a lot of things, fridge or pantry. And swapping styrofoam take out boxes (which I hate) for plastic ones, may not be the best, but it’s a step in the right direction.

With the GIR lids, covering glass or china containers in the microwave has stopped being a problem.

What about the grocery store/farmer’s market? My ChicoBag is always with me to gather groceries, but once I get them home, if the lettuce and scallions aren’t in a clear bag (i.e. visible) they get overlooked and quickly become food waste.

Do you just try to minimize the plastic bag use, and make up for it somewhere else?  I’d love your ideas.

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Scenes from the Market in Rovinj, Croatia

by Anne Maxfield on April 27, 2015

Since the Accidental Locavore just barely stepped of a plane from a fabulous Croatia trip, this morning’s blog is going to be a photo journey through the market in Rovinj. I certainly enjoyed it and hope you do too! Lots to share from the trip, so stayed tuned and you’ll get to see some of the amazing meals we had.

A view of Rovinj

Accidental Locavore Rovinj

Making a Sale

Accidental Locavore Market Exchange

Calla Lilies

Accidental Locavore Cala Lillies

Market Vendor

Accidental Locavore Market Vendor

Broccoli and Kohlrabi

Accidental Locavore Broccoli and Kohlrabi

Market Fountain

Accidental Locavore Market Fountain

Chiles

Accidental Locavore Strings of Chiles

Having a Coffee

Accidental Locavore Market Break

Fresh Spinach

Accidental Locavore Croatian Spinach

Bikers

Accidental Locavore Bikers at the Rovinj Market

Rovinj Harbor

Accidental Locavore Rovinj Harbor

I’ve got my favorite(s), what’s yours? Let me know in the comments.

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Accidenta Locavore Milan MarketIn the Accidental Locavore’s mind, there is almost no such thing as a bad farmers’ market. Interestingly, size generally has nothing to do with the quality of the offerings. Such is the case with a small, but well-stocked market that started last summer in Milan (pronounced my-lan) NY. There usually aren’t more than ten tables, but there’s enough variety to put an entire meal together, including dessert. Something I found awfully appealing, was that at this market, all the farmers know each other, recommend each other’s products, and try not to have competing merchandise.

Accidental Locavore JacuterieI stopped by last week and found the first and only box of cherry tomatoes-so sweet that barely a dozen ended up at home. This farmer was carefully putting out some of the prettiest lettuce to go along with the usual summer squashes etc.

Next to him, was a new-to-me, charcuterie maker-Jacüterie. I was a little hungry after playing golf, so the offer to taste salamis etc was eagerly accepted. There were at least six different sausages, ranging from a couple of French saucisson, to an Italian soppressata and salami, a Swiss cervelat and a Spanish chorizo. Each was delicious and very different tasting. I only say this, because last year I got my husband a salami-of-the month-club from Olympic Provisions. According to foodies, Olympic is supposed to have great stuff, but we both found that they all tasted pretty much the same, and weren’t very exciting (if you don’t believe me, come over, there are still pieces of most of them in the fridge).

Accidental Locavore Olympic ProvisionsI restrained myself from buying more than I thought we could munch through in a weekend. My favorites were the chorizio and the Provençal saucisson, so that’s what came home with me. Unlike the aforementioned tomatoes, the sausages made it home untouched, but not for long!

Accidental Locavore ProvencalThe chorizo had a nice, but not overwhelming, kick to it. I particularly liked its texture, a little chunky and crumbly-not as tightly packed as a lot of aged sausages. The saucisson Provençal, was firmer and along with the good garlicky saucisson taste, had enough herbs de Provence, to flavor, but not overwhelm it.

This week who knows*?

 

*Actually it was another stick of the chorizo and a nice garlicky fuet.

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