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CSA Box Week 11: Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

Posted 8/28/2018 3:18am by Jenna Untiedt.

Here we are, the last week of August, enjoying every last ounce of summer that we can. I fit my quick trip to the State Fair in on Friday evening, a quick trip to a lake is planned for Saturday, and then in my book Fall starts on Monday. Well, not really in my book, but in my work life we start adding Fall Items to our order sheets. Orders for squash and pumpkins are already being placed for delivery after Labor Day, plans to start harvesting squash and pumpkins are being made, and the there are a couple cool days in the forecast. I’m not jumping into Fall too quickly as I am trying to hang on to every last ounce of summer that is possible.  

The one good thing that comes with a few of the cooler days this week is the ambition to cook a bit more. I am terrible at spending time in the kitchen when it’t hot outside, but when the temps are more friendly, I love spending time in the kitchen each evening or for a couple hours on the weekend. The share is week is great for quick eats or even some more time intensive options. Here are a few things I plan to do with the share this week along with a few storage tips as well:  

Sweet Corn: If you do not plan on eating the corn right away, keep it in the refrigerator in the crisper drawer for a  couple days. If you know you can’t get to it, simply cut it off the cob and put it in a freezer back for use in soups or stews this winter. It is really that simple! I plan on making a Sweet Corn and Potato Chowder that I will eat a bit of right away and then freeze in individual portions to enjoy for grab and go lunches or later in the winter.  

Cabbage: This will store in your refrigerator for literally months. Keep it in the crisper drawer if you don’t plan on using it right away. Deconstructed egg rolls are on my menu for this week. A dinner that takes less than 30 minutes and is great for leftovers as it makes quite a bit. Find the recipe in your weekly newsletter from Farmer Jerry under the title Egg Roll in a Bowl..  

Sweet Italian Peppers: These make great snacks or additions to salads. If you want a fun side dish for dinner, slice the long way, stuff with ricotta cheese and bake until soft. They make an excellent treat! Store these in your refrigerator, or if you can’t get to them just slice them up and place them in a freezer bag for stir fry additions later on.  

Kale: It’s the perfect time for sautéed kale or kale chips. Either option is great and super easy. Salads or adding kale to soups which can be frozen and heated up later are other great options. Store in your fridge and  this will last for up to 2 weeks. You may see it wilt, but just run under ice cold water and it will come right back to life.  

Potatoes: Store these in your refrigerator. They will last for upwards of two months if you can’t get to them right away. Mine will be turned into Corn and Potato Chowder this week though. Sometimes a nice soup in the middle of summer is actually a treat.  

Honeydew Melon: I would leave this on your counter for a day before cutting it. Once cut, store in the fridge. Drizzle it with a bit of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of sea salt for an extra tasty treat.  

Sugar Cube Melon: Since I do not have to share my melon, I like to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and fill one side with cottage cheese. It makes a great morning snack, and leaves me one more for the next day. Smell the end where it was picked to make sure it smells sweet before cutting. Once sweet smelling, store in the refrigerator to get extra life out of the melon.  

Green Beans and Yellow Wax Beans: Sautéed with the enclosed shallot is a great way to enjoy these. Make sure store these right away when you get home. One great way to get extra life out of the beans is so wash an prepare them for use right away. If you can’t get to using them in the first day or two, wash, cut the ends off and wrap tight in a Zip Lock bag. This should help keep them fresh for a couple more days.  

Slicing Tomatoes: BLTs are a must. A weekly staple in my household and likely served alongside the Corn and Potato Chowder this week. Store these on your countertop and never in the refrigerator.  

Chestnut Crab Apples: A perfect mid-day snack! Keep in the fridge, preferable in the crisper drawer. My favorite way to make sure I enjoy them all before they go bad is to wash them right away, and then put a couple in my lunch bag for each day of the week.

Zestar! Apples: Try adding one to a kale salad, they are sweet and add an extra pop of flavor. Otherwise simply wash and enjoy. They are truly a great first of the season apple in Minnesota.  

There you have it. Hopefully some helpful hints and tricks to get through your share this week. I hope everyone has a fantastic Labor Day weekend!