I got you a present...

We are packing up the apartment again because we are closing on a house this week. Picture of the new place as soon as I have the keys!

Basket #4

I haven't had this many butternut squash in my house since the last research project harvest in 2012. We were supposed to get mangoes, but there was a last minute substitution on the truck and we ended up with butternut squash in addition to the butternut squash that were already on the list.

Besides the squash, we have tomatoes (yay!), corn, carrots, lettuce, pineapple (plus a bonus for volunteering pineapple), cantaloupe, cauliflower, cucumbers, apricots, and the Mexican themed veggie add-on that included the lemons, lime, cilantro, avocados, onions, scallions, jalapenos, peppers, and more garlic. The blueberries were another add-on that I ordered and I froze most of them, ate at least 2 containers fresh, and used some to make the blueberry sauce that goes in the sweet corn ice cream.

With the corn, I wanted to do something like the corn salsa from Chipotle, and I found a recipe in our cooking bible aka the America's Test Kitchen cookbook.

We had everything we needed from the basket and the pantry: sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, scallions, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, black beans, vinegar, olive oil, and cumin.


Basket #3

This week the baskets in Pierre were claimed in record time (and there's only one site), so we went to Hayes for our inordinate amount of produce. The Hayes pick-up is at 7 AM and it's about a 30 minute drive from Pierre, so we went on an early-for-a-Saturday morning jaunt.
Something is moving quickly here and it isn't the cows.

Our haul this week includes bananas (which better get ripe, unlike the last bunch), mangoes, a gigantic yam, lettuce, cauliflower, tomatoes, butternut squash (at least they're small), corn, fava beans, honeydew, and apricots. There was an Italian veggie add-on that contained the eggplant, mushrooms, tiny zucchini (which is the best kind of zucchini), garlic, lemon, and fresh oregano and basil.

A quick story on the bananas - they are notorious for taking forever to get ripe. Our first basket had a decent bunch, but the bananas from the second batch would not ripen up no matter how many apples I put next to them. This happens to a lot of Bountiful Basket bananas, and there were many posts on the website about making banana fries. It seems easy - cut up the bananas, coat with olive oil, roast, banana fries! We tried it, and they were terrible. Maybe our bananas weren't green enough or something, but that is one recipe I have no desire to repeat.


Spring by the river

When I went to Brookings earlier this week the trees were just starting to leaf out, and when I returned two days later there was even more progress.

The small trees were replanted last year after the flood. I need to remember to take some close ups of the larger trees to show how high the water was during the last flood.

This tree lives next to the parking area and is currently beautiful and just waiting to drop petals on my car.


I made gnocchi!

The first time we contributed for a basket, we ended up with a lot of potatoes. Those potatoes went to live with the bag of potatoes that Josh bought the week before, so we had way to many potatoes.

Enter this recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/01/gnocchi-in-tomato-broth-more-book-tour/

I checked out the Smitten Kitchen cookbook from the library a month ago, loved it, and promptly bought my own copy.

My gnocchi weren't quite as photogenic, but they were surprisingly fun to make and really tasty.


Bountiful Basket #2

Our basket this week included lettuce, green peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, sweet corn, cabbage, cantaloupe, watermelon, artichokes, bananas, and apples. The second watermelon was my thank you for volunteering on Saturday. I had to make sure no one ran off with it before Josh came to pick up the rest of the produce.

We've already eaten some of the corn (and it was pretty decent for being corn from California in May), a few peppers, most of one head of lettuce, and the artichokes. I'm not sure if I messed up in my artichoke preparation or if they weren't super fresh, but they are on my list of vegetables I will not voluntarily deal with in the future.


Driving East River

The view as I was driving into the sunrise on my way to Huron for a workshop. 
I went to Huron last Saturday and finally got to drive on 14. It wasn't a bad drive and I saw quite a few pheasants hanging out on the side of the road (mostly males, but there was one female on the way home). Compared to driving to Kadoka, there were almost no billboards and everything is very flat. There were still a few patches of snow and lots of water puddled in the ditches. I passed a flock of American Coots and some other long-billed wading bird that I need to look up.


Spring finally showed up

April 22: The view from my office.
April 28: Daffodils, sunshine, and temperatures above 60 degrees.