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As of Tuesday, I had one definite guest, a bunch of not-availables, and a whole lot of no-replies, so I started casting a wider net. By Wednesday (erev chag), I had four guests, and I started panicking that I wouldn't have enough food. OK, not panicking completely, but I was concerned, and general undersleptness probably contributed to the situation. menu )
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pickup on Shmini Atzeret, so this is my best memory of what there was
  • two baby bok choy (given to friends because I just am not inspired)
  • a bunch of green curly kale
  • a large head of lettuce
  • three pounds of sweet potatoes (I estimated by taking one super-large one that isn't quite as big as my head, but it's close)
  • a winter squash: delicata or buttercup (I chose buttercup; I much prefer it to most other winter squash)
  • two stalks of broccoli
  • two pounds of rainbow carrots (I stuck mostly with the orange ones, because the pale ones don't appeal so much, and the purple ones, while lovely on their own, tend to make other things colors that aren't so appetizing to me)
  • a pound of red beets
  • three quarters of a pound of spinach
  • a smallish celeriac
  • six ounces of lion's mane mushrooms (which I find, in looking up images to confirm type, seems to have a lot of health claims made about it; interesting)

I also got a 'thank you' bag; apparently someone joined and mentioned me? In the bag: eight medium yellow onions (yay alliums!), and three decorative gourds, which I just had to laugh about (getting them on Shmini Atzeret, after the end of Sukkot when many (Jewish) people use them to decorate their sukkot). Anyone need some decorative gourds?
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Punctuation used by mansplainers: explanation points!

Lab Girl

Oct. 8th, 2017 09:58 am
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I finished reading Lab Girl (Hope Jahren) over yom tov, and it's an excellent read, an engaging autobiography interspersed with short essays on how plants, especially trees, function in their environment, and how they shape it. The author also studied English literature, which is presumably where some of her story-telling skills were honed. And when I say story-telling, it's not only about the scrapes she and her researcher Bill get into, but also the story of the plants she is so wholly intrigued by, turning the learning into a narrative that sticks better than a labeled diagram, while leaving all those areas that are still unknown (unknowable? Or just not for a long while? Hard to know, especially in an era of shrinking science funding, at least for science that isn't involved in military applications) as question marks, not presuming the answers, or choosing ones that will enhance the story. I feel like I might understand just a bit more about how the physical world works.
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(Pick up on yom tov = hopefully I remember it all, but there may be some inaccuracies.)

  • two pounds of yellow onions
  • two pounds of orange carrots
  • two (large-ish) acorn squash
  • a large head of Napa (traded in for another acorn squash, since I still have Napa left from the last time we got it, and had just managed to cook my way through three heads of regular cabbage)
  • half a pound of braising mix
  • a small head of lettuce (I chose a dark red-purple kind, with slightly spiky leaves)
  • two pounds of eggplant (I chose a mix of sizes/colors)
  • a bunch of cilantro (traded in for another eggplant)
  • a pound of tomatoes (not the best looking ones I've seen)
  • a stalk of broccoli
  • a third of a pound of shiitake mushrooms
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  • a medium eggplant
  • a bunch of lacinato kale
  • six ears of corn
  • three pounds of potatoes
  • two pounds of beets
  • a head of lettuce (somewhat Boston-like, but slightly heavier leaf, with some red towards the edges)
  • a head of radicchio
  • a head of cabbage
  • three quarters of a pound of arugula
  • a third of a pound of oyster mushrooms

First thoughts: sauteed onions and mushrooms over wilted arugula. roasted eggplant and potato. lots of sauerkraut. roasted or pickled beets. some kind of green salad with lettuce and radicchio (though I'm not fond of radicchio, so other suggestions welcome).
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(pick up on Rosh Hashana, since the farm switched days for my location from Wednesdays to Thursdays; hopefully I've remembered correctly)
  • a big bunch of edamame on the stalk (a medium-small bowl of pods off the stalks)
  • a big bunch of curly purple kale
  • two heads of green lettuce
  • four medium bok choy (the light-and-dark-green kind, not the dark-green-and-white-stalk kind)(plus an extra)
  • a pound of red tomatoes
  • a pound of small, multi-color bell peppers
  • four hot peppers
  • a stalk of broccoli
  • two small heads of garlic
  • a third of a pound of shiitake mushrooms

The distribution of things surprised me: much heavier on leaves and lighter on roots/autumn things than I would have expected for late-ish September.


Sep. 17th, 2017 10:29 am
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This week I finished two books, John Allen Paulos' A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper and James Hamblin's If Our Bodies Could Talk.

Paulos' book was printed over two decades ago, so some of the examples given felt dated. Overall, however, despite the potential paradigm shift of the availability of the news on the Internet, not just paper, it felt rather timely. People still do not think critically about the news they read, from whatever sources. Paulos looks at all sorts of ways the news can be inaccurate, through all the sections of a traditional newspaper, but even more importantly in some ways, how it can be completely true, yet leave wrong impressions. One example was about voting procedures, and the various schemes that could be used for making sure an election ends up reflecting the will of the people; I was not surprised to see a variety of different possibilities mentioned, with the strengths and weaknesses of each. That and other essays pointed out some of the problems with how our government is set up. I was also interested to see the references to Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, having read The Undoing Project back in January (this year has included a much higher percentage than my usual for nonfiction).

Hamblin's book is also set up as a set of connected short essays grouped by theme, this time based on human body systems (not the usual ones, but perceiving, eating, drinking, relating, and enduring). I learned some biology, and how there are today many things still to learn (that we may be in the process of learning, even), and there are awful ways in which the body can go wrong that I hadn't known of before. What I particularly appreciated was how the author pointed out that many health issues are not solvable in a hospital, but are about social and economic disparity (which reminded me of a book I read two weeks ago, White Trash, a history of class in the US, which reviewed all the ways in which the playing field is not, in fact, equal, even now) that need to be addressed. He also pointed out how in many ways, the US healthcare system is not actually about health, but about delivery of billable stuff, which is not needed when *actually* healthy. Prevention is what people might want, but the companies don't have nearly as much to bill then.... It was a bit depressing, realizing that, again, there are huge, complicated systems embedded in how our society works that are so extremely flawed. The one thing I really was not pleased with was how there was passing reference to 'just' losing weight, as if that were a trivial thing. If it were, there would not be so much failure at that all around.
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  • a pound of carrots
  • a pound of yellow onions (= 1 large)
  • two delicata squash (plus an extra for late bonus)
  • two pounds of green bell peppers (plus an extra for late bonus)
  • four Hungarian wax (hot) peppers
  • two pounds of field tomatoes
  • half a pound of salad mix
  • a bunch of curly green kale
  • a bok choy (one of the all light green kinds)
  • six ounces of shiitake mushrooms

First thoughts: another batch of white bean and kale soup with carrots (need to get some white beans, maybe some potatoes). roasted peppers and tomatoes, perhaps to put in a lasagna. delicata squash baked with maple and cranberries. some kind of green salad, of course.
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  • a bunch of lacinato kale
  • a head of lettuce (I chose red leaf)
  • two pounds of white onions
  • a pound and a quarter of rainbow carrots (I chose purple and orange ones; I like the intensity of color)
  • a pound and a half pounds of mixed beets (plus some extras for being later in the pickup; I chose red over yellow or Chioggia)
  • a smallish head of cabbage (plus another for later pickup)
  • two pounds = three green peppers (plus another for later pickup)
  • two pounds of field tomatoes
  • six ounces of oyster mushrooms
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The part that caught my attention during the kriah* this Shabbat (parshat Ki Teitzei) was about yibum (aka levirate marriage) (Devarim/Deuteronomy 25:5-25:10). These days, it's definitely possible for there not to be a relevant brother, which would mean the situation would be irrelevant. And now that I reread the verses, technically it only applies if the brothers live together (though that part seems not to be much paid attention to, I guess 'just to be on the safe side').

Anyway. The real part that hit me is that it's about making sure there's a child so the dead husband's name is not lost in Israel. There is nothing about the wife's name possibly being lost. There is no parallel gender-reversed situation. Women aren't part of history in that way, or not quite independent adults. Yet another place where I'm now thrown out of the (not-really-narrative) text, one that hadn't struck me before.

I wish there were more places I felt included in the text, instead of excluded.

* Happy to translate anything someone wants more information about, just let me know.

ETA: no clue why paragraphing is failing on this post, even after having added paragraph breaks in html. ::sigh:: I don't have the energy to figure out another possible solution. ::double sigh::
Oh, it was about a missing close quotes in an a href tag. Fixed.
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  • two pounds of white onions
  • a pound and a half of carrots a few of the last carrots there, plus four extra onions to make up for it
  • a large-ish Napa cabbage
  • a bunch of green curly kale
  • three large green peppers
  • three pounds of field tomatoes
  • two three pounds of heirloom and roma tomatoes
  • four ears of corn
  • two small eggplants
  • a bunch of basil
  • six ounces of oyster king oyster mushrooms (which is three)

Two weeks ago, the site coordinator changed, and I'm unimpressed with the new person: in two weeks, I've missed out on three things because they were gone, and there wasn't a swap box this week either. I know that theoretically the former is about what the farm sends, but it hadn't happened to this extent before.

First thoughts: puree the basil and freeze; corn and tomato salad; sauteed onions and mushrooms; something kimchee-ish or peanut-dressing salad-ish for the Napa and some carrots. Maybe dry some of the tomatoes.
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  • three pounds of small red-skinned potatoes
  • three medium zucchini
  • three pounds of field tomatoes
  • two pounds of heirloom tomatoes
  • one and a half pounds of beets (a mix of small to medium red or gold ones)
  • two pounds of yellow onions
  • a bunch of rainbow Swiss chard
  • a pound and a half of green peppers (which turned out to be three)
  • a head of lettuce (I got green leaf)
  • a bunch of edamame
  • a head of red cabbage they ran out, so offered an extra bunch of chard and another pepper; I would rather have had the red cabbage
  • six ounces of oyster mushrooms

The big CSA news this week for me was that the person running the distribution, who I've known casually for years, has dropped out for the rest of the season (apparently due to pregnancy and construction dust/fumes not being a good combination). The replacement is nice enough, but not as organized, and there was almost nothing in the swap box (ie I kept the chard I don't care for, because all there was in it was a cantaloupe from the fruit share, and I don't care for cantaloupe either).

First thoughts: saute onions and mushrooms, maybe eat with boiled potatoes/potato salad. sauteed chard with... lemon and pine nuts/walnuts? (could freeze, if not interesting now). steamed edamame. green salad with tomatoes, cukes (from last week), leftover chicken. not sure what to do with the peppers, maybe roasted with some tomato and zucchini. the beets will keep.
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  • 10 ears of corn
  • two pounds of summer squash
  • two and a half pounds of pickling cukes
  • half a pound of carrots
  • a pound of tiny red onions
  • four Asian eggplants
  • two bunches of flat leaf green kale (traded for more eggplant, since I had another bunch still at home)
  • three pounds of heirloom tomatoes
  • three pounds of field tomatoes
  • five large green peppers
  • six ounces of oyster mushrooms
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(What happened to week 9? I was away, and a friend picked up, so I have less complete info than usual:
carrots (lots!)
swiss chard (yellow and red stem choices)
1 onion (white, like a giant enormous boiling onion)
tomatoes (having those with lunch today)
a ginormous head of lettuce, which I actually gave to $Person for her use
cucumbers (itty bitty ones)

This week's share:
  • 8 ears of corn
  • a pound (= 1, as it turned out) of heirloom tomatoes
  • two pounds of field tomatoes
  • two pounds of summer squash
  • two pounds of cucumber
  • a bunch of curly green kale
  • a pound and a half (= 2) yellow onions
  • 4 green peppers (and 4 more, because there were extras)
  • a head of lettuce (I chose Boston, and got another because extras)
  • 12 ounces of carrots
  • a good sized head of green cabbage
  • one regular or two small eggplants (I chose violet Asian ones, since I'd bought regular ones just this morning at the supermarket)
  • a third of a pound of shiitakes

First thoughts: green salad with corn, tomatoes, and cuke, plus some tuna. Possibly roast All The Things for a roasted ratatouille (eggplant, pepper, onion, tomato). Maybe a cabbage-carrot slaw (Asian? mayo? some other style? not sure).
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  • two pounds of mixed summer squash
  • one pound four ounces of cucumbers
  • two pounds of carrots (plus a couple extra as a late-bonus)
  • a bunch of herbs (I chose savory, and got a dill as a late-bonus; there was also basil)
  • two green peppers
  • a bunch of lacinato kale
  • two Ailsa Craig onions (and a few extra as a late-bonus)
  • a head of garlic with its stalk (and an extra as a late-bonus)
  • two hot house tomatoes (and two more as a late-bonus)
  • six ounces of shiitake mushrooms

Of note: no lettuce! All salad will be without greens!

First thoughts: tomato-cucumber-pepper salad with dill, maybe some roasted summer squash and dill; sauteed onions and mushrooms with....?; pickled carrots, onions.
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  • 8 ears of corn
  • 2 pounds of yellow summer squash (medium large, so 3 pieces)
  • 6 ounces of basil (which is a lot!)
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1.5 pounds of carrots (plus some extra)
  • as much lettuce as wanted (which was three small heads, one Boston, one red Boston, one green leaf)
  • 9 ounces of cucumber (which was two cukes)
  • a big bunch of parsley (which tastes of Passover garnish and tabouli; suggestions for use welcome, or let me know if you have a use for it)
  • a bunch of green kale
  • two orange tomatoes (plus 2 extra for being towards the end of the distribution)
  • a bunch of beets with their greens (I chose golden, for that one and the end-of-distribution bonus bunch)
  • a bunch of red onions (and a second for end-of-distribution bonus)
  • a third of a pound of oyster mushrooms

First thoughts: tomato-corn salad with basil, and chives from the porch, possibly with some lime juice.
kale and beet greens sauted with onion, potato, egg, and some interesting spices.
star anise pickled carrots, or perhaps some with the last of the garlic scapes and dill.
sauted onions and mushrooms with roasted summer squash (and feta if I had any, or can face the walk to Trader Joe's in this punishing head + humidity).
not sure yet what to do with the golden beets; I like their color better raw, but flavor and texture are better when cooked.
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  • three pounds of regular cucumbers (which is a lot of cucumbers, as it turns out, and these are the regular ones I don't love, so (a) suggestions for unusual salads or (b) locals who'd be willing to pick up some cucumbers are welcome)
  • four very small summer squash (I chose green and gold zucchini, plus 7 extras because I was at the tail end of the pickup)
  • a bunch of Ailsa Craig onions with some green stem (plus an extra from the 'free' box)
  • two bunches of dill or cilantro (obviously, I chose dill, and the coordinator gave me another two bunches)
  • a head of lettuce (I chose red leaf)
  • six ounces of basil
  • one bunch of red beets with greens
  • two heads of garlic on the stalk
  • two stalks of broccoli
  • one bunch of purple kale
  • six ounces = two king oyster mushrooms

This week's newsletter from the farm featured the fennel we'd be getting. Notice what's not on the list above? Yup, fennel. It happened last year, too, so I've sent an email to the farm asking that they either (a) get us some fennel, or (b) not strongly feature things that they're not going to send to every distribution site. I'd been planning to make lemony fennel relish. Which is not to say that the rest of this week's share is awful or anything (though I could've done with a lot less cucumber, unless they were pickling cukes).

Anyway (oops, the rest got cut off somehow), I'm not feeling super inspired for particular recipes, just 'saute veg + eggs' or some salad variants. ::sigh::
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  • a bunch of rainbow chard
  • six pickling cukes
  • five summer squashes
  • a bunch of "pearl" onions (more like golf-ball-sized...)
  • a small head of Savoy cabbage
  • six ounces of garlic scapes
  • a small bag of mixed salad greens (three ounces? four?)
  • two heads of lettuce (I chose one red Boston, and traded a green leaf for more scapes, since I have a bunch of lettuce left from last week)
  • a bunch of basil or dill (I chose basil, the last one there... but I was planning on using basil for dinner tomorrow anyway)
  • six ounces of mushrooms, a mix of yellow oyster mushrooms and shiitake
    bonus (ie I came later and there was tons available): two bunches of starting-to-flower dill, another Savoy cabbage, and a couple of extra summer squashes

First thoughts: jasmine rice cooked in scape stock, then sauteed chard and fresh dill added; some cabbage and cuke to go into spring rolls; a big green salad with basil, tomato, mango, and chicken poached in salsa; dilly pickled garlic scapes; roasted summer squash and/or squash relish (something like this).
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  • 4 pickling cukes
  • 4 summer squash (I chose zucchini, one of them golden)
  • a bunch of carrots (plus some extra)
  • a Napa cabbage
  • a bunch of little red onions with their scallions on
  • two heads of lettuce (I chose red leaf)
  • a bunch of lacinato kale
  • a pound of garlic scapes (plus as much as I wanted extra, which was... a not inconsiderable quantity)
  • 6 ounces of mixed interesting mushrooms

First thoughts: roasted summer squash; slaw of Napa + shredded carrot + sauteed bits of garlic scape + peanut dressing; pickled garlic scapes and carrots.


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