Celebrating Csa Box #1 - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 326907

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating CSA Box #1 
May 9, 2014 10:11 am 
Updated: May 13, 2014 10:58 pm
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Several years ago I read on The Buzz about people getting CSA boxes. It sounded wonderful! CSA is Community Supported Agriculture and an opportunity for “city slickers” like myself to get weeks and weeks of fresh produce from a local nearby farm. I researched it, but nobody in my area was offering CSA boxes…until now! There is a local farm that offers produce for sale in the summer and fun activities for families. Last year between the Halloween and Thanksgiving season, I carried my entire family (the Grands and their parents) to Cedar Hill Farm, which offered hayrides, games, corn mazes, chicken shows, and lots of other fun activities. This year is their first year to involve the community in CSA. Needless to say, I jumped on it!

I received my first box last week. It contained kale, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, strawberries, radishes, broccoli, and cauliflower. I turned immediately to allrecipes.com as my source for what to do with all this wonderful produce.


As soon as I got home with my box, I began washing and de-stemming the collard, turnip, and mustard greens for PERFECT MIXED GREENS. I have never cared for greens, but my husband loves them. I’ve never thought I could cook them because I don’t know how they should taste. Well, I decided to tackle this recipe and just go for it. I followed it completely except I cut way down on the sugar. It seemed like an excessive amount to me. Guess what? My husband loved MY greens…and so did I! Guess I’m a greens convert.


I steamed the cauliflower for dinner one night and added some Parmesan cheese on top. Fresh cauliflower is much better than store-bought!


I have heard about kale for ages but never tasted it, so I was excited to try it. The first thing I made was a salad – SUPER SUMMER KALE SALAD. Delicious!


The next recipe I made with the kale was SUPER-DELICIOUS ZUPPA TOSCANA, which calls for spinach, but I subbed kale (a common ingredient in this soup).


I used the radishes in salads. One salad I made, ENSALADA DE RABANO Y ZANAHORIA, was from the Mexico site. It was so good! (Just in case you’re curious, you can copy a recipe from a foreign language allrecipes site and paste it into Google Translate. Voilà…the recipe in English!)


 I used the broccoli in a broccoli-cheese soup, SOPA DE BROCOLI Y QUESO, also from the Mexico site. Another winner!


And finally, the strawberries? Oh my, this is how strawberries are supposed to taste. No big white middle to these berries. Just beautiful, ripe red fruit all the way through. We just ate most of them…washed, capped, and popped whole in the mouth! But I did make one recipe with them, Strawberry Smoothie with Ice Cream. The difference in this Mexican recipe (LICUADO DE FRESA CON HELADO) was that it had cinnamon in it. I’ve never had cinnamon in my ice cream, but I like it!


So, my first CSA box of goodies is gone, and now I can’t wait to get the next one! I‘ll be getting them every other week. I look forward to blogging about them and letting you know what all I cook using my fresh vegetables and fruits.

May 9, 2014 10:45 am
Wow! you really tried out lots of new things! I was getting the Bountiful Baskets for awhile, but our site closed. They gave out lots of kale, but I'm just not a big "greens" eater. Hope you continue to love your boxes!
May 9, 2014 10:47 am
Everything looks wonderful. What a great way to stay inspired in the kitchen. We moved to an agricultural area and have farm fresh ingredients year round. My DH has enjoyed his commute watching the ever changing fields as the crops come and go. You are in for a fun and health summer of food. Thanks for a great blog.
May 9, 2014 11:37 am
You really turned the csa box into some great recipes. I have not that I can recall tried cinnamon in icecream either. What is the process like and cost per box or lb. On the vegegables? I only talked to one place at a farmer's market and found the price they gave kind of high. Do they let you pick? Do they have dairy, bread, and other stuff. The guy I talked to did included that. It was all local. Ty
May 9, 2014 12:09 pm
Okay Paula, I just checked out a popular one in my area called dominionharvest. The prices seemed a lot less than the guy I spoke to in person. They have 4 options. 2 are 39 per box, then a 54 and 69 dollar. They vary based on whether a person also wants local eggs, beads, meats, or cheeses in their delivery to. I could easily spend that at the local farmers market here.
May 9, 2014 12:29 pm
I just checked out one in my area (thanks for the inspiration, Paula!) Prices there figure out to be $15 to $16 a week, with the option to add meats, eggs, breads, soaps, etc! Wow - what am I waiting for??
May 9, 2014 1:17 pm
Now you know you will have me looking as well. I buy local as much as possible all summer and use my garden once it is ready to harvest. Your pictures are beautiful and are making me hungry. I am saving the greens for sure. We get kale a lot and I like cooking it up in bacon fat with onion and garlic. I saute it up and we devour it quick quick.
May 9, 2014 1:37 pm
Such fun! I have a few CSA places close here, and looked into it a little, but it would be more than what just hubby and I would use now. Wish I had done it when the kids were little. I do grow my own garden every year though, so have my own little CSA. Buy local!!
May 9, 2014 1:38 pm
We used to split with my parents on a side of beef too from a co-op out a bit in the country. Amazing beef and so cheap that way.
May 9, 2014 2:43 pm
Goodeats - I've read about Bountiful Baskets and CSAs for years and longed to be able to participate. I'm pretty sure I will continue to love this program since my husband and I like most all veggies.
May 9, 2014 2:47 pm
Marie C - How wonderful to have farm fresh ingredients year round! They really do taste better fresh. The grocery store's fresh produce isn't farm fresh!
May 9, 2014 2:48 pm
Blender Woman and Mi - So glad you both checked in to a CSA program in your area! I'm pretty sure you'll love it!
May 9, 2014 2:50 pm
Joey - I would love to have a garden myself, but I don't have the time nor do I have a green thumb. Not sure I'd have a clue what to do. My husband has said he'd like to have a garden when he retires.
May 9, 2014 4:42 pm
DD and I keep talking about signing up for a weekly CSA box and splitting the produce. I do still grow a small garden, but receiving a weekly box would give me a variety of fresh produce I don't grow. Great blog Paula and beautiful photos.
May 9, 2014 8:14 pm
Candice - Yes, the variety interests me too. I loved getting all the different items, a couple which I had never eaten before. You should research CSAs in your area.
May 10, 2014 6:59 am
I'm with you, Paula-I don't have the green thumb for a garden, but I'm thankful for friends who do and share their bounties with us! Your first box looks wonderful!
May 10, 2014 12:13 pm
You sure made a lot of great recipes from that box! Great job!
May 11, 2014 8:05 am
Paula T and Baking Nana - Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. You both are people I have learned from on AR.
May 13, 2014 10:58 pm
Paula, I don't know if you see posts that are a lot later, but I still wanted to say hi. I love the looking forward to what you'll be getting, the surprise element -- and knowing the food will be good! My favorite photos were of the little bowl of soup and the smoothie. Hope your mother is doing well (you too!).
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Memphis, Tennessee, USA
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Olive Branch, Mississippi, USA

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Aug. 2008

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Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy

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About Me
I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays bring out the traditions: chocolate chip cheese ball; crockpot chicken and dressing; and broccoli salad, sweet potatoes and butterscotch pie handed down from past generations. Another thing that must be tradition in my family: we all make new recipes when we have company! My mother, sister, daughter, and I all do this. My daddy never understood why we would risk making something we had never made before. Actually, none of us has ever served company a new recipe that didn't taste good.
My cooking triumphs
Cake decorating: wedding cakes, bridal and baby shower cakes, birthday cakes: Little Pirate, Cinderella, Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake. My friends call me Betty Crocker. When my daughter got married, she had a bridal shower where the guests were asked to write something on an apron. My best friend told her if she needed a recipe or help in the kitchen to ask her mother. If she needed a good place to eat out, ask her.
My cooking tragedies
A 4 tier huge wedding cake that fell apart at 2:00am. Thankfully, I still had time to salvage the cake.
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