OCTOBER 27, 2009 2:08PM

Dig my skeletal remains out of the produce. I'm blogging.

Rate: 12 Flag

So, I just noticed there is such a thing as "Foodie Tuesday".  PLUS, I just noticed it's Tuesday.  What a happy coincidence THIS is.  Because there is, right now, roughly 50 pounds of produce covering my kitchen counters, sink, and floor, and I really don't want to deal with it.  Any of it.

"How did this happen?", you might ask.  I'm so glad you might have asked that.  Because, truth be told, I'd SO much rather sit here at the computer and drink more coffee and answer hypothetical questions I posed for myself than, say, make and can 12 quarts of tomato sauce, make zucchini salsa (Recipe follows.  It's worth it.  I made it up, and should receive some kind of award for it.) cook all that kale and beets, and scrub the many, MANY sides of a bunch of goddamned carrots, which I'm not ALL that crazy about, anyway. 

Plus, are Jerusalem artichokes good for anything, really?  They're nothing like REAL artichokes, which are basically the perfect vehicle for mayonnaise and butter, and they have even more sides to clean than carrots.  There's something unethical about calling yourself an artichoke while tasting like a rutabaga. Will someone let me know if you discover their purpose?

PLUS, my refrigerator and freezer are at the full-t0-the-brink-of-exploding stage.  Where will I PUT all these things once they're prepared?

How this happened (glad you asked) is, I belong to a CSA coop (Community Supported Agriculture, where you help support nice hippies growing organic vegetables in your neighborhood by agreeing to pay a certain amount every year in exchange for a GIANT BOX OF PRODUCE EVERY WEEK, which you then have to figure out what to do with.  Which is good, really - I eat more vegetables, and try new ones, and get to go out to the farm once a week and chat with the neighbors, which is very sweet.), and just picked up my last box for the season, which is larger than the other boxes.  PLUS,  my many tomato plants, some of which I planted and some of which grew up out of my compost scattered all over the yard, have just decided to bust out and start making tomatoes.  LOTS of them.  Say, a gazillion. Likewise zucchini.  You get the picture, I think.

I WILL make zucchini salsa.  I WILL. 

But first I think I'll, um, write about it.  And have just one more cup of coffee. . .


Zucchini Salsa recipe.  Here goes:

2 cups zucchini, scrubbed

1/2 onion 

2 or 3 big tomatoes, or 1 can diced tomatoes

some tomatillos, if you have them (maybe 4, or maybe 8.  Something like that.  This isn't rocket science.)

1 tbsp crushed garlic (see note below)

1 -2 tbsp pureed chipotles (see note 2 below)

juice of 1 lime

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1/2-1 tsp salt


Get out the food processor.  Go ahead - I know you hate to do it, but it'll be worth it.  No, really.  

(NOTE: THIS COULD BE LIFE-CHANGING:  I buy peeled garlic cloves in big jars at Costco and puree them with just enough vinegar to make them go 'round in the food processor.  It'll keep forever in the fridge, although the acid turns some kinds of garlic turquoise.  The vinegar isn't enough to affect the flavor.  I suggest you do this first, and THEN,)

(NOTE 2) I also buy small cans of chipotle chiles at Grocery Outlet and puree them.  Do this after you do the garlic, above, and you'll have some wonderful garlic/chipotle puree in the freezer for salsa next time.  Also for a delicious sweet onion/pepper/chipotle/cream cheese dip I make.  More about that later. . .)

Now, cut the zukes in half, lengthwise, so you can jam them into the processor.  Use the blade on the bottom, and chop them with the onion and just enough tomato to make it all go around.  Chopped, not turned to mush, is what we're shootin' for.

Dump all that in a big bowl.  Add the rest of the tomatoes, tomatillos, and cilantro, all of which you've chopped just a bit in the processor.  Add pureed chipotles and garlic, lime, alla that.  Freeze some in old yogurt tubs, and eat the rest on fish tacos or something.  Yum, right?


Oh, and P.S.: Fish Tacos:  Melt some jack cheese and red bell peppers on corn tortillas in a skillet in a little olive oil.  Spread with mayonnaise, and add any kind of fish, grated cabbage, a squeeze of lime and my fabulous zucchini salsa.  Recipe above, if you missed it.   Fold in half and eat with Mexican beer and gusto.  Don't wear anything nice for this meal.

You can also leave out the fish and have a wonderful Puerto Escondido-style quesadilla, which is where I got this idea.  Back in my misspent youth.

OK - I'm goin' in.  Pray for me.


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talk about bizarre, when I started reading about your produce situation and the excess you had the first thought that popped into my head was zucchini salsa. No kidding. Comments may be a little disjointed or weird due to massive intake of drugs today. All legal and prescribed for me. Interesting interactions between anti-biotics, steroids and narcotics.
Ha, I get my last box tomorrow, so I understand your predicament.

(The zucchini salsa sounds great! This was very bad year here for tomatoes, unfortunately.)
I thought the title of your post was "my counter is covered in kale and beer". but it was beets.

beer opens the door to mishaps! misunderstandings! visits from police!

beets suggests borscht. (not that there's anything wrong with borscht)
Beets make a nice wine too
Amazing,Bobbot. We must be psychically linked.
Jeanette - I'm glad to know someone feels my pain. AND I love my CSA. Really I do.
Devil Monkey- that's a great idea! I forgot about borscht, which I love, as long as it has lots of garlic and sour cream. Yay! Think I'll have another cup of coffee. NOT beer. We know what beer does.
Bobbot - really? Wine? I'm intrigued - are you serious?
Food is confusing in general. (Hence my food brick lament.) Why is the best part of a pomegranite the pips? Why is the "seed" in a mango so friggin' big? Who on Earth was the person who had the nerve to first try a truffle? Or drink cow's milk? Or look at an artichoke and think, "Man, I bet that's good eatin'!"?
OK, I read up on Jerusalem artichokes, and now I love them. I think. I'm at least going to plant some of the ugly little tubers in my garden, because they're a kind of Helianthus (perennial sunflower), and the flowers are cute. Plus, word on the net is they make delicious french fries. I'll also try gratin and pickles. Stay tuned for more exciting developments.
Those CSA boxes can be a bit overwhelming this time of year. If I get one more head of red cabbage....

I'd trade you my umpteenth acorn squash for your jerusalem artichokes. Nevermind, Chicago is a long way from you thereby defeating the purpose of the CSA.

Have you ever roasted the JAs? - cut them into 1/2 inch cubes, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with S&P, 400F 30 minutes. Seriously, they are amazing - crispy on the outside and creamy (yes, creamy!) on the inside. But do ration them - they can cause some serious gastro disturbances (ahem, flatulence) - no kidding.

As for the rest of your box - may the force be with you.
Thanks, Bob Vivant - I'll try that. Soon. No, really.
Doug - I just had some pomegranates to deal with, and I quickly dispatched them (relatively quickly) by dumping the seeds and pulp in the blender with water, then straining it and adding cold-brew peach tea bags. It was good, and didn't require much profanity at all.
My pop used to make wine from everything. I don't have his recipe but this one is close.


For one gallon:

2.5 pounds beets
1 gallon water
2.25 pounds sugar
2 teaspoons acid blend
1 teaspoon nutrient
25 teaspoon tannin
1 Campden tablet
1 pkg. wine yeast

Wash beets, skin beets, and cut into small pieces. Place beets in a
nylon bag and boil in 2 quarts water until tender. Pour hot liquor over
sugar in primary and mix. Put bag with pulp in fermentor and stir in
remainder of COLD water. Add all other ingredients except yeast. After
24 hours add yeast. Let ferment. When SG is 1.040 lightly strain juice
from bag. When SG is 1.000 rack into secondary.
Dang girl, I was right there with you until you mentioned the word: Zucchini. That stuff does not fall into any recognizable food group of mine.

Rated cause it was still fun to read about!
HELP! I made Bob Vivant's oven roasted Jerusalem artichokes and I can't stop eating them, despite their much-touted flatulence-inducing properties. This should make it easier to find my remains. I'm eating yogurt in a desperate attempt to avoid my just desserts. . .

Torman - this salsa makes zucchini unrecognizable. Plus, tasty. Honest.

Next: beet wine. Can't wait!
This is simple enough, even I could do it. I'm sending good thoughts. Vegetables in quantity scare the shit out of me. But you can do it. You are the boss of those vegetables, and they know it.
You cook a like like my wife. She's looking so I can't tell you if thats a good thing or a bad thing!
I miss those days of driving over to Santa Monica for our share. Those dirty bags filled with wondrous stuff...I used to slice the chokes and put them in salad but the roasting sounds great. I know you don't want to hear this but here's to an abundance of good stuff! Great post.
Sirenita - Thankyou. I feel stronger. I AM the boss of those vegetables. Sadly, though, this computer is the boss of me. Release me, computer - I COMMAND you! . . . Oh, well. Didn't work.

Thanks, Scanner, maybe. And yes, I'm grateful for my abundance.

I HAVE tried 3 sunchoke recipes. The mountain of vegetables remains, however.
Coolness, tomorrow in between turkeys I am going to run off a copy of the zucchini salsa and then spend a goodly part of next summer trying to remember where I put it. Sounds really yummy. Thanks!
I love the idea of the CSA Coop--If we could just get people to grow a wide variety of things. Tomatoes and zuchinni...the perennial favorites. I would love trying different veggies than I grow.

I'm with Lunchlady...I'll forget where I put this when I need it :)
Three cheers for CSAs! I've learned so much from them. Just a few of my discoveries:

1. That stuff that looks like tobacco leaves can be washed, sauteed in olive oil and garlic bits, and it's delicious!
2. There are so many varieties of squash that I can cook a different one each week for 6 months.
3. Those little tiny potatoes (the ones that look like fingers) are actually called "fingerlings", and when cooked well (washed, steamed, parslied and buttered), they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
4. Zucchini breads made and frozen are outstanding in the midst of winter.
5. I can make soup out of most anything.
6. Farmers are some of my best friends!
Thanks, GiGi - I agree. I cook the whatever kinda greens until they're tender, then saute them in garlic - delish! And, all the rest. I forget, and it's too hard to scroll down to where you posted. I do love my CSA, truth be told. . . I'm roasting a bazillion tomatoes, some peppers and onions now, and will blend them into fabulous spaghetti sauce. Need to go find some canning jars from my neighbors.
Don't worry. We've got your back.
Thanks, Steve. That means so much. Whatever it means. You'll cover for me while I get canning jars, right? Phew. PHEW.
Co-op is hyphenated, mummy.

I love you, too. Why aren't you blogging? And how did you find me here? Are you stalking me?