A Full Accounting on Menu Monday

June 23, 2009 at 8:22 am

Rob Gardner

So yes, obviously, the accounting of local foodstuffs in the Bungalow has taken so long that Menu Monday is rolling around on Tuesday once again.  See, last week I freed the attic of the stray produce hiding there; I rid the downstairs fridge of some parsnips we never got to before they turn Dorian Gray.  There were onions and potatoes that would have worked in garden plots not kitchen pots.  The last days of spring had me cleaning.  Let me tell you what the Local Family now has.

From my first visit to the Eli’s Cheesecake Farmer’s Market, I bought peas, snow peas, carrots, and rocket from Chad Nichols.  Then, after he told me how the wet has been so good for their lettuces and that they have been getting head lettuces for a change, I bought a nice red romaine.  The peas are gone, having gone into a father’s day salad.  The rocket is gone too, having gone into the father’s day salad and a father’s day leftover’s salad.  I’m not sure if the snow peas will get eaten raw or I will make some kind of stir-fry.  I think I’ll make Cesar salad tonight with the romaine.

From our Genesis Growers CSA box, we got salad greens, kale greens, spinach greens; daikon, strawberries and a whole extra box of strawberries, cilantro and asparagus.  I chopped the asparagus small and used it raw in my Father’s Day salad with those peas and rocket.  I chopped some more of the asparagus and used it raw for my Father’s Day leftovers salad.  Some of those strawberries got dunked into pre-existing rhubarb compote that accompanied angel food cake on our Father’s Day brunch buffet.  My wife says she made a really good sauteed kale at Mado the other day, so she is anxious to get going on this kale.  The spinach got sauteed on Thursday, mixed with leftover puttanesca sauce and then used as a base for poached eggs. 

Saturday I did the number at the Oak Park Farmer’s Market.  From Nichol’s Farm I purchased nicely small immature purple onions, nicely blossoming spring garlic with scapes; fennel, white beets and pink beets.  My wife sauteed the beet greens with the garlic greens for the Father’s Day frittata.  Now that we have air conditioning, we can safely roast the other beets soon.  I have not decided for the fennel whether grill, raw or my famous fennel marmalade, but I leaning towards the first. 

Also Saturday, at the market, from Genesis, I got basil and mint.  I used the first in Sunday’s salad and both in Monday’s.  From Dennis Wettstein I heard of no duck eggs again, but I did buy from him, two dozen large hen eggs.  My wife’s making much use of eggs: bread pudding on Friday, angel food cake, frittata.  I cannot resist the paddle of fresh chevre from Prairie Fruit Farms, but I also wanted a hard cheese.  Joe from Brunkow suggested now was optimum time to buy the Little Darling as it has a lot of age on it.  We did.  He also sampled me some of his Camembert style experiment he is working on with a friend.  Boy that was good.  From Stovers, I got sweet cherries.  You know the Market Manager at Oak Park wondered how Stovers could have sweet cherries already.  She made a surprise inspection, and yes they do.  A daughter pitted the cherries.  About half we ate mixed with farmer’s cheese and sour cream from Renee Gourmet (note the Uky Villiage location of Renee Gourmet is now closed) ; the other half we just ate.  We also got peas from Stovers, which went, some, into Monday’s salad. 

And what’s left?  What odds and end foods have passed us by, waiting their turn to be eaten.  There is some broccoli from when Farmer Vicki had bumper crop of spring broccoli.  It’s not the brightest veg around, but it is still much edible.  And piles still of bumper crops of rhubarb, which lasts a while.  There are some potatoes that are making a go in the cool basement, although some got used last night in the day after frittata.  There are also onions, especially cipolinni onions languishing all right.  We are good on garlic.  When moving things around the basement fridge, I found a few apples, very round and fine.  There are heads of lettuce that sneak by for an extra week.  There’s  actually parsnips that have snuck by for many weeks but look fully eatable (as compared to the shriveled ones I threw out). 

Know what?  I bet a thing or two’s escaped this audit.  A few weeks from now, I will be rooting around the fridge and come across something.  It won’t be the sugar snaps we bought a few weeks ago because those have been going in the kids lunches.  It won’t be the round red radishes as I finally used what was left in the Father’s Day salad.  It won’t be the napa cabbage because it will eventually whittle away, even though I have already got 1,000 uses off of this one plant.  Maybe it will be mushrooms.  My wife loves buying mushrooms, always more than we can use.  Maybe it is the baby beets that looked so damn good from Matt at Sandhill Organics, but I have just not gotten around to using.  Or kohlrabi.  There is kohlrabi from the CSA box of a few weeks ago.  I never have the urge to make kohlrabi although I find it surprisingly tasty when I finally do.  Stick around until next Tuesday, which will probably be the next Menu Monday to see what we have by next week.

What’s lurking in your menu this week?