Monday, June 29, 2009
Hi friends! The blog has been on the back burner for a few weeks, as I've been on the road, all around Oregon. I'm gathering photographs and experiences of this great state for a series of paintings, and along the way I'm spending a good deal of time camping and hiking, generally kicking my butt in some of the most beautiful places on earth. I'm living out of my van, equipped with a small grill, an ice chest (usually without ice), dry goods like beans and rice and seasonings, and enough veggies to live on week to week.
This weekend was the second week of my CSA farm-share, and I am happily drowning in produce. My friends Ron and Joan Baune over at Rainyway Farm in Hillsboro have been positively spoiling me with vegetables (and berries, too!) every Saturday. Here's what I had this week:
Two pints of raspberries (which went straight into the freezer because they were so ripe)
Yellow and Green Summer Squash
Red Leaf Lettuce
Green Leaf Lettuce
Sweet Snap Peas
Two Tomatoes (SO GOOD)
Two Heads of Cauliflower
Such a bounty! The CSA hasn't really affected the way I eat and plan my meals - I'm pretty used to eating some combo of the vegetables in the fridge, but the weekly veggie box acts to focus my culinary energy a bit, and with the extra perk of challenging me with some ingredients even I am unfamiliar with, like fava beans. It's pretty fun to whip up a curry or soup with whatever is in the fridge, and it feels almost like a race against the clock, coming up with enough dishes to use the fresh veggies or freeze meals before the next Saturday's onslaught of delicious.
One of the most comforting dishes that embodies this sort of use-what-you've-got style of cooking comes from my mom - Eggy rice and veggies. I know. Everyone's mom probably does this, and it's a feature in a lot of ethnic cuisines, like the Korean Bibimbap or other versions of fried rice. This is one of my ultimate soothing foods - leftover rice, chopped onions and whatever vegetables I've got on hand, and an egg or two, a splash of soy sauce or chili-garlic sauce, topped with fresh herbs. So simple, so filling, and it takes me right back to my childhood kitchen, having breakfast with mom.
I used a yellow squash, garlic scapes, a spring onion, chopped bok choy, and some leftover saffron rice I had in the fridge. Topped with fresh basil, this was a great way to start off the weekend.
I'll show you my camping kitchen set up tomorrow. Until then, eat well!