19 July 2009

Now you're cookin'.

This was the first weekend in quite some time where I had nothing planned for Saturday and Sunday. Had The Boy I Currently Like wanted to hang out, I would have said yes, but I think I needed a Saturday to myself just like he did. Funny how something like that can feel like such a treat.

So what did I do with my weekend besides go to the gym, drink and watch the Twins? (Oh, and go to see the Gin Blossoms at the Aquatennial Block Party Friday night with KayGee and The Prison Librarian.) Mostly, I cooked and baked and preserved.

Wait. What? Preserved? Yes! I'm actually making refrigerator pickles right now. It's terribly exciting. Yes, I'm fully aware that thinking pickle-making is terribly exciting is actually quite sad. BUT I DON'T CARE. I'm making pickles, y'all, and they smell so good I want to eat them right now. However, once I get them all jarred before I hit the hay tonight, they have to sit in the refrigerator for 10 whole days before they'll be ready. Oh, sweet torture.

In addition to the pickling cucumbers, dill and fresh garlic I used in the pickles, I had other CSA stuff to use this weekend, as well. This morning, I used some summer squash in a crustless quiche (with red pepper, onion, more fresh garlic, chicken andouille and of course, cheese) that I'll eat for breakfast at work this week. It looked and smelled fantastic. I'd meant to use the last bit of green beans I didn't eat for lunch a couple of days ago, but I totally forgot them. Dammit.

Yesterday, I made whole wheat blueberry banana bread. KayGee told me a couple of weeks ago she was always adding blueberries to her banana bread, so I thought I'd try some in my recipe. I skipped tossing the blueberries in a bit of flour so they'd be better suspended in the bread, but aside from that, it's delicious. I've eaten entirely too much of it. Blueberries are a super food and I used all whole wheat flour, so I don't feel that bad. Especially since I conveniently forget the sweet, creamy butter slathered on each slice.

There was two weeks worth of CSA parsley sitting in my fridge, as well, so I thought I'd try my hand at making tabbouleh. I had to pick up mint and bulgur after the gym so I could make the tabbouleh, and let me tell you -- it's a bitch trying to find bulgur. Nothing at Trader Joe's, nothing at Lunds and of course nothing at Rainbow. I considered the Wedge and Whole Foods, but I know I'd seen it somewhere else before.

Have I extolled the virtues of Bill's Imported Foods here before? A quick search says "No." Well, I'll remedy that right now. I'm pretty sure the TWO POUNDS of bulgur I bought for $2.90 at Bill's would have run me at least twice as much at Whole Foods or the Wedge. Certainly at the former, anyway. Bill's is so freakin' great. They have olive oil on the cheap -- it's great quality and you can get like, a gallon of it if you want. Nuts, dried fruits and spices are ridiculously affordable. I should have bought my pickling spice there -- it was $1 less for probably three times as much as I paid at Penzeys. Though, I didn't need nearly as much as was in the bag and Penzeys rocks. Lunds didn't have pickling spice and Bill's didn't have dill seed (which was like, $6 at Lunds. What the fuck?). So it made sense to just get all my spices at Penzeys, as I needed peppercorns, too.

I probably should have gone to Bill's first, as they had huge amounts of mint for about half what I paid at Lunds. However, I did get a very large bunch of mint for the same price as you'd pay for mint in the little clamshell container. That shit is a ripoff. Now I can use what's left with my other CSA cucumber to make a cucumber-mint raita. Or I could use the dill and make tzatziki. Anyway, the tabbouleh is excellent. I've got at least twice as much as I could buy at Trader Joe's and it cost me much, much less. Yay!

There are beets, cauliflower, more summer squash and collard and beet greens to cook this week yet. It's really fucking tough to keep up with just half my damn box, but it's definitely a labor of love. My veggies have all been great, save the spinach and my All Red potatoes, and they actually keep for way longer than you'd think. I've tried to be good about cleaning the stuff that needs to be cleaned when I bring it home, and I think that helps.

It's kind of nice to have a Twins game to watch on a Sunday night. Feels less like a Sunday night, for one thing. Also, this week isn't looking as terrible as last week looked to me. Work will be busy and sucky, but not as busy and sucky. Plus, I'm going to see Sonic Youth Tuesday. I keep waffling back and forth about going to a show on a week night -- and a week night early in the week. But Jesus, if I wasn't going to the show, I'd be staying up late watching the Twins play Oakland. The ticket is free, for fuck's sake. Maybe I should live a little.


Anonymous said...

1) Can you pack all my lunches for me?
2) Let me know if you need help finding a good home for any veggies in the litter.
3) Blueberries ARE a superfood. I just bought some today and I think I might need to get more more more.

Stephanie said...

Oops, that was me.

Jess said...

I'm not sure why I thought that was hilarious, but I did.

If you were my live-in girlfriend, I would totally pack your lunches. Sadly, despite all the food I have in my fridge, I have no idea what I'm taking for lunch tomorrow.

When my parents are in Ireland in a couple of weeks, I will have not only my CSA bounty, but lots of stuff from my mom's garden. I believe I will most definitely be in a sharing mood. No one wants all that stuff to go to waste!

Rebel Mel said...

One of these days, you should post a how-to for making pickles, because I have cucumbers growing at the moment, and I really want to make pickles! But I don't know how.\

And also, I totally made banana blueberry muffins a few weeks ago, and put the recipe in my recipe-blog. So good!

Matt-Man said...

There are few uglier words in the English language than "bulgur". However, I do like bacon, pickles, and the Gin Blossoms. Cheers!!

Brian in Mpls said...

I love pickling too just did some green beans from the farmers market on saturday. Yum. If anyone gives you beef let me know and I will take car of them for you.

Jess said...

Thanks, Brian.

I'll admit that "bulgur" is not a pretty word, but it's a tasty grain. Not as tasty as bacon or pickles, but you can't win 'em all.

Mel, I'll try to get the pickle recipe posted. They're just refrigerator pickles, so it's not like they'll keep forever, but they were mega-easy.

Kate said...

For some reason Tabbouleh is one of those things I have yet to wrap my tastebuds around. This would probably be a different story if I made my own... I but I also think I don't love huge portions of parsley in food. I can't tell you how many people come to trader joe's looking for wheat bulgar. I'm totally with you on those damn clamshells too. Seriously, dill and mint are both weeds (I learned this the hardway having planed them last year in my garden, and now having dill plants EVERYWHERE) and charging upwards of $2 for tiny little package drives me bonkers. I bought a huge plant just ripped from the ground at the farmers market when I made dilly beans last week. I think that was only a buck.

Also, I finally bought an Enell (36DD or 36DDD is my normal size) and went for a very pleasant 4 mile run yesterday without the sisters getting in the way at all. Thanks for recommending it (even if that was months and months ago). It will help on my journey to train for the 10 mile in October

Jess said...

I think tabbouleh can be dominated either by the parsley or by the bulgur. When I was looking for a recipe, I saw both. But you're right -- parsley can be totally overwhelming.

And I'm so glad to hear you like the bra. I really need another one. I've lost enough weight that I'm starting to get some jiggle. When I got the bra there was no way I could wear it in yoga, because I just couldn't move well enough. However, I can now wear it in yoga, which explains the jiggle. But it's not too bad. I can wait a little while longer.