Eating My CSA

Using the vegetables from my CSA share


Preparing for the Season

I have resolved that this year, I will be much better at planning for the vegetables and fruits that I get from my CSA. To that end, I purchased two new (to me) canning books this week.

The first one is Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff. She says, “When I was growing up, canning was for old folks, spinsters, and separatists.” Since that doesn’t happen to be the case anymore, she presents recipes organized by season, along with water-bath canning instructions. It’s superb. The photos are making me long for the season to start.

The next book, Small Batch Preserving, by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard, has a lot of intriguing recipes, specifically for condiments. I made my first batch of homemade mustard in the fall, and we just ate the last of it, so I plan to take advantage of the mustard recipes. I found a great resource for mustard seeds and other spices – Penzey’s spices. Very reasonable and they do web orders! I was also intrigued by the small-ness of the batches – perfect for CSAs!

I plan on testing some of the recipes in each of the books so I don’t make a whole batch of something that tastes nasty. Today, I made a small amount of Chamommile Strawberry Syrup and Spiced Strawberry Butter (from Krissof’s book) with a pound of Plant City, FL strawberries. Both taste very good, but I’m sure they will be even better with locally grown strawberries in season.

Also, I found this chart for Maryland harvests. The plan is to test recipes that I want to try, and if I like them, I can put a reminder on my calendar to start looking for specific veggies and fruits contained in the recipes in my CSA and at the farmer’s markets. If it’s something I absolutely love (strawberries), I may find a U-pick place close to here and get enough to make several different things.

We’re going to need more space to put all of the canned goodness – I can tell already!


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