My 2012 Reading List

Ermagehrd berks!

This post is a shameless ripoff of Jeremiah, but I like his style… and hopefully, since I’m doing this in an homage-like fashion, he won’t mind.

When I was choosing my Top Five Books of 2012 in my Year in Review post, I was a bit disappointed by the titles I had to choose from. Usually I manage between 40 and 50 books a year, and enough of those were loved enough that whittling the list down to five is a challenge.

I had to dig a bit this year. GoodReads tells me I read 32 books in 2012, but 5 of those I didn’t technically finish. (And while I marked them as “read” on GoodReads, I did shelve them as “not-finished” in an attempt to be honest.)

So. What did I get through last year? (Unfinished books marked with a star):

A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration by Meg Keene
A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson
The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets by Peter Ackroyd*
Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo
Geoff Hurst, the Hand of God, and the Biggest Rows in World Football by Graham Poll
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
King of the Badgers by Philip Hensher
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
The Year 1000: What Life was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium by Robert Lacey
The Domino Effect by Andrew Cotto
Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger by Nigel Slater
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
After You by Julie Buxbaum
Fire Underground: The Ongoing Tragedy of the Centralia Mine Fire by David DeKok
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
July, July by Tim O’Brien
Why Have Kids? A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman
I am the Secret Footballer by the Secret Footballer
More Baths, Less Talking by Nick Hornby
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Pray: Notes on a Football Season by Nick Hornby
Penelope by Rebecca Harrington*
The Angry Island: Hunting the English by A.A. Gill*
Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Politics, Ice Cream, Churchill & My Mother by Simon Schama*
The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir*

(It looks like I finished off the year on a low note of unfinished book after unfinished book, but in reality I started reading Fall of Giants by Ken Follett in early December, and its 1,000-page bulk has taken up all of my reading time.)

Let’s break this down. 13 fiction, 19 non-fiction. That’s roughly 41% fiction, 59% non-fiction. My percentages for 2011 were 60% fiction and 40% non-fiction; I thought it seemed strange that my number of non-fiction outweighed fiction this year. What does this mean?? Am I turning into a grown-up?! Given that some of those non-fiction books were about weddings and babies, that seems like the case. However, my numbers for 2010 were 43% fiction and 57% non-fiction, and 2009 was 37% fiction and 63% non-fiction, so perhaps not.

Of the 5 books I didn’t finish, 3 were unfinished due to lack of present interest, and 2 were abandoned because they were utterly terrible. The War of the Roses; Scribble, Scribble, Scribble; and London Under were all fascinating, but I just couldn’t get into them at the time of reading. They’re on my “to be continued” mental shelf.

On the other hand, Penelope and The Angry Island were just plain awful. Penelope could have been written by someone in my high school creative writing class, and was just so incredibly boring that I couldn’t even make it 100 pages in – 100 pages being how many I make myself read before abandoning, just in case the book redeems itself after a slow start. The Angry Island was just an angry Scotsman moaning about how much he hates English people. For anyone who knows me, you’ll know that wouldn’t be anywhere near my cup of tea.

One theme I noticed as I listed out these books is one of disappointment. Several of the books were recommended highly to me by friends, but upon reading I just couldn’t bring myself to love them. Apart from Penelope and The Angry Island, I certainly didn’t hate any of the books I read… I just found that maybe they didn’t live up to the hype. Included in this category are Sarah Vowell’s books, White Teeth, and The Poisonwood Bible. GoodReads also recommended a few that I didn’t like, such as King of the Badgers (which I came pretty close to hating, but not enough to abandon it mid-read) and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

2012 just didn’t include any books that I absolutely *loved*. On GoodReads, users can rate books on a five-star system. In 2012, I didn’t rate any books 5 stars. 13 got 4 stars, which means I liked them but didn’t love them; 12 got 3 stars, which means they were okay; 3 got 2 stars, which means I was disappointed, but didn’t hate the books, and 2 got 1 star for straight-up dislike. To compare, I gave 3 books a 5-star rating in 2011 (The Pillars of the Earth, The Help, and The Hunger Games), and many of my 4-star rated books I really quite enjoyed, and may have even given them 5 stars had I read them in 2012.

books2011(I just noticed I had a lot of 2- and 1-star books in 2011… I chalk this up to my deciding to read the top 10 banned books of the year, and the vast majority of them were awful.)

Though I have to admit I’m a bit sad about my reading accomplishments for 2012, at least I know I’m off to a great start for 2013… Fall of Giants is amazing, and I know it will be listed as one of my Top Five when (if?) I write my annual review in December. Here’s hoping for more truly good reads this year!

2012 in Review

Yeah. It’s been a long time since I last blogged. I apologize, dear reader(s). I don’t have any schoolwork to procrastinate from, and work has been insanely busy lately so there hasn’t been much skiving time. I’ve started a few posts, but they just never took off. Alas.

Anyway, enough has happened during 2012 that I felt moved to chronicle it in my annual Year in Review. Behold:

Various Highlights and Milestones:

-Drew and I bought a house!


-Then we got married! At our new house!




-We had our first Christmas at our new house!



-This didn’t happen in our new house, but I also scored the first soccer goal that I meant to score. As explained in last year’s review, my first-ever goal was actually an errant pass that somehow found its way into the net. A few months later, during an indoor game, I scored one for real when a goalie deflected a shot directly into my path and I gave it a good toe-poke into the back of the net. Hells yes!

-It was my 10-year high school reunion… ew! I feel so old. Did I go to my reunion? No. We didn’t have one because apparently someone from my graduating class spent all our money doing the 5-year reunion. Would I have gone anyway? Of course not. But I still feel old!

New Places Traveled:

-Baltimore, Maryland

Representing Spurs in Baltimore

Representing Spurs by Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

-San Diego, California

Pacific Beach, SD

Pacific Beach, SD

Not-So-New Places Traveled:

-Chicago, Illinois

Peeps reflected in the Millennium Park Bean during an Oxford reunion!

Peeps reflected in the Millennium Park Bean during an Oxford reunion!

-Camden, Maine

On Mount Battie during our minimoon

On Mount Battie during our minimoon

-Los Angeles, California

Enjoying the gorgeous weather in the in-laws' backyard.

Enjoying the gorgeous weather in the in-laws’ backyard.

Top 5 Movies Seen in the Theatre:

The Hunger Games
The Avengers
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Wreck-It Ralph
Skyfall* (Only on the list because it was the 5th movie I saw in the theatre. I didn’t love it.)

Top 5 Books Read:

A Civil Action, by Jonathan Harr
Geoff Hurst, the Hand of God, and the Biggest Rows in World Football, by Graham Poll
Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
Bringing Up Bébé, by Pamela Druckerman
The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver

Shows Attended:

Kaiser Chiefs
The Heavy
of Montreal

Sports Stadiums Visited:

-M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore (Spurs v Liverpool pre-season friendly)


-Fenway Park, Boston (Father’s Day present for my dad)

I don't have a picture from the Fenway trip, so here's a shot of our view at the Spurs v Liverpool match

I don’t have a picture from the Fenway trip, so here’s a shot of our view at the Spurs v Liverpool match


Representin' Wormtown

Representin’ Wormtown

Weddings Attended (Other Than Ours, Of Course):



All in all, it was quite the year. Everything that happened makes me feel like I’m a grown-up now (a wife, a homeowner in the ‘burbs…) but in no way do I feel old enough to be a grown-up. I’m looking forward to seeing what exciting things 2013 will bring!

So. It’s probably no surprise to anyone that I’m giving up blogging about our CSA adventures. Due to a combination of things – lack of a functioning computer at home, inability to find time to blog at all, boredom with the typical “this is what we got/these are the recipes we made/this is how guilty I feel for not using all our veg” template, etc. – I’ve decided I just need to stop. It was fun and exciting last year when the whole CSA thing was new and I was discovering new vegetables, but last year I also had more time to experiment with recipes and, you know, write about it.

Also, the CSA we’re doing this year has been disappointing, and hasn’t really been inspiring me to write about it weekly. There has been very little variety in what we get every week, the fruit share isn’t even close to being worth what we paid for it, and the veg itself has been sub-par. The garden center where we pick up our shares is even thinking about ditching this particular farm due to lack of quality and unhappiness from share-getters. Sad, really.

Anyway, rather than just toll the death knell, I’m going to end this series with two of my favorite recipes that haven’t been posted on the blog yet. Enjoy!


Fusilli with Roasted Eggplant and Goat Cheese
(from Kitchen Daily)

1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch sticks
1/4 cup plus 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound fusilli
2 T pine nuts
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
pinch(s) of crushed red pepper
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
3 T coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 t finely grated lemon zest
2 ounce(s) fresh goat cheese, crumbled

-Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the eggplant on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, until browned on the bottom. Using a metal spatula, turn the eggplant, scraping it off the baking sheet (it might break up slightly) and roast for about 10 minutes longer, until very tender.

-Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the fusilli until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

-In a very large, deep skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing frequently, until lightly golden in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a work surface and coarsely chop them.

-Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until tender, about 1 minute. Add the crushed red pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add the fusilli, roasted eggplant, pine nuts, lemon juice and the reserved pasta water and toss over moderate heat until the pasta is evenly coated, about 1 minute. Season the pasta with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Add the parsley and lemon zest and toss. Add the goat cheese and toss gently until the cheese is slightly melted. Spoon the fusilli into bowls and serve.

… it certainly doesn’t look like the picture on Kitchen Daily when you make it yourself! Ridiculously delicious, though.


Green Beans with Ginger and Cashews
(from Epicurious)

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 T fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (roughly 2 1/2 inch piece of ginger root)
1/2 cup canned chicken broth
1 cup salted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper

-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook beans until crisp-tender (about 4 minutes). Drain in colander and rinse well under cold running water. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels. (Green beans can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, wrapped in paper towels, in zippered plastic bags.)

-In 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, heat butter until hot but not smoking. Add ginger and sauté until softened and fragrant (about 30 seconds). Stir in green beans and chicken broth and cook, stirring often, until liquid is almost completely evaporated (about 3 to 6 minutes). Add cashews and sauté 1 minute. Stir in salt and pepper. (Green beans can be made up to 30 minutes before serving. Let stand in skillet, uncovered. Reheat over high heat, stirring often, about 2 minutes.) Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately.

This week’s share included:

  • lettuce
  • onions
  • leeks
  • tomatoes
  • so. much. eggplant.
  • peppers
  • carrots
  • radishes
  • a tiny watermelon

An alternate title for this week’s post could be “The Case of the Mysterious Farting Watermelon.” A mere day after we got our share, Drew and I started hearing odd noises coming from our kitchen. It sounded like a giant fly crashing into something… you know how it sounds when a fly is buzzing around a light bulb and keeps smacking into the glass globe around the light? Yeah. It sounded like that. And it took us a day to realize that it wasn’t a giant fly in our kitchen… it was our watermelon.

Our watermelon was rotting, making farting noises, and leaking nasty juice all over our kitchen table. After one measly day of being in our possession.

We’ve all but decided already that we’re not going to get a fruit share from this farm if we do this CSA again next year. It hasn’t been worth it, considering it’s a bit expensive. We didn’t even get fruit for the first 2 months, and when we did, it goes rotten almost right away. I think I’d rather walk over to the weekly farmers’ market in town and buy fruit there. Alas.


In my ongoing effort to find recipes that use multiple kinds of veg in our possession, I finally came across something awesome – ratatouille. Made famous by the adorable animated film, and a word introduced to my world through Fawlty Towers (cheers, Mum!), this particular ratatouille used a whopping 6 kinds of veg we had on hand: eggplant, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, green peppers, and red peppers. We only had to buy 1 yellow squash and 1 pack of thyme (the other herbs we had in our garden), otherwise this meal was completely CSA-y. Word!

(from FoodNetwork.com)

1/4 cup olive oil (plus more as needed)
1 1/2 cups small yellow onion, diced
1 t garlic, minced
2 cups medium eggplant, diced, with skin on
1/2 t fresh thyme leaves
1 cup green bell peppers, diced
1 cup red bell peppers, diced
1 cup zucchini, diced
1 cup yellow squash, diced
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 T fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 T fresh parsley leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

-Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.

-Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes.

-Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes.

-Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.

-Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes.

-Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.

Ratatouille in process

As usual, we tinkered with the recipe a bit. For one thing, we didn’t peel the tomatoes. That’s just ridiculous. For another, the squashes weren’t diced because my food prep terminology isn’t entirely sound, but having them in bigger chunks didn’t ruin anything. Also, we sort of doubled every ingredient since a medium(?!)-sized eggplant yielded more than 5 cups… what you can see on top of the green chopping mat in the above picture is what was left after we bagged up about half of the diced veg. Crazy.

One thing from the Food Network recipe that’s a bold-faced lie is the amount of prep time this ratatouille supposedly takes. 20 minutes?! Yeah, if we had a team of 8 sous-chefs all using food processors, maybe. It took us much longer to chop/dice everything, and then a bit longer to cook everything since there was just so much food in the pan. Throughout the chopping process, as my eyes were burning like mad from the onions especially, I kept saying “This better be worth it.”

Ready to serve

And upon first taste, it really wasn’t. It tasted pretty bland… honestly just like a bunch of veg mixed together (which, to be honest, it was). I was wishing I had put more herbs in, and Drew thought maybe adding rosemary next time around would make it better.

However, I found this is one of those dishes that really tastes better as leftovers, after all the veg juices have had the chance to mix and soak everything. I took it to work for lunch the next two days, and it was ridiculously good. Knowing that, I very well may make it again in the future… but this time I’ll use a food processor!

This week’s share consisted of:

  • striped beets
  • kale
  • purple-topped turnips
  • onions
  • green peppers
  • cucumbers
  • eggplant
  • zucchini
  • tomatoes
  • WE FINALLY GOT FRUIT!! A peck and a half of nectarines and peaches

Our crisper drawer is looking colorful and delicious this week, reader(s)!

Right off the bat, Drew grabbed all the zucchini we got and conscripted them to make a dish he’d been itching to try, out of his fancy new barbecue book:

Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash with Shaved Pecorino Romano
from Series Barbecue by Adam Perry Lang

4 medium zucchini, about 6 inches long/7 ounces each
4 medium yellow squash, about 6 inches long/7 ounces each
[we opted out of the summer squash because 4 zucchini was more than enough for the 2 of us!]

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup honey
1 T soy sauce
5 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 T chopped scallions (white portion only; slice and remove the green portions for garnish – see below)
2 T finely chopped shallots
1 T finely chopped fresh ginger

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
coarsely ground fresh black pepper
1 block pecorino Romano cheese, about 6 oz.
1/3 cup chopped scallions – light and dark green portions only
1/4 cup coarsely chopped chives
1 T honey

-Trim the ends of the zucchini, split each one lengthwise, and place in an extra large resealable plastic bag (or divide between two smaller bags).

-In a blender (or in a bowl using an immersion blender), combine all of the marinade ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour over the zucchini. Squeeze out any excess air from the bag and close. Roll the bag to evenly coat the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

-Preheat all grates of a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to medium.

-Remove the zucchini from the bag, letting all excess marinade run into the bag. Lightly pat dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil.

-Place, cut side down, on the grate, close the lid, and grill until well-marked (5-7 minutes). Flip, close the lid, and grill on the second side until well-marked (again, 5-7 minutes).

-Arrange the zucchini on a serving platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using a vegetable peeler, cut shavings of cheese over the top; you will not use all of the cheese. Scatter the sliced scallions and chives over the top and drizzle with honey.

The finished product was certainly quite yummy, but Drew felt that it wasn’t quite good enough to compensate for all the messing about and sheer amount of prep time it took to make. Our other favorite zucchini recipe, from the Barefoot Contessa, is just as tasty (though in a much different way), and takes much less time to make.

However, this grilled variety was a nice change, and also made a great addition to the salad of champions I made the next day… My mum and Jack came over to help paint the stairs and hallway trim, and we feasted on CSA salad for lunch. With the exception of one plum tomato that was store-bought, every item in the salad was from our CSA: lettuce, kale, cucumber, green pepper, a garden tomato, leftover roasted beets, and leftover grilled zucchini. It was pretty fabulous, I must say.


In addition to the zucchini, we attacked our fruit in earnest this week. Peaches and nectarines were eaten as snacks, given away for snacking, turned into pre-soccer-game smoothies (2 peaches, 2 nectarines, some Newman’s Own Orange Mango Tango juice, and ice), and baked into muffins:

Beth’s Peach-Nectarine Muffins
from AllRecipes.com

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 large ripe peach – peeled, pitted, and diced
1 very ripe nectarine – pitted and diced
1 T brown sugar

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 8 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

-In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add vegetable oil, egg and milk; mix well. Fold in diced peach and nectarine. Fill each muffin tin to the top with muffin mix. Sprinkle a little brown sugar onto the top of each uncooked muffin.

-Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Check muffins regularly after 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm or cool.

The recipe said it yields 8 muffins, but I ended up with 12 very full muffin cups. Maybe my “large ripe peach” was a little too monstrous for this recipe… it was about softball-sized. Regardless, these muffins were delicious. I took them out after 17 minutes, but that ended up being too early; in spots where there was a concentration of fruit, the batter didn’t quite cook all the way. Definitely leaving my next batch in a little longer… I was hoping to give some away to our neighbors, but I don’t want to present them with chunks of fruit suspended in raw dough. Salmonella isn’t something they’d appreciate, I’m guessing.


We were so obsessed with getting through of peck-n-a-half of fruit this week that, apart from the zucchini fandango and salad of champions, we didn’t touch any of the colorful veg featured in the top photo. Luckily, as I’ve said before, our crisper drawers pretty much rock (when they’re not broken) and everything is still in good shape a week later. I’m looking forward to our favorite roasted beets, and I found a recipe for turnips au gratin that looks pretty fab. Til then!

This week’s share consisted of:

  • beets (no greens)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • zucchini
  • cucumbers
  • potatoes
  • green peppers
  • daikon radishes
  • garlic
  • a plastic bag bursting with basil

As I mentioned in Week 5 or 6, the sheer amount of veg we’ve been getting in our shares caused one of our fridge’s crisper drawers to break. The front of the drawer just snapped right off, and we struggled trying to figure out how to reconnect it. After staring at our bounty this week and wondering where to put it all, Drew decided he’d tackle fixing the drawer one more time:

Luckily he figured it out and now our fridge is whole once more. Huzzah!


The first thing I noticed about this week’s haul was the basil. It was the first thing I could smell when I walked in our house after work, and the giant bag of it on the table was the first thing I saw upon walking into the kitchen. Usually our basil goes to waste – not unlike the other herbs we get – and I was tired of feeling guilty about that. Thankfully most of the basil in the bag was still in great shape, and the gears in my brain got turning as I remembered a mention of pesto in our weekly email from the farm. Hmm… were we actually up for an adventure this week?!

Brace yourselves, reader(s) – we were indeed up for an adventure of pesto proportions!

I hunted around the interwebs for pesto recipes, and most called for ingredients we didn’t have on-hand… namely pine nuts and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Deciding that I could live with the fact that my first batch of pesto might not be phenomenal due to my use of Parmesan-from-the-green-can rather than fresh cheese, I found a nut-free recipe and went to it:

Pesto (without nuts)
from Instructables

1 bunch basil
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1-2 t lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

-Pull all the leaves off your basil stems and roughly chop your garlic.

-Put the basil, cheese, and garlic in your food processor. Set the speed to low and drizzle in your olive oil. Start with 1/4 cup, check the consistency, and add more if you like.

-Scrape down the sides and add a generous pinch of salt, some pepper, and a bit of lemon juice. Pulse this together and taste. Keep adding and pulsing until you like the way it tastes.

I found that making pesto is very make-it-up-as-you-go. I followed this recipe exactly and found that I needed way more basil (my “bunch” ended up being a giant handful from our sack o’ herbs, so I had to add another handful or two), a bit more cheese, and a bit more olive oil. It also could have used WAY less garlic, though to be fair, the cloves I used were pretty big.

It was interesting to see how the pesto changed as the days went by… even by the next day, when I was heating up my pesto pasta for lunch at work, the pesto had already started to turn a really dark green, almost black. Maybe I’m just used to store-bought pesto that has preservatives in to keep the color nice and green…? Anyway, it was weird to eat blackish pesto. Still tasted good, though.


Other than the pesto, all our other veg adventures this week were repeats of earlier experiments – roasted beets with rosemary, zucchini with parmesan, salads. We’ve been talking about making some au gratin potatoes with the spuds we have from this week and weeks past, but it’s yet to come to fruition. *sigh* One of these days I’ll have an exciting post full of veg adventures… and maybe fruit too if we ever get our fruit share! Til then…

This week’s share consisted of:

  • eggplant
  • cucumbers
  • zucchini
  • squashy things*
  • carrots
  • onions
  • mixed baby lettuces
  • parsley

[*I learned this week that these oddly shaped squashy things are called pattypan squash. Yay for the CSA teaching me new things all the time!]

We were supposed to get our first fruit share of the year, with blueberries and peaches, but apparently the farm forgot to bring the fruit to the pick-up location. Oops. We were told we’d get a double-share of fruit next week… I’m starting to look for recipes now so that I’ll be prepared for the deluge!


The very first thing I did when I got home on Tuesday and inspected our new box of veg was to declare that I was going to make a reprise of my Three Cheese Baked Eggplant. Drew agreed, and I grabbed the heartiest eggplant in the box (and an onion) and set to work. The eggplant slices were brushed with olive oil and arranged in the baking dish when I realized we didn’t have any spinach… or chard or anything else green and yummy. Ah well, I figured, there’s enough else in there, it will be okay. By the time the eggplant was in the oven and I was chopping onions and garlic, I realized we also didn’t have any tomatoes. Drew offered to run to the store, but the whole thing seemed a bit silly so I just made it as-is. Basically, it was eggplant with garlic and onions, a little bit of tomato sauce, and a crap-ton of cheese. On top of pasta:

I cooked the assembled dish for 5 minutes less than the recipe calls for (25 instead of 30), because there was so much less in the dish and I didn’t want the cheese to burn. At 25 minutes, the cheese was starting to get brown, but the eggplant wasn’t quite as done as it could have been. It tastes fantastic, but it’s chewier than I’d prefer. Ah well. When served with fresh carrots and cukes and ranch dressing, it makes for a decent supper. …it also made for a decent lunch for the rest of the week, and by Friday I didn’t want to look at eggplant again for a while!


We started working harder this week at getting through our plethora of cucumbers as well. Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches for lunch, snacking on sliced cukes with ranch dressing, throwing an entire (peeled) cuke into a Pimm’s cup… apparently we haven’t been adventurous enough to try soup or pickling or anything exciting like that, but maybe that will happen one of these weeks.


Sadly this was another weak week, reader(s). I’ve still been avoiding the bitter lettuce, the herbs have been arriving in sorry states, and we’re spoiled by the fact that most of our other veg stay fresh in our fridge for a long time. So we’re pretty much just slowly being buried under an ever-growing supply of produce. We’ll see how this is handled in the coming week. Till then!


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