poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie


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CSA Update 9/30/12 + Highlights from Eat Real 2012

Here’s what we got last week in our Eatwell Farm CSA box:

strawberries
basil
heirloom cherry tomatoes
shady lady tomatoes
heirloom tomatoes
Middle Eastern cucumbers
poblano peppers
bell peppers
onions
sweet potatoes
collard greens
zucchini

In my last post, Tammy mentioned she had never seen a Middle Eastern cucumber before, so I made a point of taking a photo before I ate them. I think they are the same as Persian cucumbers, but I might be wrong. Any cucumber experts out there?

Some of the veggies from our box last week: tomatoes, sweet potatoes, Middle Eastern cucumber, and onions.

We decided to roast the sweet potatoes (~1 hour at 400F). Since the oven was already on, we baked chicken thighs with garlic and onions. To complete the meal, we cooked the collards in the cast iron with some of the chicken juice.

Since we had plenty of tomatoes and cucumbers, I made an impromptu salad featuring those two veggies in homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It was easy and delicious.

quick and easy cucumber tomato salad

This was the last box of our CSA subscription. I know that last time I mentioned that we would be renewing our subscription, and we still are planning on it, but we decided to hold off for now. That’s the bad news. The good news is that TC and I are moving in together in mid-October! So, between packing, moving, and unpacking, neither of us wanted to stress about cooking CSA produce. Honestly, I think the break will be good. This series of posts has gotten a little stagnant, in my opinion. Hopefully, when it returns, it will be full of new and exciting things!

p.s. Can’t get enough of CSA goodies? Check out this week’s link party over at In Her Chucks to check out CSA boxes from all over the country!

***

Rather than writing a separate post on Eat Real, which I’ve blogged about in previous years (2009, 2010, 2011), I thought I’d show you some of the pictures from last weekend’s eat fest.

I had made plans to go to Eat Real on Sunday with LF, but TC and I couldn’t resist the siren call of the hand-made spicy beef corndog from Tante’s. So, we braved the crazy crowds on Saturday to get our hands on them. Unlike last year, we knew better than to try to share this deep-fried perfection. It was totally worth it.

I know, this corndog looks sorta weird, but trust me: it was awesome.

On Sunday, LF and I were sensible enough to make it down to the festival around 11:30, when it was much less crowded. Here’s a sampling of what we ate:

Deep fried daikon cake and beef pho rolls. Both very good, though pricey at $5 each.

A little bowl of shoyu ramen. Broth was too salty, noodles were so-so. LF’s miso ramen was bland.

“Is that a corndog in your purse, or are you just happy to see me?” We were stuffed, so LF got the corndog to go.

We also had Eritrean/Irish food which was very good in both taste and value. For drinks, we enjoyed watermelon basil agua fresca that was delicious and refreshing, as well as a beer each. There was a not-very-serious attempt to wait in the chowder mobile line; we waited for about 10 minutes and jumped ship after realizing the line was not moving. Just as the festival was getting crowded, we grabbed one last corndog for LF, retrieved our bikes from the bike valet, and headed home. Another fantastic experience at Eat Real!


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Eat Real 2011

This past weekend, I attended the Eat Real Festival in Oakland for the third year in a row. (Some of you might remember these entries from 2009 and 2010.) Unlike previous years, the weather was wet and gloomy. Regardless, TC and I tried to make the most of it. Since there were only two of us, we had to use our food “allowance” (aka “food wad”) judiciously. What to eat, what to eat?

New Mexico-style beef enchilada from The Whole Tortilla

As we walked past The Whole Tortilla, a waft of deliciousness hit us. We decided to get the New Mexico-style beef enchiladas. Can you blame us? I mean, look at that photo. Doesn’t it look delicious? Well, as it turned out, it looked better than it tasted. It was good, but perhaps a little shy of being worthy of our food wad.

The upside to the grey weather was that it was slightly less crowded than in previous years. I decided that this would be the year that I’d wait in the long-ass line for the Chairman Bao truck.

TC at the end of the Chairman Bao line (the red truck at the upper right corner).

I got the five spice pork belly bun with pickled daikon, and TC got two buns: the spicy red sesame chicken with pickled cucumber and carrot, and the crispy garlic tofu with miso greens. His were good, but mine was the best thing that I ate all day.

Buns from Chairman Bao (left to right): pork belly, chicken, tofu. Yums.

We wandered about, looking for our next food destination. I made it a point to skip the stuff I’ve tried in previous years, such as Kung Fu Tacos and Homeroom Mac & Cheese. We came upon Tante’s, who were serving knishes and freshly made corndogs, stuffed with either spicy beef sausage or a veggie dog. We opted for the sausage, and it was the best corndog I’ve ever had. The cornbread surrounding the sausage was perfect in taste and texture. The whole thing had just been freshly fried, so it had that “oh, it’s so delicious but I can’t eat too much of it at once or else I’ll burn my mouth… oh, what the heck, I’m just going to go for it” type of thing.  Sadly, corndogs aren’t very photogenic but here it is anyway:

We dipped this heavenly snack in ketchup. It was great.

Remember what I said about food wad? Well, I had a small amount left and wasn’t sure what to spend it on. The lobster rolls were intriguing, but were they worth the line around the block? I saw a sign for jambalaya and decided, “yes, that’s it!” It wasn’t until I had paid that I looked up and realize it was a charity food truck. Which is nice and all, but it probably meant that the food wouldn’t be as good as most of the other food trucks. And I was right. Oh well, at least I was helping some people out, though at some point, I disappointedly yelled out to TC, “I blew my food wad!!!” (Sob.)

This is before I ate the jambalaya. That's why I actually look happy about it.

So there you have it, our Eat Real Adventure 2011. Oh, we also saw this guy talk about apples for about 5 minutes:

p.s. I have good news and bad news. The good news: I got a job! And I like it a lot so far. I’m also moving to Oakland in a couple of weeks! The bad news: POU project is on hold indefinitely. Also, I won’t be blogging as much in the next few weeks, but I’ll try to post at least once a week. Arrivederci!