In Our Grocery Bag: Week 2

As I mentioned in a recent post, The Chef and I are participating in a bi-weekly CSA offered by Mac’s Local Buys. This week was our second pick-up, and can I say, it was just as fabulous as last time!

So, enough with the chit-chat, let’s get to …

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First up in our share were tons of gorgeous veggies from Three Rivers Community Farm (Elsah, IL). Seriously, folks … the curly kale, Swiss chard, spinach, butter lettuce, green onions, turnips, strawberries, and sugar snap peas we received were some of the prettiest vegetables I’ve seen in a long while. It’s apparent that the folks at Three Rivers take complete pride in their work, and my both my eyes and stomach couldn’t be happier about it!

The Chef and I immediately ate the butter lettuce (as a simple salad drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette for me and organic French dressing for him), strawberries (sprinkled with a tiny bit of coconut sugar, then wolfed down immediately), and sugar snap peas (sauteed with a touch of mushroom miso paste and soy sauce … divine). Last night, we sauteed the Swiss chard and spinach together for an antioxidant-rich side dish, and tomorrow, the curly kale will once again become kale chips, all of which I will eat in one sitting. No lie.

The only thing I don’t know what to do with are the turnips. Now, I know how to cook turnips … but I don’t like turnips. So, dear readers, here’s where you come in. Please, please, please point me to some creative recipes using turnips that can turn my disdain to love!

Mac's Local Buys Week 2

Okay, moving on from veg to meat … we also received one pound of Kluesner Farm Red Wattle German bratwurst and one pound of Swiss brats as well.

Never had Red Wattle pig? I’m so sorry to hear that. Truly. It’s seriously delicious. Never even heard of Red Wattle pig? The Red Wattle is a large, red hog with a fleshy “wattle” (which serves no purpose other than to be cute) attached to each side of its neck. It a heritage breed … and once again, it’s delicious.

I first had Red Wattle a number of years ago when Slow Food St. Louis decided to help revive this almost lost breed, and I love it as much now as I did back then. Disclaimer: I am on the board of Slow Food St. Louis. Another disclaimer: We do amazing things in the St. Louis food community. If you live in or near the St. Louis region, you should come check us out!

Kluesner Farm is located in Marthasville, MO, and their Red Wattle hogs are free to root, wallow, run, play, and forage — just as pigs should be. Last night, we grilled our Swiss brats, and they were as delicious as I expected them to be!

(If you’d like to know more about the Red Wattle, both Slow Food USA and The Livestock Conservancy have great info.)

Next up in our share was a dozen eggs from Yellow Wood Farm. Just like the pigs at Kluesner Farm, the chickens of Yellow Wood Farm (located in Herrmann, MO) get to run free as well, and it shows in the beautiful dark orange yolks of their eggs. Thanks to farmers Tricia & Scott, I think I see an orange-tinted frittata in our future!

On the starchy side of things, our share also contained pretzel rolls from Bread Head Baking, owned by my friend Tony Busekrus. Remember Tony from the St. Louis Food Blogger Bake Sale? Yeah, he’s still a kick-ass baker … and now he does it for a living! I love seeing people make their dreams a reality, don’t you? And those pretzel rolls? They’re a thing of beauty, right! They were also quite tasty — we warmed, sliced, and served them as a side with our brats and greens last night!

Mac's Local Buys Week 2

{Yep, this week’s share is Sophie approved!}

In every share, Mac includes some “treats,” and this week’s items were a treat indeed. First up, roasted garlic mustard — and the aforementioned mushroom miso paste — from Missouri Wild Edibles, owned by Ryan Maher..

I first heard of Ryan and his company when he was featured in a Feast TV segment about foraging for wild edibles. When he’s not working in one of several kitchens in St. Louis or at Chaumette Winery, Ryan can be found foraging the Midwest for mushrooms, ramps, nettles, and just about anything else that can be eaten. Yep, that’s a man after my own heart.

The mushroom miso paste — made from fermented soybeans, barley, koji, mushrooms, sea salt, soy sauce, and sesame oil — is amazing, and I foresee many uses for this unique ingredient in our kitchen. Ryan’s roasted garlic mustard is made with local garlic, local sorghum, sea salt, and rice wine vinegar, and I can’t wait to open the jar and dig in!

The final treat in our share was a brownie from Sugaree Baking Company. Sugaree makes everything from scratch, and they use nothing but real butter in their treats … and it shows. Moist, chocolately, and studded with nuts, The Chef and I enjoyed every bite of our Sugaree brownie!

Well, that’s it folks! Come back in two weeks to see what’s in our next share!

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  • EatingLocalintheLou

    I DO remember Tony from the bake sale and I still dream about his bread!! I am so happy to hear that he is making bread for a living now! Does Tony sell his Bread Head bread anywhere besides to your CSA?