The kids and I had a crazy busy day today.  So, when Sally was still sleeping at 4:30PM, I called Stephen and asked him to pick up our share.  I should send him more often!  He came home with 3 fruits.  We like to eat our veggies, but LOVE to eat fruit.

Here’s a shot of what we picked up today:


onions, lettuce


bell peppers (one in our share and one gifted from another member)


slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes


peaches, blackberries




Since we picked 60 pounds of peaches on Sunday, I’m in clean the kitchen and canning mode.  So, this needs to be an easy CSA week.  The peppers, onions and slicing tomatoes are going to be frozen.  The blackberries will be great with breakfast tomorrow.  The lettuce will go into a salad with a cucumber from last weekend.  We’ll eat the peaches in oatmeal as they ripen.  The watermelon can get in melon line.  We have a cantaloupe cut up in the fridge, plus two other melons that we picked up over the weekend.  Since everyone in our house loves melon season, we’ll have no problem consuming it.  We made two quiches today and have some local pasta in the freezer.  We’ll be having easy to throw together meals the next few days.


The kids and I don’t get over to the west side very often.  But, friends invited us to meet them at Kamm’s Corners Market and we had never been there, so we joined them.  The market is behind a Walgreens near Rocky River Road and Lorain Road (route 10).  There was plenty of free parking in the surface lot.   We arrived right at 10AM.  The opening seems late to us, since we are used to markets that open at 8AM or 9AM, but they are also not usually Sunday markets.  It was very sunny and even with a hat, Nick was squinting for the photo.


The information booth was easy to spot upon approach.  There were probably 20 vendors in attendance.


The peach booth was definitely popular.


I found in interesting that doggie sitting was available at the information booth. I guess rules prohibit dogs, but if you leave them at the tent, it’s OK?


This was only one of the Sundays when WIC was handing out their coupons for program recipients to use at the market.  It definitely encourages people to shop at the markets.


I liked this market.  There was a nice variety of vendors, including several selling produce.  We ended up buying a watermelon.  Nick and Sally always talk about what to get on our way to the market.  It’s fun to hear Nick ask me about the seasons.  Yesterday as we walked through the market, he asked me if it was blackberry and peach season.  I told him yes!  It’s nice for me to have my work as a mom validated from time to time.


On Friday, the last hurrah with Nick, Sally and their cousins was a trip to to Brainard Spray Park.  The park is location on Brainard in Lyndhurst between Mayfield and 271.  There’s not really a sign or anything.  It’s just part of the big park facilities.  There’s a playground, skate park, ball fields and the spray park.


When we arrived, they were having some issues with the water, so it wasn’t on yet.  And, we were curious if the weather would hold out.  My nephew actually posed for this photo.  once the water was on and he figured out he could squirt people, he was off.


Everyone was having a great time!


In just a few minutes, everyone was drenched.  Then, the staff heard thunder and shut everything down.  It’s only 20 minutes unless there’s more thunder.  It was still sunny out so we didn’t think the park would be closed for long.


We dried off and headed behind the spray park to the playground.


I remember these merry-go-rounds from when I was little.  They still make me dizzy.


Sally took her time enjoying the swings.


Soon enough, the water was back on and we were getting wet again.


We didn’t stay long at the park since we had to get my niece and nephew ready to go home.


But, it was a nice outing close to home and everyone had a great time.

 Posted by at 8:26 PM

On Monday, I had the opportunity to attend the Fresh Fork CSA Vitamix workshop.  This workshop was a joint effort between Vitamix and Fresh Fork.  Using the Vitamix and local ingredients to come up with tasty dishes was the goal.

Becky was our hostess and she was great!


Her and her crew did a great job hosting us.  Trevor brought lots of fresh and local ingredients.


Trevor and Robert helped pass out samples to the class.


Here’s a photo with a few of the menu items.  Most of them were delicious.  I took a lesson from the strawberry syrup and made fresh hot blueberry syrup this week.  It was so delicious and only took 5 minutes and 2 ingredients for thick syrup.


After trying many dishes, it was time to pack up.  Several people bought Vitamix machines or dry goods containers.  Trevor and Robert opened shop to sell all of the leftover produce.  It was instant farmers’ market.  I doubt there was much left to carry back to the truck.


I left with whipping cream and blackberries.

I had a great time at the class and decided that even though I use my Vitamix several times a week, it’s very under utilized.  I’ll hopefully be changing that soon.


Since we had my niece and nephew this week, we waited until today to pick up our share in Mayfield.  Although I did stop in Beachwood yesterday for yogurt and milk since we needed to replenish.

Here’s what I picked up:


Here’s what we were expecting to receive:

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 6 ears sweet corn
  • 3 lb. Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 2 ct. cucumbers
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes or approx. 1.5 lbs. heirloom tomatoes (about 3 depending on size)
  • 1 package chicken bratwursts
  • 1 lb. yellow wax beans
  • 2 ct. green peppers
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 1 package pork spare ribs
  • 1 jar Pope’s BBQ sauce

It looks like we got regular slicing tomatoes and some cherry tomatoes.  We were also shorted the BBQ sauce, but my husband was able to pick it up on his way home from work.  So, it’s here, but missed its photo opportunity.

We’ll have the chicken brats for lunch or dinner on Sunday.  We’ll either grill them or braise them in beer.  The kids have really been enjoying the cucumbers for snacking.


I’ll be making some fajitas Sunday or Monday.  I’ll use a couple of onions that I still have along with the collards or chard and peppers in them.  The blueberries will be lucky to be around after breakfast tomorrow.


We never got around to our Ohio City pasta last week, so I’ll probably make the béchamel sauce this weekend and use the tomatoes.  The cherry tomatoes will make good snacks for the guys of the house tomorrow.


The beans will make a great side dish in the next couple of days.  We’ll probably cut the cantaloupe up this weekend and eat it, but I am interested in trying Jane Snow’s cantaloupe gelatin dessert recipe.


Both the corn on the cob and ribs are on tomorrow’s lunch menu.  I think we’ll be grilling!


The potatoes will last a few days, and I don’t have an immediate plan for them.  Either the collards or chard will go into our fajitas.  The other will probably go into a quiche or just be sautéed for a side.


It’s been fun getting the large from our Fresh Fork CSA.  But, on Friday evenings, our fridge is packed to the max.  We have been trying to use local eggs, milk and yogurt.  When we add that stuff to the contents of our bag, it makes for a well stocked kitchen.  It also means that we don’t need the grocery store much and prioritize our meals to use up bulky items first.  I can’t wait to see what we are getting next week.


As you may recall, Nick recently received a knife at a cooking class.  He wanted to cut more and I had veggies to use up, so we decided to make tomato soup from our veggies.

After cutting up a few more tomatoes, Nick tried zucchini.  It was truly a winner.  It was really easy for him to cut and had a nice handle available most of the time.


Some cuts, he was so excited.  For the most part, I thought things well pretty well.


But then we tried the onion.  I don’t want him to get hurt and my patience meter was low after reviewing knife safety about 80 times.


So, this was his last cut.  I cut up the rest.


We ended up with some fabulous tomato soup.  I’m still not ready to teach him knife skills, but ready or not, it’s happening.

 Posted by at 10:07 PM

Last night, I had the opportunity to take a canning class.  I’ve been doing some simple water canning for a year or so, but I always think there is something new to learn.

Here a shot of the set up:


The class was quickly put to work shucking corn, dicing peppers and chopping onions.  The goal was to make some relish.


Clark and Robert taught the class and it was really well presented.  There were lots of questions and good discussion throughout the class.  I met the person in blue at the end of the evening.  She had the best knife skills ever.  Maybe she’ll teach me one day soon.


Here’s an action shot of Robert and Clark teaching and demoing.


I had a good time, tasted some awesome “slightly sweet” pickles and picked up a few tips.  Despite the construction issues in getting to the Beachwood Community Center, the facility was really conducive to a class.  I’d love to have a canning party soon.  I wish there were commercial places to can in the area.  My little kitchen just isn’t suitable for what I dream about.


Today, I took 4 kids with me to pick up the Geauga Family Farms CSA at Whole Foods.  Since my niece and nephew are here, we had two extra with us.  It was not our smoothest pick up because Aunt Lyn / mommy camp is really wearing out the kids.  Everyone was tired and grumpy.

Here’s what we received in our single share:


lettuce, patty pan squash


green pepper, onion


cherry tomatoes, potatoes


green beans, fennel


I was quite happy to see lettuce in the share this week.  We’ve been out since Saturday.  We’ll roast the patty pan squash and stuff it for lunch one day soon.  I like to use some sausage, rice or egg and veggies in a stuffing.

The green pepper will go into our salad and also be used for snacking.  I’m going to probably just chop up the onion and freeze it.  The cherry tomatoes will go to lunch with Stephen the next couple of days.  I’ll probably make some mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner tomorrow.

In 4 years of doing different CSA programs, I received fennel for the first time today.  I’m anxious to read a little about it and pick out a good recipe or two.  I’m hoping that I can find something with ingredients that I already have on hand so I can use it tomorrow!

Other than the fennel, this is a pretty straight forward week.  I’m hoping for fruit next week!


Since Nick wasn’t in camp this week and my niece and nephew are in town, we all headed out to Voytko to pick blueberries with some friends.  Picking will probably only last this week, but it was quite good and plentiful today.

My niece and nephew took right to picking.  They had never picked blueberries before.  Sally enjoyed some time in the stroller (mostly eating berries).


But, she did get out and pick a bit too.


My nephew is trying to teach Nick how to whistle.  My niece is sure going to break hearts someday.


Here’s the best photo of all six kids that I could take.


We had a great time and will be sad when blueberry season ends.  We ended up with 8.5 pounds, but I forgot to take a photo of them before I stored them.  I don’t think we’ll make it out to pick again, but you never know.

 Posted by at 10:10 PM

We don’t have bagels very often in our house.  I picked up a few this week and fixed the kids butterfly bagels for breakfast yesterday.  It was a fluke.  I had cut a bagel in half and then they decided they wanted them toasted.  So, I “butterflied” it so it would fit in the toaster.  Some cream cheese, string cheese and a couple of blueberries later….


Both Nick and Sally love it!  Sometimes the best things just aren’t planned.