The CSA will take over your life

Community Supported Agriculture is this neat thing where you give money to (usually) a local farmer, and then during the harvest season you get a box of random produce.

Paradise has an AWESOME CSA program.  Tomatoes, lettuce (cleaned!), potatoes, onions, garlic, fruit, fun random things in reasonable enough amounts that they make a side-dish but not so much that you’re drowning in kohlrabi.  Nary a collard or mustard green in sight (so far anyway).  All delicious and wonderful.   And we get it on Friday which means it’s easy to do menu planning and grocery shopping for the week after knowing what’s in the box.

Problem:  The vegetables are all so good and so abundant that they’ve really taken over.  We don’t finish things by the next Friday.  We don’t go out to eat because the food at home is better than what is close by and we feel guilty for not finishing things.  We don’t buy as much crazy stuff at the grocery store or farmer’s market even though the grocery stores and farmers markets are awesome.  We’re not eating a whole lot of meat.  Occasionally we will have just green beans for dinner because it’s Thursday and we’ve had those green beans for two weeks and we don’t want to make dilly beans again.

It is making riotous living hard, even though it is really good for our checkbooks.

We’re not stopping, but we wouldn’t mind if the boxes were a bit less generous!  (No, we don’t have anybody to split a share with– our local friends have their own box and they use the entire box because their kids love veggies at a much higher level than our kids do, though their kids are also not crazy about green beans.  The CSA version of splitting is every other week which is tempting except it is really hard to remember to pick something up every other Friday instead of every Friday.)  But I am a little bit looking forward to the winter.

What have your CSA experiences been like?  If you’ve done one, do you think it has saved you money or improved the quality of your eating?

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Bonus Sunday actually the last food pics for realz this time

In case you were wondering if they were going to completely skip cooked tomato sauces and pizza, they waited to do that until the last day.  (Not quite accurate– there were pizza and calzone that did not get photographed because apparently #2 is too hungry at lunch most days to remember to take out the camera!)


Fresh fettucini with artichokes (front) and with mushrooms (back)


Simple pasta with tomatoes


Simple pizza with fungi

And that’s it! Back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!

Some (almost) final food pics

We will return to our regularly scheduled programming on Monday (with a money post).

In the mean time…


Arrabiata with house-made pasta


Carbonara with house-made pasta. Eat all the carbonara. The pasta was toothsome!


We eat a lot of caprese.


gnocchi baked with mozzarella


a big salad with things in it, also I had bread and olive oil


Wild rice salad with eggplant.


some kind of pasta

Also saw many dead saints bodies and churches.

Roman cheeses and other foods.


For dinner we got the grand tour of cheese from soft bufala ricotta in top left progressing in strength to stronger and then smoked mozzarella.  We ate all the cheese in Rome.


eggplant slices grilled with zucchini and pesto


tomatoes with pesto


Artichokes, eggplant casserole





We have conquered Rome.

A single link.

Food pic Friday!

In the Campo de’ Fiori is a mozzarella bar/ cucina. The cheese is as amazing as you think.


First an “intense” bufala mozzarella with a side of tomatoes and pesto. Delicious!


Yummy pasta


Grilled eggplant covers a ball of cheesy rice. Pesto on side. Smoky mozzarella. Sooo good.


Overhead view


Dessert was creamy ricotta with honey, pine nuts, and orange peel.

So far this meal wins!  We will go back.

Lunch in Rome


Bucatoni amatriciana (tomato sauce with black pepper, bacon)


Eggplant parmigiana made with burrata


Arrancini, Sicilian style

Special Thursday edition of food pics!

Campo de’ Fiori has many restaurants.


Artichoke ravioli

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Lunch near Vatican City.


Tagliatelle with porcini


Penne with onion sauce


Basil sorbet

Didn’t take pictures of gelato by Vatican Museum.

Food and #2 provides some ponderings from overseas

Everything in Florence is so gorgeous.

Why do Europeans smoke so much?

Every street musician in Rome plays My Way.

Here is some foodstuff.


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I forgot to take pictures of gelato before it went in my tummy.

Here’s something from near Santa Croce.  This dish isn’t complex so you should try making it. Burrata and very thin slices of eggplant marinated in olive oil.  Delicious!!  Santa Croce amazing.IMG_0117

We have been eating lots of salads.


Italy is gorgeous.

Food from Firenze


Insalata Caprese



Spaghetti carbonara



Tagliatelle with tomato and porcini



Peposo (beef cooked in tomato and pepper, with roasted potatoes)



Affogati caffe



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