CSA’s, or Community Supported Agriculture, are something that I have wanted to participate in for the past few years, but living the better part of the month from paycheck to paycheck, it’s hard to drop one large amount of bills at one time. Also, I don’t want 10# of squash dropped on me in the summer–mostly because the Missus isn’t a fan–and don’t want to see the food go to waste. However, after reading about the Winter CSA from Cape SoPo Winter Share in the Press Herald, I found this more doable. Sure, there isn’t much that you can’t get at the Portland Winter Market, but this allowed me to order from vendors I had never heard of before–like Cranky Rooster(seen below)–and to support Green Spark, one of the participants, in the ‘off season’ as I do frequent their stand in the summer at the Deering Oaks Market.
The process is simple: go online to their site, place your order, get your number and pick it up either at one of the farms listed or at their designated drop spot for that cycle. I also didn’t have to worry about parking, getting shoved out of the way while someone wanted to rummage through the potatoes or arrive to find out the vendor was sold out of eggs. It was easy enough and all could be ordered from the comfort of my cozy apartment.
It also got me over to South Portland and gave me an excuse to pop in to Scratch Bakery–somewhere I hadn’t been since our cupcake tasting in November. So, on a much needed day off, I ran errands and cooked a simple, somewhat local-centric, meal.
And here is a bit of that and some of the goods picked up yesterday:
Like most local eggs, these blow away anything you can buy at the local grocery stores. The yolks are plump, orange and LARGE. If I ever come back as a chicken, I want to live on this farm and eat what they’re eating–which is probably better than many people I know.
I will openly admit my bias on this one. Nate is a friend and a bread enthusiast who built his own wood fired brick oven in his yard. When he told me he was selling his bread and bagels through the CSA, I knew it was the first thing I’d order.
These potatoes came from Green Spark and Jordan’s farm–Swedish Peanut and French Fingerling–and were tossed in some garlic, rendered bacon fat and ras el hanout and roasted for around 40 minutes @ 400.
Rounding out the meal was something green–as in sauteed beans with some bacon. It was a meal of happiness and comfort and took all of an hour and a half to throw together.
And then there was dessert. Walking into Scratch, I thought maybe I’d pick up another cupcake or something of the like but, there it was:
A homemade Funny Bone. Get the F out. For those that remember, my last encounter with the mass produced variety of this treat didn’t go so well (though it did manage to get me a few hits for people looking up flavored lubes). And, well, I won’t even compare the two. This was chocolate peanut butter awesomeness. It was rich, gooey and made my stomach hurt after but I didn’t much care. I fell into a chocolate contentment coma and there I remained for the rest of the night.
Which, that would have been fine if I didn’t also buy a:
Banana Cake with Hazelnut Buttercream. You want to talk overkill? This whole meal, with all of it’s parts put together, was overkill. While I really, really enjoyed the cake part of this one, the buttercream didn’t have much of a flavor outside of butter. The hazelnut was kind of there but the buttercream just coated the tongue too much to really enjoy it. So, we just separated the frosting from the rest of it and just enjoyed the cake, which turned out to help cut a bit of the richness from the Funny Bone (which is odd to even say that cake helped lighten other cake). Either way, I want another one of those Funny Bones. Now.
**edited to correct information regarding the name of the CSA. Thank you to Josh for posting the correction on PFM.