We were discussing over the weekend (which, by the way, I can’t believe it is thursday already) how expensive grains are. I agreed as it was a fleeting conversation since the child was doing rapid laps around the house on her push bike. (Thank you Eribug and Uncle Andy for allowing the bike inside. Note to parent’s: Just do it! It saves a rainy day). Once I got home and started reminiscing about the bean salad with Orzo pasta in the mix I came back to the conversation. I may or may not have said this but Buy Bulk. Buying in bulk is a fantastic way to save money and stock up on your favorite grains, flour, beans… It is the economical and fun way to shop.
I have a decent bulk collection just sitting on my kitchen window seal. I have tea, barley, orzo (just purchased), brown rice, brown rice flour, honey, sugar quinoa, jasmine rice and grits. I also have herbs and other flour varieties out of sight. I did not purchase these all at once. Just as I found a recipe that called for one of these ingredients I headed straight for the bulk isle. We happen to have all these great, large canning jars taking up cabinet space. It was a bit serendipitous to combine the two. Now I have a fantastic window display that is also edible!!
As for today, did someone say Sun Tea? Actually, yes. A guest post on Small Measures some time this week or last did. I love sun tea. So today, while our house is starting to smell like a Moroccan paradise, we are brewing up some Sun Tea and Moroccan Ragu. I found this delicious sounding recipe for the Ragu with pork and decided to go for it. I already had the spices (bulk items) in my spice cabinet and was headed to the farm yesterday for the veggies. I was able to pick up some amazing pork chops at Hickory Nut Gap, as well as my two dozen eggs I like to stock up on! For the recipe I used tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and spaghetti squash from this weeks box. The recipe calls for butternut squash but I like to use what I’ve got and these squash are really yummy. The hot sauce we are using is made from scratch by the one and only Spencer Brown of Rabbit Killer Hot Sauce. (This stuff is really killer on so many levels!!!!!) For all my vegetarian friends, this recipe would be fantastic without the pork. Maybe add a couple of different types of squash, potatoes, and a little extra chick peas to bulk it up more. I think spinach or kale in season would muy bueno too!!!
The only thing I am doing different, besides the squash, is that I am slow cooking it in the crock pot. I am doing it this way for a number of reasons. One, I have lots of food in the cooler that I don’t want to go to waste. Two, I am sort of tired of eating out which brings me to, three, we are heading over to Highland Brewery to get a taste of the Black IPA just released. It is the recipe winner for the Highland Cup 2011. There is always good beer flowing from the tap from this challenge. I figured we could still go to the pub, be back in time to maintain the school night routine for the wild thing and still get an awesome meal out of the day! Plus, I left just a tiny bit of fat on the pork, threw the bones in and turned the pot on low. All the spices will have time to congeal and the flavor will pop!
I am still just as pleased with the CSA as I was in the beginning. It has really allowed me to be creative with my cooking, explore new vegetables that aren’t usually available at the grocery and keeps me shopping local. The ragu alone is all local! I am excited to say that! I will definitely sign up for the extended fall box!!
What are you cooking up today? What ever it is, I hope you are having fun doing it!