The totally rockin’ Soup CSA, week 3

Well my farmer girl Casey is back from her honeymoon so with her comes the weekly dirt on what our soup CSA is made of and the bread her mom baked for us today. Notice this week, mom, the rock star baker, added some serious lovin’ to the pioneer bread.

I love these stories and I think you will as well. This week, potato chowdah! From the spud state. What a state I am in!

Earthly Delights Soup CSA #3 (written by Casey)
All right! I’m back and have concocted what I hope will be an incredible taste sensation for your lovely little palettes! On the menu this week:

MAGIC VALLEY SQUASHER-SAGER-TATER CHOWDER with RUSTIC PIONEER BREAD

The bread is packed with cornmeal, rye, whole wheat, and unbleached flours, along with a lot of mama-lovin’!!!

**Reminder: Next week (November 26th), we DO NOT have pickups/deliveries, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. We will resume the following week (Dec. 3rd) for the next leg of our soup and bread journey. Thank you!

This week’s soup story:
This week’s soup is a celebration of our return to the frosty north and it’s abundant fall harvest, which is heavy with thick, rich foods that warm us from the core outward…
In your jar this week, you’ll find:

Idaho Potatoes (Yukon Golds and Reds, from the incredible farmer Mike Heath in Buhl, Idaho) Butternut and Carnival Squashes (from Sunset Butte Organics, also in the Magic Valley) Cream and Whole Milk (from Cloverleaf Creamery, from the Magic Valley…this place is so cool! They use reusable glass bottles to bottle their tasty milk, and charge a deposit at the time of purchase. This simple and efficient distribution system used to be commonplace before cheap plastics and the petroleum lobby bullied their way onto supermarket shelves, dragging with them the burden of an endless stream of toxic wasted resources with few viable long-term options for disposal or reuse. Getting back to basic, reusable packaging for locally-produced products is a gorgeous step in the exciting dance of an elegant food distribution system. Bravo, Cloverleaf!!! Oh yeah, you can get their millk at the boise Coop and also online through Idaho’s Bounty at www.idahosbounty.org) Yellow Onions (from King’s Crown Organics in King Hill, Idaho) Magic Garlic (from the garden of Earthly Delights…it makes dreams come true, so exercise delightful caution when you consume it!) Wide-leaf and culinary Sages (from the garden of Earthly Delights…sauteing this powerful herb in olive oil or garlic transforms it into an amazing topping for eggs, squash, potatoes, pastas, and other such wonderful goodies, along with sage-infused butter or oil…ta-DA!!!) Olive Oil (those of you who were members last year were witness to my quest for a more local alternative oil, along with my many schemes to create such a product here (i.e. grapeseeds from the newly-burgeoning wine industry here), or perhaps for an appeasement for my soul, that it may sit calmly in the fact that olive oil is too damn delicious to go without…thus the drama continues…) Sea Salt (folks have been trading this important food for thousands of years, so who are we to argue with human history? Let’s just accept the fact that we need salt and that it makes food taste good, and maybe after the apocalypse we can take turns on horse caravans to Oregon to procure the precious mineral and have a great adventure while we’re at it…)

**Those of you who forgot to put your jars out or bring them back last week (you know who you are), please make sure you do so this week, or we may not have enough to give you your soup next time!!! Thank you! this is a good exercise for us, right? Like taking our own bags to the grocery store…a slight change in our daily routine, and voila! we’ve created a less-consumptive lifestyle. sure, Case, whatever…hee-hee…

That Soup is Watching Me: excerpts from our honeymoon in Mexico After an hour of travel standing up in the back of the pickup surfing the dirt road so rough it made Idaho logging roads look like highways, we reached the tiny indigenous village where families of farmers and ranchers live simply, small wood and earth homes with metal roofs, outdoor palapas for eating, for sitting, for cooking. Everyone has an outdoor kitchen, mostly using fire to cook, and those who have stoves are dubious about their benefits. Then we traveled on past the village to the river, passing women walking with baskets of brightly-colored laundry on their heads and kids with nets for fishing. We arrived at the river, the lifeblood of this small village, walked to a gigantic tree under which was tied a small burro, waiting patiently like a car with its engine turned off, and set up camp between the burro and the woman washing clothes in the river, each of us snuggling into our own spot amid the roots of this tree while her 5 little, giggling girls scrambled up the rock face next to us in their underwear and shrieked as they jumped off the cliff next to us again and again, plunging in to the rushing water below. We all swam and had a good time, Brent doing back flips off the cliff, to the delight of the tiny girls with long black hair.
Afterward, we went to the home of a family in the village, friends of our new friend Ermes, for dinner. I felt so incredibly grateful and humbled by their generosity amid their apparent poverty. Their home was a square block about the size of the main room of my house, and there was probably 8 people living in it. They were happy to share their plastic table and chairs, while the older women made tortillas a mano, gigantic, thick ones, out of the maiz that the men grew, and served us all a sopa de mariscos from the river–shrimp, crawfish, and a tiny lobster, all whole, simmered in a thin broth of probably chiles, tomatoes, and sesame oil, judging by what was growing on the small plots hacked out of the bosque surrounding the village. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I am, and have always been, a bit squeamish when it comes to eating meat, but I wasn’t about to turn down their amazing offering, and so I dove in with both hands, delicious mole dripping down my arms as I cracked and peeled skins off the tiny animals, discarding their heads, antennae, and other inedible parts on the plate next to me, my inept fingers no doubt wasting much precious meat in the process. All around us were animals–2 young pigs snorting and grunting as they gobbled whole kernels of maize off the ground next to our table, chickens bobbing and weaving around the edges, mama hens sneaking kernels for their chicks, who were hanging back peeping eagerly. There was families of turkeys with their tiny babies, burros, goats, and of course, a couple dogs eager for any scrap we let go to waste. They all roamed freely around the village, under the papaya and avocado trees, scavenging for what they could to supplement their diet of maize and table scraps. They created a festive, abundant atmosphere, where every participant has what it needs and little else. It was inspiring and humbling, a truly delicious experience…

Thank you Casey for taking us along! and feeding me again this week….