Saturday, May 29, 2010

It has been a while since I last updated but I am still here plugging along. I tend to shut down a little when it is cold out but it seems like summer has finally reached San Diego and I am coming out of hibernation. I hope to up-date regularly and always look forward to any comments.

I recently joined the SD Farmers Market CSA (Mission Valley Farmers Market location) and am working on my second week of produce. In the first week I got “normal things” that I recognized… cabbage, tomatoes, multi-colored eggs, citrus and an avocado. I also got stuff that I had to figure out what they were… loquats, very tasting and giant seeds and some kind of a root looking thing like a radish, turnip or parsnip thing… never figured that out and it ended up as worm food.

This week’s box contained some recognizable things, some almost familiar stuff and a couple of surprise items. Cabbage again, green onions, cantaloupe, some kind of cucumber thing, sun-dried tomatoes, a big yellow citrus thing???, a couple of small orange looking things and a container of mulberries (marked on the box).

As a kid growing up in northern Illinois I would eat handfuls of mulberries during the summer and come home with purple hands. These mulberries in the box were similar but not quite the berries I grew up with.

After taking inventory of what was in the box it was time to get creative with some of the ingredients. Making a muffin seemed like a good way to use some of the CSA produce and my Internet search began. I found a few basic recipes and then I modified them to fit my needs. My goal was to produce a mulberry/orange muffin made with eggs, orange and mulberries from the CSA. That changed after I zested my orange and cut it open to juice… I now have Mulberry and Blood Orange Muffins.

Mulberry & Blood Orange Muffins

¼ cup softened butter

1/3 cup sugar *

2 beaten eggs

2 cups flour **

5 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

juice of one blood orange

2/3 cup milk ***

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

zest from one blood orange

½ cup mulberries ****

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and mix well. Mix in 1 ½ cups flour, baking powder, salt, juice, milk and vanilla. Sprinkle mulberries, orange zest and remaining flour and stir lightly. Bake in grease muffin pans (with or without baking cups) for 25 to 30 minutes. This recipe made 12 muffins. I especially like them served warm with a pad of butter.

* If you like a sweeter muffin you could increase the amount of sugar to 2/3 of a cup but then you may need to increase the amount of liquids used.

** You can use all-purpose or half and half all-purpose and whole wheat. I do a lot of baking in my bread maker and like to use whole-wheat flour when ever possible. If you or your family doesn’t like the whole-wheat flavor or texture then use just all-purpose flour.

*** The total volume of juice and milk should be 2/3 of a cup liquid unless increasing the amount of sugar. I would not increase it to more than a cup or you will have a very wet batter.

**** I wore plastic gloves while removing the stems and chopping up the mulberries to keep from turning my hands purple.

I would think that this recipe could be easily modified to reflect what other fruits are in season. I also think that other spices could be added to adjust flavors… cinnamon and nutmeg comes to mind.

I am very much enjoying my time with SD Farmers Market CSA and think that if they could put something in the box that says what stuff is and/or have some recipes to go with some of the produce packaged it would help me to enjoy the box a little more.

Thanks again and keep up the GREAT WORK.

CSA member since 5/21/2010

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