Thursday, February 28, 2008

Saying Goodbye, Saying Hello

Have I mentioned I am ready for Spring? That I am SO ready for spring?
Well, I am.
Just for the record.

In the mean time, I've been making it a point to take advantage of what is hopefully the last of the weather nasties to cook all the kinds of things that I love but that I wouldn't give a second thought during the warmer months, including the undocumented spinach lasagne and Potato Soup with Kale and Chorizo, both of which were fabulous.

Now, despite the fact that the growing season is still a couple of months away, one of the by-products of my anticipation of the warmer weather is that I've managed to get myself organized and all signed and paid up for this years' CSA farmshare. And I was all hunkered down and ready to spend a few months pining away for that first box-o-locally-grown-love, when, to my excitement, I went (bundled up) out to the mail box one day and found a fat, weighty little bundle of something from our farmer waiting there.
I HEART surprises!

Inside this most excellent package I discovered beans...specifically Swedish brown beans, or so said the pudgy ziplock bag, along with a lovely handwritten note with prep and cooking tips. How completely, utterly awesome.
I left everything out on the counter as inspiration, and, after a few not-special-enough ideas were born and cast off, inspiration struck in the form of one of my back-in-the-day favorites. Back in the day, meaning the days I spent growing up in rural Vermont as a speck on the map of nowhere, where the only fast food for miles around was soup from a can....when Campbell's Bean and Bacon was my favorite.

I consulted a couple of recipes to gain a general direction and then basically just winged it (as I have been known to do :) ) The results were fantastic. A little like the canned stuff I remember from childhood, only much, much better in the way that home cooking and homemade soup always is. And the healthy dose of my porky passion, Lorenz meats bacon, both in the soup and as garnish made sure of it!

see the lovely beans there in the back?

I know I've said it before, but do, DO get yourselves your own farmer by signing up for CSA! A CSA directory is here, and for you locals specifically, there are upcoming CSA meet and greets at Seward co-op or any of the Lakewinds locations, or check out a directory of MN co-ops here.


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