Posts tagged ‘Boston’

CSA Share – Weeks 10-13

Weeks 10-12, a selection from: Carrots, Ailsa Onions, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Fresh Garlic, Fresh Shallots (yum!), Kale, Collard, Swiss Chard, Corn, Varieties of eggplant, Green and purple peppers, Beets, Melon, Lettuce
PYO: Perennial herbs and flowers, Parsley, Varieties of basil, Dill, Cilantro, Hot peppers, String beans, Husk cherries, Tomatillos

Week 13, a selection from: Kale, Collards, Cucumbers, zucchini, squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, a few tomatoes, okra, carrots, green peppers, lettuce
PYO: Herbs (including dill, cilantro, basil, thyme, mint), Husk cherries, Tomatillos, Hot peppers, Raspberries, String beans

It was our turn to pick up this week and my sister was kind enough to come with Sofie and I to help. I was really glad to have the help. There was a lot to pick this week. And Sofie made it extra challenging since she wanted to eat everything we picked. Her love of raspberries, combined with her love of eating anything right off the plant meant I could hardly pick them fast enough for her to eat, let alone for us to take home. Thank goodness my sister was there to double our picking ability. I think Sofie ate basically our entire portion, so most of what we took home when to the 2 families we split our 2 shares with. The same thing happened with husk cherries. It seems Sofie would eat as many as I’d let her. I had to cut her off when she was eating so many we were at risk of going over our portion, we only had a total of a pint between our 2 shares. As demanding as she was for the fruit, it was super cute to see how much she loved it all.

Let’s see, what else is there to share about our produce? I’m a few weeks behind in my CSA posts. The last month or so has been extremely busy and have kept me away from the computer (not necessarily a bad thing).

Both my husband and I have roasted potatoes before and been pleased. But the last few weeks our roasted potatoes have been out of this world. I’m not sure if it is the quality/freshness of potatoes we’re getting or our new method. But they rock. I’ll post the very simple recipe once I find another few minutes to write. I also have a really yummy Jamie Oliver chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, oregano recipe to post…so good. So look out for those!

Our farm: Waltham Fields Community Farm in Waltham, MA


September 3, 2009 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

CSA Share – Weeks 8 and 9

Week 8: Carrots, Beets, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, White New Potatoes, Fresh Garlic, Sweet Corn, Green Tomatoes, Swiss Chard
PYO:  Perennial herbs and flowers, parsley, varieties of basil, dill, cilantro, hot peppers, green beans

Week 9: Carrots, Ailsa Craig Onions, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Red Gold New Potatoes, Fresh Garlic, Sweet Corn, Fairy Tale eggplant, Green and Purple Peppers, Baby Fennel
PYO:  Perennial herbs and flowers, parsley, varieties of basil, dill, cilantro, hot peppers

This week my step-daughter (Julia) was visiting and my husband had the day off from work so we had a great time going to the farm together. Julia was amazed with the amount of vegetables we got to take home and had a great time in the fields doing PYO, tasting tomatoes and beans right off the plants and cutting a nice bouquet of flowers. We ended the evening with a cookout at our house with the 2 other families we split our shares with when we grill zucchini and squash we had just picked up. It was a great afternoon/evening.

Last night we had friends over and served our favorite Vegetable Slaw with the cilantro, chives and hot pepper we picked at the farm on Tuesday. It was our best batch yet. Well, I should say Jeromy’s since he has made it every time, perfecting it a little with each batch. He used a little less cilantro and red onion and only a quarter cup of oil. For cabbage it was 70% purple cabbage, 30% napa cabbage. We also had jicama this time which was really really great it in. I highly recommend you try it.

While we’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything we’ve gotten from the farm there were 2 that really stood out. The 4 pints of green beans I picked last week that we sautéed with olive oil and garlic, so simple yet so so delicious. And the maple syrup we finally cracked open to pour over some blueberry pancakes. Our farm partners with other local producers to bring its shareholders even more local goodness, one of those items is maple syrup from Wilman Gadwah, a small-scale producer in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. It is truly great maple syrup! I’ve made a note to buy some extra toward the end of the season to carry us through the winter – yes it is that good. I’m not sure where you can get it other than the farm, if I find out I’ll post.

Our farm: Waltham Fields Community Farm in Waltham, MA

August 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm Leave a comment

CSA Share – Week 7

This week we got: Beets, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Carrots, Swiss Chard, Onions, Red Potatoes, Zucchini, Summer Squash (including patty pans)

PYO: Yellow Beans, Herbs (Basil, Dill, parsley, thyme, cilantro…)


Last week was rainy and Tuesday was no exception. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do any PYO due to the rain and generally wet conditions at the farm. To be sure I asked at the distribution tent, and they said I was more than welcome to still do PYO. By then it was only drizzling and since we share our 2 shares with 2 other families I wanted to try my best to get everything for the week right then for everyone. Plus, I figured a little time in the rain could be a good experience for Sofie. So, on we went into the fields. We started by picking some basil and parsley, which was a piece of cake, even in the rain. We moved onto dill and it started to rain a little harder, Sofie was beginning to lose her patience. But we still had beans to pick so we trudged on. I had to carry her across the field, which left mud all over my pants from her shoes. By the end Sofie had fallen on her bum a few times and we both had mud in way too many places and were very ready to go home, but still it was a fun experience and fed into my desire to feel a connection to the farm and where our food comes from.

Our farm: Waltham Fields Community Farm in Waltham, MA

July 27, 2009 at 8:22 am Leave a comment

Restaurant Review: Persephone

In the mood for some shopping, great drinks or a delightful dinner? You must check out Persephone and the Achilles Project in Boston’s Fort Point Channel. It provides a one stop shop to satisfy your id. From fantastic garments, top-notch bartenders, tasty and honest menu, local art to a nice chill vibe, it seems to have it all. They manage to offer all of this while keeping the environment and sustainability in mind, in addition to focusing on using fresh and local ingredients for kitchen creations and promoting local artists and businesses. All music to my ears.

Of course you don’t need to do everything to make the trip worth it. A visit to just shop, just sit at the bar and sip cocktails or just enjoy a meal it completely worth it.

On Saturday Jeromy and I met up with another couple for dinner at Persephone and have a wonderful time. We arrived a little early so we could enjoy a drink together before our friends arrive – making the most of our time with a babysitter at home watching our little girl.

We left our car with the valet and walked into the building, not exactly sure what to expect. We were greeted by a lounge area on one side and racks and shelves full of gorgeous clothes (many eco-friendly) and footware filling the rest of the space. We didn’t have enough time to shop but will certainly be back to dedicate some time to those clothing racks. We walked through the retail section and into the bar area. We snagged a couple bar seats and pursued the various beverage options. Jeromy got his usual vodka martini with a twist and I ordered a mixed drink called “blame it on the rain”. I typically don’t like and thus, don’t order frilly mixed drink concoctions but somehow that evening I felt like trying one, and I’m glad I did. It was sweet, but not too sweet and very easy to drink. I could have easily had 3 of them, but restrained myself to one given I knew we’d be having wine with dinner and I would likely be driving home. We were chatting about various things when we noticed the bartender had a blowtorch out and was burning orange peels. Jeromy commented, “We didn’t know there would be a show!” and the bartender explained that he was experimenting with new drinks and that flaming the oils from the peel changes the flavor and makes drinks smoother. Without skipping a beat he offered to make us a sample. A few more pyrotechnics and we had a delicious drink of vodka, fino sherry and burnt orange peel. He told us it was Franks Sinatra’s favorite – a Valencia. It was delicious. We asked about the sherry he used and he explained that is was a FINO, which very dry. He gave us a little sample of that too. It was so cool to see the bartender’s enthusiasm for his craft and his desire to share his knowledge and experience with us. Our evening was off to a fantastic start.

Our friends arrived and we were seated, in a nice corner table. While the menu contained many familiar ingredients and flavors, there was a lovely sense of exploration and appreciation for ingredients with the dishes. The menu offers small, medium, large and extra large plates. We all ended up mixing and matching a number of small plates and sides. It was fun to assemble our meals that way. And the food did not disappoint. If you want specific comments on what we ate, I’d be happy to share.

The only sort of negative thing was that table service was mediocre. There was just something about the way our waitress interacted with us…I guess she just didn’t have very nice “table-side” manner. But that didn’t take away from the overall superb experience.

I loved the entire place. While I’m not sure if the concept of arriving for a meal early enough to shop, have a couple drinks and then have dinner, really works for me (especially now with a young child), I will certainly be back to explore the clothing, enjoy the bar and savor the food a number of times.

Persephone, which is the restaurant portion of the Achilles Project, came in at #18 on this year’s Boston Magazine’s Best Of List. We first heard of chef and owner, Michael Leviton, when we discovered Lumiere in our very own hometown of Newton (another great place to check out). We’re glad to see his success continue and expand, especially as he stays true to honoring and promoting sustainability and local ingredients.


283 Summer Street

Boston, MA 02210

July 20, 2009 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment

CSA Share – Week 2

It was our friend Jen’s turn to pick up this week. Jeromy swung by her house on his way home from work to pickup our portion.

Our goodies this week: bok choy, garlic scapes, a couple varieties of lettuce, beets, arugala, napa cabbage. PYO: snap peas, snow peas, parsley, chives, thyme

When you are splitting 2 shares across 3 families sometimes it is easiest just to take one of something instead of splitting it. For instance, this week we didn’t take any swiss chard but we took a few more beets.

I didn’t have time to take any photos before we started digging in to get everything clean and get dinner on the table. We had giant salads with lettuce, arugula, a little cabbage, some shaved beet and a white balsamic vinegar dressing with the fresh thyme that my husband made. Delicious!! I have never had raw beet before, it was surprisingly sweet.

Tonight we’re grilling. For sides we’re grilling the beets using a recipe from our CSA farm’s site (if it is good I’ll post it) and the garlic scapes. We had garlic scapes for the first time last week and grilled them based on a suggestion from a friend and they were amazing! I am so happy we have them again. From what I have read they are only around for a couple weeks a year. Thursday we’re planning a pork and bok choy stir-fry and Sunday we’re going to attempt to make fish tacos and a nice slaw (with our napa cabbage) for Father’s Day. I’m starting to salivate just thinking about it all!

June 17, 2009 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

CSA Distribution Pickup tips

We pick up our weekly distribution at the farm, so instead of having a box ready to go, we actually select our produce from a series of bins, almost like at a grocery store. There is a board that tells us what we can take (e.g. the first week we could choose 8 out of the 10 items available) and then each bin is labeled with how much of each we should take (e.g. 1 lb of spinach, two heads of lettuce). Each week there will also be some crops that we can pick ourselves. These tips are for that type of pick up and picking your own crops (PYO).

 –          There is a lot

  • Bring a lot of bags, always better to have a couple extra sitting in the car than not enough
  • The quantity and size of the produce will change each week (and year). Our first pick up included a number of large items such as collard greens, green leaf lettuce, swiss chard. I filled (overfilled) 3 reusable grocery bags to the brim before PYO and I expect the amounts to increase over the weeks

–          The veggies will probably be wet

  • The farm gives everything a rinse so items are a bit wet. The day I picked up it had also been raining, so that may have added even more moisture but everything was pretty wet. My bags had soaked through by the time I got home and had to be hung outside to dry.
  • I’d recommend putting a towel down in the car to soak up any water that leaks out on the ride home – just in case. We have plastic mat and it had a few small pools of water.  

–          Managing with a young child

  • I had my daughter in the Ergo on my front and it was a bit of a challenge to select and then put the veggies in the bag, and it got harder as the 3 bags filled. She was a good sport for most of it, even though I kept hitting her with wet leaves. I did eventually have to put her down when I got our lettuce as I just couldn’t manage to get the 4 giant heads of lettuce in the over full bags with her on me. I put her down and everything was much easier. Actually, I also put all the bags down to get the lettuce, everything was that full.
  • If your child can stand/walk I recommend you have them walk with you instead of having them in a carrier, it will be a lot easier.
  • If your child can’t stand yet you might want to bring a stroller or at least use a carrier with your child on your back.

–          PYO tips

  • Bring another bag for PYO – bring a solid bag (i.e. not one made of netting) since you will probably be putting small loose items in it.
  • I used scissors and pint containers from the PYO stand. When I was done I emptied the snap peas into my bag and returned the pint containers and scissors to the stand. If you are able, bringing your own scissors and pint containers would mean you wouldn’t have to go back to the stand to return them (not the returning to it was that big of a deal).
  • PYO can take a while, especially if you have more than one item to pick. You may want to consider breaking it up, in particular if you have a young child with you, since they will get antsy.
  • Luckily, my daughter was pretty good in the fields. I have her a snap pea to munch on and she was content with that and playing with the flowers. Pretty soon though I know she’ll want to eat even more while we’re out there (can’t blame her!) and will probably want to run around more.

–          Attire

  • If you are doing PYO, definitely wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty, in particular if you will be picking up your child. It  might have been a little worse because Sofie’s feet were wet from the grass, but I had lovely shoe marks on my pants from picking her up to move around the farm. But still it wasn’t that bad and you should get a little dirty when on a farm
  • I had Sofie in crocs with socks on (since it was a little chilly), I figured I could just throw the socks in the wash and rinse off the crocs if they got yucky. I’ll probably get a pair of rain boots or something for her to wear to the farm too.

June 17, 2009 at 8:18 am 2 comments

Superb Tapas and Wine at Taberna de Haro in Boston

Taberno de Haro

999 Beacon St

Brookline, MA 02446


I am almost reluctant to blog about Taberna de Haro since I still consider it to be a hidden gem. But it is too good to not blog about. If you consider yourself at all a foodie or actually, simply enjoy good food you must experience the food, wine and ambiance there. It is located in Boston (Brookline) on Beacon St in Kenmore Square. It is a small place. Seats 38 people with extra spots on the patio in the warmer months. Its size is part of its charm. It isn’t pretentious or overdone. The atmosphere is intimate and jovial.


We (my husband and I) tend to order our “usuals” with one or two new dishes, not because we don’t like new things but rather the “usuals” are so good we can’t imagine not getting them! However, when we were there a couple weekends ago we were in a mood for new flavors and I am so glad we were. It was one of the best meals we have had there which is saying a lot! I think the experience was enhanced by the sheer fact that our selections were new delicious discoveries that even complemented each other well – the stars aligned. We ordered Mejillones en salsa romescu (Mussels in almond, tomato and garlic sauce), Duck confit with salad on toast, Habas con jamon (Lima beans sautéed with Spanish Ham), Coca de cebolla y aceitunas (Carmalized onion and olive flatbread) and Surtido de quesos (Five cheeses imported from Spain). Everything was new to us save the lima bean dish, which is one of my all time favorites. Some of our other favorites include the sautéed spinach with garlic, pine nuts and golden raisins (which we get without the raisins), the tapas standard of shrimp with garlic and olive oil,  codfish balls (they remind me of growing up in Macau), fried calamari and grilled rib-eye.


The wine list is extensive and very reasonably priced. They decant some wines at the table. If you can splurge on wine a bit ($80), I strongly recommend the Prado Enea Gran Reserva 1998 R(Bodegas Muga, D.O.Ca. Rioja, Haro). We had it with the meal I described earlier and it was really amazing. It complemented our food perfectly. As a testament to their commitment to a quality experience, let me share that one evening after selecting a wine recommended by Chef-owner, Deborah Hansen they informed us that the wine we wanted was a little cool and that they were going to decant it to help it warm up before they served it to us. In the meantime, Deborah offered us some lovely sherry to sip on while we waited. A wonderful treat.


Continuing to feed our appetite for new things that evening, we opted to skip the nice desserts and cheese plates at Taberna de Haro in favor of trying the French bakery 2 doors down. The name of the place escapes me (making a mental note to take better notice of such details in the future) but it is literally a couple doors to the left of Taberno de Haro as you leave the restaurant. The bakery front is small, bright and welcoming. It actually has a feel much like it could have been in St. Helena in Napa Valley. A little modern yet accented with old world pieces. They have 3 tables with a few chairs to sit and enjoy something tasty by their large windows overlooking Beacon St, which is what we did. They serve the expected full range of coffee beverages and an interesting array of sweets ranging from butter cookies with fillings like nutella to lush cakes. We spent a few minutes just looking around before making our selection – a buttery shortbread tart filled with toasted almonds which was remarkable to go with our coffees. I am actually thinking about replacing a homemade dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner this year with that almond yumminess!


We had a lovely evening out but at that point had to get home to relive our babysitter. I hope you get a chance to visit Taberna de Haro, and even the french bakery sometime soon.


If you plan to make the trip there, here are a few helpful tips:

          They do not take reservations but you can call-ahead (even days ahead) to have your name put on a list for a shorter wait once you arrive.

          If you are driving, you’ll have to park on the street. Sometimes you get lucky if your timing is right and you’ll get a spot right away as we did last time. But often you’ll have to circle around to find a spot. So give yourself some extra time in particular on a weekend night or when there is a game at Fenway. If you are taking the T, they are at the St Mary’s stop on the Green line, C train.  


If you go, let me know what you think!



Helpful link:

          Not sure what tapas are? Check out Wikipedia

October 27, 2008 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

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