Bewildered by the bayong? Timid about our tampipi? While a CSA subscription is a gateway to creativity in the kitchen for some, it’s a nerve-wracking adventure for others. Your weekly farm share need not turn into a farm scare. It’s like muscle that we can develop with each weekly subscription. Here are a few tips to build your CSA confidence!
1. Get your gulay bearings. Check out our gulay board every week so you’ll have a sense of what you’ll have come delivery day. When your subscription arrives, lay them out on your kitchen counter or dining table and group them according to leafies, hearties, roots, fruits, aromatics, etc. Take out your pen and paper and plan your weekly menu.
2. Proper storage prevents spoilage. Loosely wrap your leafies in a kitchen towel, and store them inside the fridge. Freeze your herbs in ice cube trays. Leave roots on the counter along with unripe fruits you want to ripen. Garlic, ginger, onions, turmeric, and tomatoes are stored better outside the fridge. Those that you want to stay crisp belong inside. Don’t wash or pre-cut anything until you’re ready to use them.
3. Make the freezer your friend. Root crops like kamote, potatoes, beets, cassava, and gabi freeze well. Wash and scrub them clean, steam them, let cool, peel, cut into chunks and store them in the freezer in portions until you’re ready to use them in soups, stews, curries, muffins, breads, etc.
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff—stir-fry it! Stir-frying is a fast and easy way to turn a lot of your tampipi contents into something tasty. The key to a great stir-fry is getting everything ready beforehand because it’s over literally in minutes. Cut all your vegetables into bite-sized pieces and roughly the same size, so they cook all at the same time. Make sure your pan is hot and cook using oil with a high smoke point–we want caramelization. And keep things moving: use your wooden spoon or pan-toss like a boss.
5. Or adobo. Don’t know what to do? We’re sure we can adobo that. We’ve done beets adobo, radish adobo, garden adobo, broccoli adobo, adobong talong, adobong sitaw, kale adobo…you get the picture.
6. Flex your fermentation skills. It’s an ancient food preservation technique that also boosts your food’s flavor and nutrient content. It wouldn’t have survived millennia if it weren’t so easy and effective. Check out our tutorial here. Want baby steps? Try making quick pickles.
7. Make superb soup stock. You never have to be without excellent stock for your soups. CSAs offer a diversity of produce, and as you use each one, save the vegetable trimmings in a tub in a freezer. Once you have 3 to 4 cups’ worth of veggie odds and ends, throw it into a pot with just enough water to cover everything, some aromatics, salt and peppercorns, let it boil for 45 minutes to an hour, and reduce and concentrate in color and flavor.
8. Once in a while, take yourself out of your comfort zone. A CSA tampipi is a great way to get to know produce you won’t normally buy—and you might like the surprise. Subscriber and co-producer Rochelle captures it well, “While not really being able to choose exactly what I’d get may seem like a disadvantage at first, it actually taught me to be more creative and explore what I can do with whatever comes.” Chingbee adds, “It took a Good Food subscription for me to discover little pleasures I now refuse to live without, like roasted beets and banana heart burger patties. I am a creature of habit and would have maintained a diet without beets and banana heart in it, if not for the weekly adventure in produce delivered to me in a small tampipi.”
Ready for some kitchen adventure? We’re sure these techniques will help you turn out delicious meals and avoid food waste every time. Try out a tampipi for a week by clicking here.