The Reckoning

Here’s what we bought recently:

From the Pioneer:

  • daikon (not jicama, as Phil previously stated, that went in the carrot salad)
  • baby red potatoes
  • cilantro
  • limes
  • jalepenos
  • plaintains (updated, I forgot about these)
  • tonic water
  • Total: $9.53

From Trader Joe’s and Chinatown:

  • tofu (2): 3.58
  • carrots: .50
  • small bag of almonds: .99
  • cauliflower: 1.50
  • baguette: 1.99
  • whipping cream: $1
  • Total: $9.56

GRAND TOTAL: $19.09 – $26.19 = $7.10 left for the week

Sandwich Party

Having some good friends over to dinner last night and not wanting our oven to contribute any more than necessary to the humid funk of Brooklyn (and thus our apartment), we decided on a make you own Bahn Mi night.

Bahn Mi Spread

Heaped on top of fresh French bread, we had:

mounds of cilantro
baked tofu (marinated in soy, vinegar, garlic – so much for not using the oven)
Korean water spinach (sauteed in olive oil, with soy sauce, lime juice and Sriracha)
raw carrot and jicama slaw
thinly sliced raw jalapenos
homemade almond pate (Tina will have to post a recipe for this later – it was delicious)
Sriracha and Japanese mayo

As a result:

Bahn Mi

We also sauteed some cauliflower with black sesame seeds, then let it chill in the fridge. Then I mixed the leftover liquid (cooked down substantially) from cooking the spinach with some tahini to make an ad hoc sesame dipping sauce, which turned out great.

For dessert, Tina made a puree out of some super-ripe bananas she got on the cheap and then stuck in the freezer a few days ago, then topped it with homemade whipped cream and some peaches and mangos provided by our guests.

We had to pick up a few things for this meal – the bread, obviously, plus the jicama, cilantro, and some other veggies. Receipt reckoning will be forthcoming – never fear, we are still under budget with the help of our free CSA bounty.

Sometimes We Get Lucky

Our friends are off on their well deserved honeymoon and asked us if we would like to pick up their partial CSA in Crown Heights, of course we said YES!

To supplement our tummies, we got:

1 bunch Ong Choy Chinese water spinach
1 pound fingerling potatoes
1 bunch Tatsoi greens
1 pound beans
1 pound baby summer squash
1 head Red oak lettuce

Nice.  Tonight we had a salad with some of the red oak lettuce, some celery from a week or two ago and cranberries.  Phil made an awesome tahini dressing.  We also cut the fingerling potatoes into wedges and roasted them with a bit of olive oil, rosemary from our herb garden and S&P and then had sandwiches with some bits of cheese left in the fridge and chickpea patties that I made last week and froze (thawed in the microwave and then baked alongside the potatoes).  A lovely summer meal.

I know we’ve been lazy about posting pictures.  I blame it on the heat.  That will change.

Bought today:

  • ketchup: $1
  • bread: $1 (2 WW rolls)
  • eggs: $1.25 (on sale at our local supermarket)

Total: $3.25-$26.19=$22.94 left for the week

Money Spent Today

We’re having a friend over for dinner tonight in exchange for some help with our kitchen shelves.  Since we don’t want her to swelter in our kitchen, we decided to try and make things that didn’t require the oven or stovetop.  We’re serving mujadara – caramelizing the onions in the slow cooker and cooking the brown rice and lentils in our rice cooker.  We’ll use the toaster oven to heat up the pita a bit and I made a shredded carrot salad with za’taar and a simple cucumber salad that I’ll toss with a bit of tahini.   Dessert will be rosewater ice cream (I’m experimenting by using vanilla pudding mix, condensed milk and soy milk with rosewater essence so I don’t have to create a cooked ice cream base) and some whipped cream (made with leftover heavy cream from last week).

  • Onions: $1.50
  • Brown rice: $1
  • Pita bread: $1
  • Condensed milk: $1
  • Carrots: $.50
  • Bananas: $1
  • Pudding mix (I know, it’s an experiment): $.50

Total: $6.50 – $32.69 = $26.19 left for the week

Money Updates

We were out of town for the weekend, so our apologies for the lack of activity.  I did want to make note that we spent some more money last week (and will be spending more money later today).

  • Condensed milk: $1
  • Heavy cream: $1.50 (I made beer ice cream with the above ingredients, following this recipe loosely, and a Double Black Stout procured from our visit to the Red Hook Brewery a few weeks ago)
  • Trader Joe’s Arugula: $1.99
  • Trailmix: $1.38
  • Cheeses: $4.82 (I got a goat and a hard English cheese from the Coop for a dinner party)
  • Total: $10.69

Total for last week: $10.69 + $16.62=$27.31

Money leftover for this week: $2.69 (good, we need to buy ketchup)

A Plug

If you happen to have checked out our about page, you might have noticed that I write (or rather, co-write) another blog – Enclosure of the Commons, which deals with resource privatization – everything from copyright issues to water rights (a better topic summary can be found here).

In general, the material here hasn’t overlapped too much with the material over there, so I haven’t posted anything about the other blog. In the past week, however, we’ve put up a couple posts having to do with food. One was about the issue of genetically modified crops and the other was about indigenous Peruvians’ claims on the potato.

In both these posts, our focus is on issues of private ownership and public access to resources, but since at least some portion of our readership seems to be interested in the politics/ethics of food production, I thought it might be of interest. Also, we don’t claim any particular expertise on many of the topics we want to cover (this is, after all, the internet), so we are very much open to comments and questions and constructive argument.

If this sounds (vaguely) intriguing, pop on over.

Polenta with Lots of Stuff


This what-do-we-have-in-the-fridge special turned out really well. Most especially, we would never have thought to add avocado on top of a polenta, but if we had waited another day, the avocado would have gone to waste, so we chucked it on top. Happy accident. This dish should really be called Polenta with Veggie Turkey, Squash, Garlic Scapes, Avocado, and Ricotta Salata, but since that’s a bit unwieldy, let’s call it:

Polenta alla Refrigerator
2 cup corn meal
1 package veggie ground turkey
2 patty pan squashes, cubed
3 or 4 garlic scapes, chopped
1 1 avocado, cubed
ricotta salata, cubed
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
olive oil
1 Tbsp cumin
crushed red pepper
salt and pepper

1. Use the corn meal to make polenta (sorta like this, but mine didn’t take nearly 20 minutes). I added butter and salt for a richer polenta – you could also use a little cheese, but not the ricotta salata – it won’t melt.

2. In a skillet, sautee the squash and scapes in some olive oil, adding the cumin, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. After they start to brown, add in the veggie turkey, mixing it all thoroughly.

3. Serve the turkey mixure over the polenta, topping with cubes of avocado and cheese. Easy.

This Week’s Receipt

This week’s receipt is pretty small because we got some veggies from my mom’s garden and we’re outta here for the weekend.

7.20.09 coop receipt

I also bought a few things from Jack’s and our local supermarket.

  • Yves veggie meatballs: $1
  • Yves ground “turkey”: $1
  • Pasta: $1
  • Bread: $1
  • Total: $4

Grand total for the week so far: $16.62

Got Me a Squash, It Seats About 20

After all the June rain, Tina’s mom’s garden has gone into overdrive. She came back from a visit today with more collards, some lettuce, a few cukes, and a series of mutant zucchini. Submitted for your perusal:



One is going to be made into zucchini bread for sure, but we’re not sure what to do with the other two.

Lime Cookies

Phil made these for an impromtu picnic we went on the other day and they are an excellent summer cookie!  I bet they would be even better made with key limes, but we just had a couple of limes in the back of our fridge to use up.


Lime Cookies


1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or AP if that’s what you’ve got)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 (or more) teaspoons lime zest, grated or chopped finely
confectioners’ sugar for decoration (optional, these are plenty sweet) & more lime juice (optional)

To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or use silpat liners.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in lime juice and lime zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix this the wet mixture until combined.
  4. Form dough into small balls, place on cookie sheet and flatten a bit with your hands or the bottom of a glass.
  5. Bake 10 minutes in the preheated oven or until they are golden colored on top.
  6. Place cookies on a cooling rack and sift confectioners’ sugar over cookies if desired. Another option is to mix the powdered sugar with a bit of lime juice to make a paste and then smooth that over the cookies. When it cools down, it will form a sugar-lime shell over the cookie.