If you haven’t heard me mention Our Table Cooperative yet, then you’ve only known me for about two minutes. Others will tell you that I love this place and basically won’t shut up about it!
I am so excited to share that I am partnering with Our Table this September to help them celebrate membership month! I’ll be sharing my personal experience with Our Table (how we met and fell in love and are now going steady), and showing you what being a member of a co-op is all about and what it means to really own your food.
Our Table has challenged me to eat local this month using their on-farm grocery store for the majority of my grocery shopping. That makes it pretty easy since the store is mostly all Oregon-sourced organic foods anyways. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my favorite products and showing you how much fun this place is.
This challenge comes at an interesting time because I just revamped my budget and have a set amount for groceries each week that I need to stick to since groceries are where I tend to overspend. It will be interesting to see how local and organic shopping goes on a budget but I’m hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Obviously I won’t be emptying my kitchen and starting from scratch, that would be silly, but I will need to get creative and use items already in my freezer and pantry in order to make my budget stretch, but I’d be doing that no mater what grocery store I was using.
I’ll be sharing with you each week what came in our CSA share, as well as what I’m buying for the week’s groceries and how I plan to use them. This is going to be so fun!!
Speaking of CSA shares, those come on Thursdays and this is what we got this week:
- Rosencrantz Lettuce
- Sivan Charentais Melon
- Napoli Carrots
- Stocky Red Roaster & Jimmy Nardello Peppers
(if you’re lucky, the Nardello peppers will look like elf shoe, ha!)
I’m a big believer that sometimes the simplest ways to prepare foods can be the best, so of course I made a giant salad! I used the lettuce and the stocky peppers from the CSA along with some tomatoes, lemon cucumber, and zucchini that were all garden gifts from friends! And homemade Ranch because Ranch is everything (and always will be).
If I’m being honest, the reason I’m into simple is also because I have lost all kitchen skills I once had. Before we moved to this apartment in January, we spent two years in a smaller place with the tiniest galley kitchen. It was difficult to do much of anything in that kitchen and over time I just stopped trying and we ate a lot of take-out. Now that we have a decent kitchen again I’m feeling very awkward and clumsy and I question everything I do. For example, that head of lettuce, I actually wondered to myself if I was washing and chopping it correctly. So embarrassing!! Admitting the problem is the first step and I fully admit it and am working on getting my kitchen mojo back – all tips are welcome!
In addition to the CSA items, here is what I picked up at the grocery for eating and attempting to cook this week:
- Fuller Foods Serious Cheese Puffs… because cheesy puffs, duh
- Housemade Meat Sauce… this will be going over some meatballs currently in my freezer, and then those will be going on a bed of sweet potato noodles! (oops – got the sweet potatoes at the farm store but forgot to put them in the pic)
- Yellow Onion… this will be added to some chicken breast and red potatoes I already have which will then be covered in a delicious curry simmer sauce currently in my pantry from Trader Joe’s. I’ll also be using some onion with the elf shoe peppers from the CSA, roasting them up and then adding some fried eggs on top as a breakfast-for-dinner type meal. Already have some eggs in the fridge from the farm store and you should see those gorgeous bright orange yolks!
- Black Rockfish fillets… planning to use the melon from the CSA to make this grilled fish with spicy cantaloupe-cucumber salad ala Martha Stewart, but might dice the salad to make it more like a relish to go on the fish.
- Yellow Peaches… since it’s just Mr. Won’t Run and I, I’m looking into more cooking-for-two type recipes so I’m thinking little individual peach cobblers or something like that. Or just eating them straight up since they’re pretty much perfect as-is!
- Bread… this isn’t just any old bread you guys, it’s from Roman Candle Baking Co. and they deliver to Our Table on Fridays and Saturdays. The focaccia is unbelievable, but this is one of our favorites as well, except I can’t remember the name!!! It’s nutty and fruity and peppery and awesome. I’ll get the name for you next time because you’ll definitely be seeing me buy it again.
I’ll let you know next week how those meal ideas turned out, but if you want to know sooner just follow me on Instagram and I’ll post the greatness. Or maybe the sadness.
Another thing I love about Our Table… there’s almost always a chalk heart somewhere out front. It’s the little things.
Stay tuned… next time I’ll tell you all about how I discovered this gem in my own backyard and fell fast and hard in love!
(The fun legal disclosure: This September is membership month at Our Table and I’m partnering with them for a blog series sharing my co-op story and how they help me eat local. I am receiving a small discount on purchases I make, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. If I didn’t genuinely love this place I would not be telling you about it. Check out all my Our Table coverage here!)