Monday, July 30, 2012

Diligence!

I am making a concerted effort to be more diligent about using up all of my veggies--especially lettuces and lettuce-like leaves of various kinds!  Since neither Bill nor Heather eat these raw leafy things, it is up to me-- there is a lot of it and I fell behind a couple of weeks ago and did not get it all eaten in time.  This bugs me a lot because I HATE to see food wasted--especially really wonderful food like these beautiful lettuces and other veggies.  I am determined to not waste any more of it, no matter how much salad I have to eat!

We got lots of lettuce greens and arugula at our farm share pick-up last week and today I brought home a giant head of lettuce and a big bag of lettuce leaves that came to the food bank from a local farm.  Lots of leafy stuff coming through the food bank most days and no shortage of summer squash, either!  Anyway, we did our farm share pick-up on Friday and I have been eating salad each day since then.  I made some oil and balsamic vinegar dressing so I have a big jar in the fridge.  I fill my bowl with leaves and then throw in whatever else is there--carrots, radishes, scallions, cucumbers, Parmesan cheese--then I drizzle with the dressing.  I often marvel at how simple it is and yet how delicious.

Today Bill met me at the food bank when my shift was over.  They were cooking chicken in the soup kitchen.  Anyone can eat there, but volunteers are welcome to get a tray and get their lunch and sit back at the table in the food bank, so we did that. The pieces of chicken we had were huge and by the time we ate our corn on the cob and salad neither of us could finish our chicken, so I grabbed a bag and we brought the rest home.  It will go into salad for lunch tomorrow!

I made some pesto this afternoon and I had some cooked brown rice in the fridge.  I decided to make the rest of our supper early this afternoon since I was in the kitchen anyway.  I had a couple of zucchini and a Japanese eggplant from the farm, so I chopped those up and added a yellow summer squash, an onion, and a red bell pepper. I also browned some extra lean ground turkey breast and tossed all of that together.  It was nice to just throw together salad (no lettuce in Bill's!) and heat up the rest of it before tossing with pesto.  There are leftovers, of course.  I will need to cook more rice, which I will do Wednesday and then we can eat what is left from tonight's supper on Thursday.  I will be cooking in the soup kitchen that morning, so it will be good to have an easy supper ready to heat up! 

Tomorrow I will be freezing some chard and some spinach.  I will get some green beans into the freezer within the next couple of days as well--we picked them in the U-pick field at the farm.  Brought home a few broccoli stalks, too, so I will probably just add them to the bag I have in the freezer.  They'll be great in soups this winter.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

148 Meals Today

Cooked in the soup kitchen today.  I made a Spanish rice kind of dish by sauteeing onions and peppers in a little oil, adding garlic and chili powders and then mixing in some cooked white rice and tomato sauce.  My co-worker grilled strips of steak and onions.  We had lots of food--even though we served 148 meals (105 firsts and 43 seconds, I think) today, we still had a lot left.  This turned out to be good news because one of my other co-workers was bringing a meal to the local homeless shelter, so she brought the leftover meat and a big pan of rice.  The rest of the rice went into the food pantry cooler for distribution to clients tomorrow.  It is always an interesting experience when I cook in the soup kitchen.  I am not used to cooking for so many people and am always afraid of running out of food.  There are cans of chili, hot dogs, and peanut butter and jelly ready for emergencies, though, and I have not run out of food yet, so that's good.  I also end up cooking stuff I do not eat or cook at home.  I can't eat beef, because it causes me all kinds of health problems.  It would probably be OK if I had a taste once a week or so in the soup kitchen, but the truth is, I haven't eaten it in so long that the taste turns my stomach.  When I first started I was worried about the smell, too, but that has not bothered me at all.  The other thing I worry about is getting everything ready on time.  I start preparing at 8:30 and the doors open at 11.  So far I have been able to manage to get people fed as soon as they come in the door!  Then there is portion size--I am getting better at this.  At home I will hand Bill a plate of food and he will remind me that he is "not an army."  Yes.  I am my grandmother's granddaughter after all.  This is a woman who would look at a platter heaped with food and exhort people to "just finish it up" because "there's just a little left."  My natural inclination to give people lots of food won't work in the soup kitchen.  I would run out of food and probably too much would be wasted.  I remind myself that people can ask for seconds if they want more.  I like the fact that this work provides me with some creative challenges as I decide what to cook based on what is available and what can be prepared in the time allotted.  I have met some great people.  And I am constantly amazed, whether in the food bank or the soup kitchen, how there seems to be a kind of organized chaos when we begin the food preparation, which gives way to methodically attending to the task at hand, and then there is that moment when I look up and take a breath as I realize that we've done it again.  The food is in the pantry waiting for clients or it is in the ovens and steam tables waiting to be plated.  I come home from the soup kitchen feeling that good tired feeling that comes from knowing I spent my time doing something useful.

Tonight's supper was pretty quick.  I sliced some onion, zucchini, and a couple of jalapenos, sauteed them in a little olive oil, and added garlic, black pepper, and oregano.  I sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top.  We had this with frozen salmon burgers, which we stocked up on when they were on sale last week.  Wild Pacific salmon is fairly expensive here, so these are pretty cost-effective when they're on sale.

We were going to pick up our farm share on Tuesday, but there was a thunderstorm at the time we usually go and later on neither of us felt like going out, so we will go tomorrow instead.  Could be more storms, but hopefully they will either hold off or take a break long enough for us to head into the U-pick field!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Soup Kitchen Improv

This morning I went to the soup kitchen a little before 8:30 prepared to start cooking ground beef.  I was actually scheduled to go in yesterday and help the cook, but the coordinator asked me if I could switch to today, since her substitute cook had to cancel, so today it was.  It was just as well because I spent most of the day yesterday trying to get my hypoglycemia under control, which did not happen until last night.  I still felt a little weird this morning, but knew that I'd be fine after a while.  Still, I was not really looking forward to that ground beef--I do not eat beef, nor do I care for the smell of it cooking very much.  So it was with some relief that I heard the news that the plan was changed due to an unexpected donation of 135 sandwiches yesterday afternoon.  There were also some potato chunks left from the preparation of the chowder that was served yesterday--about enough to fill a big pan.  So we quickly agreed on roasted potatoes as an accompaniment to the sandwiches.  Then Annette asked me if I wanted to cook some zucchini--there were totes full of it in the cooler.  I said I might as well use some of them, so my helpers got to work cutting up more potatoes and slicing zucchini.  I sliced some onions.  I sauteed zucchini and onion slices in a little oil and then added garlic, oregano, and basil.  I left them a little undercooked because they had to sit in the oven to keep warm.  I knew this would make them soggier than I really like--I like my veggies to be al dente.  About 20 minutes before I took the first pan out of the oven and put it in the steam table, I added Parmesan cheese to all the pans and stirred it in.  The potatoes got drizzled with oil and had garlic, black pepper, and oregano added (I had a big jar of oregano and part of a little jar of basil, so I skipped the basil on the potatoes).  We served 110 meals today and people were raving about that zucchini--I served several second helpings of just potatoes and zucchini and some of just zucchini.  I only had a quart of zucchini and 3 quarts of potatoes left, but we had a lot of sandwiches left--the leftovers went to the food pantry for distribution to clients.  Go figure!  I thought the sandwiches would be gobbled up and the zucchini would be disliked because of the sog factor.  I was wrong.  I was glad to be wrong, too!  People came up to the serving counter to tell me how much they liked it or to ask how I made it.  It made me happy to know that they had eaten a lunch that they enjoyed so much.  Once again we have the local farmers who donated the totes of beautiful zucchini to thank.  Their donations combined with the work of the soup kitchen coordinator and all of the people who worked with me in the kitchen today meant that almost 100 people got to eat a nice healthy meal.  How great is that?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Greens Demo and Nicki's Garden

This afternoon, my friend, Nicki, stopped by with some herbs and veggies from her garden, plus bean soup, applesauce, and pickles.  She brought French breakfast radishes (I remember growing these in Klamath Falls--we had so many radishes!), zucchini, crookneck squash, lettuce, and this beautiful bunch of cilantro.
I do love cilantro.  Up until a few years ago, I hated it. Go figure. Anyway, I think that we will have fish tostadas tomorrow night so we can use some of the cilantro--and probably some zucchini, too. Soup and salad for lunch!

 I have some peas, cauliflower, spinach, and chard that I need to get into the freezer. That will be a task for tomorrow.

This morning I did my greens demo at the food pantry.  It really was not a good day for it. It was too hot. The computers and copy machine conspired to prevent my handout from being printed/copied. And there just were not that many people there. I did have some good conversations with people about freezing/cooking/preparing greens. I talked socks with one client who wanted me to give her my sock pattern. I quite enjoyed the chard and strawberry salad with oil and balsamic vinegar. We had some colcannon for supper. I was not in love with the kale chips. Some people liked them, some did not. Below is the handout that wasn't!

GREAT GREENS!
Greens are very versatile. Many can be eaten cooked or raw. If the stems are thick and woody, as with some kale, remove them. Otherwise you can use the stems and the leaves of greens like bok choy and chard. Spinach and chard are great instead of lettuce in wraps and sandwiches.
FREEZING
Greens can be frozen for later use—I love to use them in soups in the winter and I make sure to have a stash in the freezer for this. Simply chop your greens roughly (I remove the stems from chard and beet greens and save them to use in salads) and plop into boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and run cold water over them. Squeeze out excess water, place in bag or container and freeze.
SALADS
Spinach and chard are great to use in salads. Tear the leaves if they are too large. You can add fruit, like mandarin oranges or strawberries, or add some chopped or grape tomatoes. Either way some sliced red onion is a good addition. If you use tomatoes, add some bacon or ham, if you want. Toss with a little oil and vinegar dressing (¼ cup oil and 1/8 cup vinegar)

RICE BAKE
Here is a way to use what greens you have. I always make a lot of this at once because it is good hot or cold and is portable, so it's easy to take for lunches or on picnics. It is very accommodating, so exact measurements are not necessary, and you can use what you have on hand, but here are general guidelines for how I have made this in the past—if your amounts are not exactly the same, don't worry about it. Cut the amounts roughly in half to make one 8 inch square pan or a pie plate.
--3 1/2- 4 cups of cooked white or brown rice--place in bowl.
--Chop an onion and saute in a little oil
--Chop greens (chard, kale, bok choy are good in this). 
--When onions are just about brown, turn off heat and add greens, stirring until they wilt. 
--Add to rice with herbs/spices of your choice.  This time I used garlic powder, chili powder, and oregano.
--Add grated or cubed cheese.  This time I used about 1 1/2 cups of a mix of extra sharp cheddar and hot habanero (very little of this as it has lots of heat).
--Lightly beat eggs--I used 8.
Mix everything well and pour into greased pans.  I used an 8 inch square pan and a 9 inch pie plate this time, but I could just as easily have used two pie plates.  If you use a 9 by 13, cooking time may be longer.  Bake at 400 or 425 for 30-40 minutes or until browned and set. 
--Cut into squares/wedges and serve..
COLCANNON
Scrub potatoes (peel if desired, but I almost always scrub well and leave the skins on) and cut into pieces. Place in pot, cover with water, boil until tender. Drain and mash with a fork or masher or whip with electric mixer. Add some oil to a pan, add chopped onion and cabbage, kale, or chard. Sprinkle with black pepper and garlic powder. Saute until cooked to desired doneness--I like my cabbage to still be a little crisp, so I don't cook it to the mush stage. Pour the cabbage mixture into the potatoes and stir to blend. Add some cooked bacon or chopped ham, if desired.



KALE CHIPS
(from allrecipes.com, submitted by Lucy del Ray)
Remove thick, tough stems from a bunch of kale and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with salt or seasoned salt. Place pieces on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes. You want the edges to be brown, but not burnt. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired, partway through the cooking time.


EGGS
Greens work very well with eggs. You can saute some chopped greens and onion in a little oil and then add some beaten eggs. Scramble everything together. Top with a little shredded cheese, if desired. Or make an omelet and top with the sauteed greens. You can also top poached, over easy, or fried eggs with the sauteed greens and onions—put it all on a piece of bread for an open-faced sandwich. Top with cheese.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Starting to Heat Up!

I know that we are not yet in peak harvest season here in Midcoast Maine, but we are certainly headed in that direction!  A few weeks ago at the food bank we were getting bags of the most beautiful heads of lettuce I have ever seen--it was donated by local farmers.  Then a little chard and kale started coming in.  This morning we had broccoli, lettuce, carrots, purple scallions, peas, kale, and chard. There was much lettuce mix, which we bagged and placed in the lobby for anyone to take. I left at about 11 and as I was leaving a tote of bok choy came in.  I went back at about 2 (once the food pantry closed) so I could pick up some potatoes and kale for the cooking demonstration I will be doing in the lobby on Wednesday and by then there were totes full of cucumbers and zucchini in the walk-in cooler!  This was all from local farms.  We still get daily deliveries from two local grocery stores and Target has started providing produce a couple of times a week.  I cannot imagine how crazy things will be in another month, but it'll be great!  I am so thrilled to live in a community where there are so many local farms and generous farmers!  Lots of people get access to some really high-quality, nutritious, truly beautiful food because of these farmers--even people who can't afford to pay for it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Odds 'n' Ends Slaw


I decided to use up some of the stuff that needed using in the refrigerator, so I made slaw.  I had about ¼ of a head of Napa (Chinese) cabbage, so I thinly sliced this into ribbons. I got down my food processor and put on the smaller grating blade and grated 3 small, peeled kohlrabi, 4 medium peeled carrots, and 3 peeled broccoli stalks. I mixed everything in a bowl and sprinkled about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar over everything and then added some dried cranberries. I topped this with orange vinaigrette and mixed everything together. I have some grilled chicken in the fridge and I will add some of that tonight when I eat this for supper.
I have a bag of broccoli stalks in my fridge. We had a kitchen garbage bag 2/3 full of broccoli heads come into the food bank from the farmers' market the other day.  It was the kind of broccoli with a big stalk.  We cut the heads (including some smaller stalks) into pieces and bagged them for the food pantry, but these stalks were destined for the pig bucket.  The idea of that much waste was too much for me to bear, so I tossed them back into the bag in which they came and brought them home.  I will have to peel, chop, blanch and freeze what's left and I will use it for soup and stir fry in the winter.  I know that many people do not like to use the stalks, but I like them, so I am happy to use food that would otherwise be wasted.  The pigs won't miss them, either--they get quite a variety of food from us and plenty of it!

I had an email just now which apparently contained a recipe for "happy roast chicken."  I wonder if the chicken might be happier of s/he wasn't roasted.  I guess that depends on what kind of a farm it came from.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Crazy!

It was a crazy week that is coming to an end!  On Monday and Wednesday I worked my usual shifts at the food bank.  Both days were busy as lots of food came in from the grocery stores and the farmers' markets.  On Tuesday, we went and picked up our farm share and it was our first week doing u-pick. 

We cut some flowers and picked some peas.  I cut some rosemary, too.  This I bundled and hung in the kitchen window to dry. 

Earlier that morning I had taken down my bundles of oregano that were drying there and crumbled the leaves into a container. 
Also in our farm share were lettuce mix, radicchio, a head of lettuce, broccoli, beets (with greens), and cucumbers. 

Later on we went to the MCHPP parking lot to work at the food mobile.  A big truck full of food comes from the regional food bank and things get distributed.  There is no eligibility requirement--people show up, are given a number and walk around and get food.  There is usually some produce, canned and boxed goods and various kinds of meat.  Bill and I worked with two other people at the meat station.  The truck is there for two hours.  This time almost 210 people came through.

On Wednesday after my return from the food bank, I was surprised by the delivery of an air conditioner a friend had bought for me! Then I blanched the beet greens and got them in the freezer and I cooked the beets--I like them best cold.

On Thursday we went and delivered food boxes to the elders.  We barbecued in anticipation of the hot, humid, bad-air-quality weekend to come and then we got our air conditioner up and running.  I made a broccoli/potato/pesto salad this morning, using the broccoli we got from the farm, some of the barbecued chicken, an onion, and some basil/garlic scape/chive pesto I made earlier in the week.  It was a very peaceful day!  I spent most of it reading a book by an anthropologist who argues that we can trace many of the ills--physical, mental, societal--back to the moment in our evolutionary history (about 10,000 years ago) when humans started to engage in large scale agriculture.  I suppose that he may well be right, but since human culture never really does a rewind, I am not sure what good that information does us.  He admits that he does not expect us to go back to being hunter-gatherers, nor would this even be possible.  Still, he made some good points about the need for us to become more adaptable than we seem to be as a species now.  Anyway, making supper at 8 this morning left me the rest of the day free to do exactly what I felt like doing in any given moment.  I did not have to be anywhere.  This kind of day was just what I needed.  I was cool, comfortable, cozy, and very, very relaxed.  I needed that!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Growing New Celery from Old

A couple of weeks ago, my friend sent me a link on Facebook to a story about how to grow new plants from kitchen scraps.  They talked about scallions--plant the bottom with some of the white part and the roots and it will grow back.  I know this works, because I had some scallions and I tried it.  They said to put the ends of lemongrass stalks in water and they will root.  It just so happened that I had been in the food bank the day before and had brought home a couple of stalks of lemongrass that would not be able to be kept for the few days necessary, so I brought them home.  I had frozen them and discarded the ends--luckily, I was able to get them back and put them in water.  I think they may have been too old because I am not seeing any roots yet, but one end looks like it might be trying to push some little roots out.  I will wait a little longer!  The article also said that if you cut the end off a bunch of celery, you can place it in water and eventually it will grow a new celery plant.  I will admit to being a little skeptical.  I hardly ever buy celery because I am the only one who eats it, so usually when I do buy it for the Thanksgiving stuffing, I buy the individual stalks I need.  That means I never have a whole bunch, so I resolved to wait until it came through the food bank, where we cut off the end anyway and cut the stalks into sections that we can package in a zipper bag.  Bunches of celery are pretty rare, but on Monday we got one so I cut off the end and took it home.  I placed it in water and a day or two later I noticed the center was actually growing.  I took off a few of the outer ribs because they were getting yucky, and now the center is noticeably taller than it was yesterday.
I just think this is so cool!  Now I will be on the lookout for celery bunch ends :-)

I cooked in the soup kitchen today.  It was my first time being "in charge."  I was a little nervous about getting everything done on time, but I had a GREAT crew and we were ready with plenty of time to spare!  As it always is with me, I spent the time leading up to this new experience trying to remember everything I had to do and preparing contingency plans just in case (I am getting better at not doing this quite so much!) Then when I start doing whatever it is, I settle into a rhythm and just do it. One of the people helping in the kitchen and serving came up to me when everything was done and ordered me to sit down and have some water--she's a nurse.  I did as I was told and all the women chuckled about mothering me.  One woman told me that I was clearly very comfortable in a kitchen because I was so peaceful and I was making everyone else peaceful, too--LOL.  I also had someone ask me (not for the first time) if I am a cook. Maybe I missed my calling!  I have to say that every time I have worked in that kitchen I have had such a great time--the people who work in there are wonderful.  I was thinking about all of the people who work in the food bank, the food pantry, the soup kitchen, delivering food to the elders and in the administrative area of the operation as I was reading the book The Man Who Quit Money.  It was really more about his spiritual journey with the odd attention-getting hook being the money thing.  I enjoyed the book a lot and noticed how much this guy has in common with me.  But one place we part company is in his insistence on not eating at soup kitchens or taking food from pantries because he says the food is not freely given, since people work for pay.  I will admit to being a little annoyed until I reminded myself that things may be different in the places he frequents.  I have to say that at MidCoast Hunger Prevention Program, there are a handful of people who get paid.  The vast majority of the work that happens there is done by people who are not getting paid, who give of themselves freely, and who see their job as not only feeding people, but in treating them respectfully and well.  And the people who do get paid are just as great as the people who don't.  Today there were people in the back processing food.  There were people in the food pantry, walking through with clients, helping them to select their food, and packing it up for them.  I was with my crew in the kitchen sweating to provide the 157 meals (sloppy joes, white and sweet potatoes, salad, fruit, and dessert) we served today (107 first helpings, 50 seconds, and about 7 containers left that went home with food pantry clients).  And the local farmers who donate food are also giving of themselves freely.  Brunswick is a great community!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Elders and Using the Kohlrabi Leaves

Today turned out to be slightly different than I thought it would be.  I was scheduled to help cook in the soup kitchen, but the coordinator asked if one of us on for today could switch to tomorrow, since she had a cancellation.  I said I would do it, so tomorrow the kitchen will be mine!  She had already planned on using ground beef, so I will make sloppy joes and add some onion, bell pepper, and corn--if they have this stuff available.  I am now trying to lock all the little details of what I have to do in my brain so I do not forget anything.  I will get there at about 8:30.  The doors open at 11, and people want their food, so I will have to be ready to dish it up!

Since I wasn't in the kitchen, I rode along with Bill to deliver food boxes to the elders.  It was a different route than the one we did last week and everyone was quite close to where we live, so we had no problems finding anyone this time.  One woman really wanted to talk so we stayed for a bit and chatted with her.  Another woman had boxes and stuff that she needed removed from her small apartment, so we took that stuff away for her.  We had to take it in stages--out her door and into the hall, then to the spot by the elevator, then into the elevator, off the elevator, into the little area between doors so we would not have to ring the buzzer, into the truck and finally to Salvation Army!  At least she has a little more room now.

Last week in our farm share we got some kohlrabi leaves.  I finally used them tonight by adding other veggies and making vegetable pancakes.  At the farm they said to use them like kale, so since I may never again have a bag of kohlrabi leaves to use, I could use kale next time.  We both liked them, but we both thought the addition of some hot pepper--either a chopped jalapeno or some crushed red pepper flakes--would have been a really good addition.  When I make these again, I will do that. I used a handful of garlic scapes, but you could use garlic powder instead.  I ate mine plain and topped Bill's with some chopped, cooked apple.  We ate the last of the barbecued stuff with these.


Potato Pancakes with Kohlrabi Leaves (or Kale)
Place your bunch of kohlrabi leaves (or kale) in the food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Run until leaves are very finely minced.  Add garlic scapes, if using, and process again.  Switch to grating blade and grate 3 medium or 2 large carrots, and either 2 large potatoes or 2 medium and 2 small.  I used scrubbed red potatoes with the skin on, but use whatever you like/have.  Put veggies in a bowl--if they are really wet, press down and drain some of the water off (I did not need to do this).  Add 1/3 cup flour (I used whole wheat) and 3 beaten eggs.  Add any herbs or spices you would like.  Add some black pepper.  Mix everything together.  Put a little oil in the bottom of a pan, place a couple of spoonfuls of the veggie mixture into the pan and shape into a circle with the spoon.  Cook 3 or 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.  How many pancakes you get will depend on how large you make them--I got 7.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Preparing, Preserving, and Pesto

Today I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen preparing food, preserving food, and making pesto.  I had some chard that I knew I probably would not be able to use right away, so I chopped it up, blanched it, cooled it quickly, squeezed it out and packed it in containers for the freezer.  Before blanching, I roughly chopped the leaves and I cut off the larger stems and saved them to chop up and use in the salads we had with supper (which consisted of a haddock and potato packet from the grilling we did over the weekend).

Next up was broccoli stems.  I am lucky to work my Monday food bank shifts with women who are as diligent about avoiding food waste as I am.  We talk about many things while we're working, and often the topic turns to cooking and food memories and stuff like that.  They are great people to work with!  Last Monday, one of the women was processing a lot of broccoli.  Usually when we get broccoli the larger stalks have already been removed, unless it is organic broccoli.  I do not know whether she had a bunch of that or stuff that came from the farmer's market, but wherever it came from, there were a lot of large stems.  We always cut up the broccoli, checking for any bad spots and removing them before placing them in quart-sized zipper bags.  When I am at home and I have the large stalks like that, I use them, but since many people do not, at the food bank we remove them.  So my co-worker, seeing a chance to save perfectly good food from the pig bucket, said she was going to take some home to make soup.  She asked me if I wanted some, so I took what she didn't want.  Today I peeled them and chopped half of them.  I blanched them, cooled them, and stuck them in the freezer.  I was thinking how nice it will be to pull this stuff out of the freezer and put it in my Crock-Pot for soup through the winter!  I shredded the rest of the peeled stalks along with a few carrots, added it to a bowl of chopped Napa cabbage, added 3 chopped fresh jalapenos and tossed it all with some lemon vinaigrette dressing that I had made in an empty (except for the stuff that clings to the sides) hot and spicy mustard jar.  I know what I will be having for lunch for the next several days.  I hard-boiled a few eggs that I can chop into the slaw and I have some provolone cheese I can put in too if I want to make it a complete meal.  I like having the container in the fridge and ready to go.

Finally, I made some pesto.  I used equal parts basil and garlic scapes (I did not measure this but I would guess that I had 3/4 of a cup or so altogether).  I put these into the food processor and ran it with the steel blade until they were chopped, then I added about 1/3 cup of walnut pieces plus a few more and ran it again until everything was chopped and mixed.  Then I put the lid back on and ran the machine on low while slowly pouring in about 1/3 cup of olive oil.  I placed this mixture into a container and added 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.  I mixed this well and placed in fridge where it will sit overnight for the flavors to blend.  I still have one small container of pesto from last summer in the freezer, but I came home from the food pantry with a lovely bunch of basil yesterday and I had the scapes in the fridge, so I did not have to think too hard about what I wanted to do with this stuff!