Farm Share Bingo

If you want to increase your mindfulness, join a CSA. A highlight of my summer is the weekly mystery bounty from our farm share or CSA (community supported agriculture).

We have participated in the First Root Farm CSA for several years and I always enjoy arriving for pickup on Tuesdays to discover what my share of the week's harvest will be. I think of this weekly adventure as farm share bingo...a root vegetable or two unused from the previous week pairs perfectly with something from this week's share, along with pantry items at home...and BINGO!

Beets, carrots, baby lettuces and spicy greens from our farm share came together with a couple of apples and a can of pineapple from the pantry into Glowing Salad this week (from my collection of favorite recipes from Debra's Natural Gourmet)'s as pretty as it is delicious! BINGO!

Tomato Pie: Love at First Bite

More mindful culinary musing....Until two years ago, I had never heard of a tomato pie much less tasted one. Then my sister, Hilary Gould, shared a recipe with me for Tomato Pie, a southern delicacy. Since I had an abundance of heirloom tomatoes from our local CSA farm, I gave the recipe a try. It was LOVE at first sight and first bite. Tomato Pie has become a late summer favorite in my house and hope it will in yours....Enjoy!

Hilary's Heirloom Tomato Pie

 1 unbaked pie crust
3/4 cup plus manchego cheese (shredded)
2T EVOL(extra virgin olive oil)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 1/4 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes
Kosher salt
3/4 c mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1/4 c mayonnaise
3T breadcrumbs
3T chopped chives
3T chopped parsley
1t chopped fresh thyme
Ground pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees 
  • Heat 1T  EVOL over medium heat, add onion and cook, stirring until golden -- cool
  • Thinly slice tomatoes, toss with 1t kosher salt, place in colander and let drain for approx 30 min
  • Combine 3/4 c manchego, mozzarella, mayo, breadcrumbs, 2T chives and 2T parsley, thyme, 1/4 t kosher salt, 1/4 t pepper and the sautéed onion in a bowl.
  • Spread mixture in unbaked pie crust 
  • Arrange the tomatoes on top
  • Drizzle with the remaining 1T EVOL and season with pepper. 
  • Bake until the tomatoes are browned (about 50 min).
  • Top with the remaining 1T each of chives and parsley

In Praise of the August Tomato

Hallelujah!, yellow and green weekly pickup at First Root Farm, our local CSA (community supported agriculture) farm in Concord, MA, yielded a rainbow of August tomatoes today. This has been a hard year for our finicky tomato friends, too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry, falling victim to fungi and hornworms; so these August jewels seemed even more precious as I carried them home.  Each year I am reminded that freshly picked August tomatoes, still warm from the sun, taste like nothing else in the world.  I sliced the tomatoes, tossed them gently with fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil and a touch of freshly ground black pepper. The epitome of a mindful moment; all five senses heightened.  I am again reminded that life is delicious.

Mindfulness in the Form of Peas

Mindfulness comes in many forms and for me, today, it came in the form of peas. Let me explain. This is the first year that my family and I have been involved in a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, thanks to our friends Cindy and Jim. I am not and have never been a vegetable gardener; the produce aisle at my local grocery and an occasional farmer's market have always been fine with me. So, I was a bit concerned that our foray into weekly vegetable pickups from the CSA would be just another thing to add to an already very full to-do list; but I was mistaken.

My weekly pickups have instilled more mindfulness in my Thursdays. I don't know what types of veggies we will be having for dinner until I actually pick them up. Without the pre-planning and future thinking of making lists of specific ingredients for an intended recipe, I have become accustomed to the surprise of picking up whatever has been harvested that day and enjoying the adventure of the present moment by combining often disparate ingredients into something simple but often delicious.
I have become mindful of the complex flavors of the multiple varieties of greens, have experienced the curiously intense flavor of freshly harvested fennel, and gained a new appreciation for the labor involved in picking and shelling enough peas to feed a family. Today as I ventured out to pick some fresh peas off the vines at First Root Farm, I recognized this new form of summer mindfulness meditation in my life; stopping in the middle of a busy day with many pressing deadlines and simply choosing and picking ripe, plump peas for the dinner table; no way to hurry up the process, just simply going with the rhythm of nature with a curious and open mind. I am not sure what next week's bounty will be, but these peas look incredible in this moment.