Nouveau Cirque

 

Her life was a circus. So she decided to enjoy the ride.

 

 

 

 

 

Dress Pattern: Simplicity 3362 (1940). Fabric: novelty animal cotton & cream lace. Boots: Quipid.

CREDITS// Photos: unknown & Alex Allrich. Illustration: Simplicity.

Summer Fruit Salad

Summer fruit is amazing this year, so let’s put it to good use! Don’t expect this dish to last long; it will be gobbled up in the blink of an eye. These are the fruits I used this time around (see recipe below), but please add peaches, apricots, raspberries, banana– you can’t go wrong in my opinion unless you add melon. Let’s be real—melon is melon no matter how you try to dress it up. So let’s leave melon to be its own dish, and keep it out of this one!

Summer Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

1 16-ounce package strawberries
1 16-ounce package cherries
1 pint blueberries
1 pint black berries
1 nectarine
1 plum
1 pluot
1 mango
Mint leaves from 3 sprigs
Juice of 2 lemons
2 T honey

Directions:

Wash fruit and slice to desired size. Halve cherries carefully with a knife to remove pit, or de-pit with a cherry pitter. Add all fruits to large mixing bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over fruit and add honey and mint leaves (more or fewer to taste). Toss and serve.

* If you are looking for more of the dessert feel, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and serve with whipped cream.

Check out Lorelai’s CSA recommendations for great sources of fresh fruit if you don’t have a good farmer’s market nearby!

CREDITS// Article& Photos: Melissa Collins.

CSA With A Twist

Traveling allows a person to step into another world providing experience and perspective. While details turn into distant memories, food always seems to have a more vivid impact. I remember waking up early at my Uncle’s house in Greece to select breakfast from the market. There is nothing like fresh homemade bakery bread with Greek yogurt topped with fresh apricot – a meal I often try to replicate.

Cooking is another window into other cultures and I have often found that other countries have higher standards in farming. I am left less satisfied with supermarket produce but have ample time to drive an hour to the nearest farmstand/U-pick on a regular basis (though I proudly carry my frequent farmer card in my wallet just in case).

Community Supported Agriculture

My desire for farm fresh produce has been much easier in California over any other part of the country I have lived. CSA subscription popularity is on the rise making it easier and easier to have locally grown fruits and vegetables dropped right to your door.

My first attempt at a local CSA was nothing more than a fail. I split a CSA shipment with my S.O. and two roomates a few years back and still can’t get the taste of cauliflower out of my mouth. Our box contents were always the same week after week and we found ourselves drowning in our least favorite vegetables.

Farm Fresh To You

Then I discovered Farm Fresh To You, the CSA for the modern age. This service allows customization – not just how frequently you order but what each item is. The only requirement is that your cart when checking out is at least the cost of the original box you subscribe to. My S.O. and I now get fresh fruits and vegetables delivered spending an average of $26 per box. Their catalog selection has a wide variety of in season fruits and vegetables to try. There is also the ability to add on organic eggs, dairy, jams, chocolate, teas and other delicious goodies. Now my only issue is putting too many items in my cart. Farm Fresh To You was tremendously helpful with the low sugar challenge.

SPECIAL OFFER: Use code LZRE2339 and save $15 on your first box. Offer valid for new subscribers or those who have not received a delivery in 3 months.

Imperfect Produce

More recently, I tried a newer subscription service, Imperfect Produce. Much like Farm Fresh To You, it allows weekly customization of a traditional CSA but with an even greener twist – they are buying the “ugly produce” that would never make it to a grocery store and selling it discounted direct to the consumer. I have been spending anywhere from $18-$24 per box and getting an absurd amount of organic, seasonal produce. This concept is hard to beat especially since I have yet to see anything less than perfect in my box. We had one apricot that arrived split most likely in transit which made an excellent treat for my dogs.

SPECIAL OFFER: Use my referral link and save $10 on your first box. New customers only.

Personal Preference

While I prefer Imperfect Produce due to the impact it has on food waste and lower cost, both excel in quality. I have not had an issue with my order from either service. Farm Fresh To You is more efficient of having variety and consistency. If you have a specific craving or certain produce you want every week, you might not be happy with Imperfect Produce as they are often more of a wild card in what they are offering weekly. They also appear to sell out of items quicker. I plan on continuing to order weekly from Imperfect Produce and more monthly pantry restock through Farm Fresh To You.

DISCLAIMER: I was not given a free product or paid for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by any mentioned brands or companies, and/or its affiliates, in any way.
CREDITS// Article: Lorelai Birch. Photo borrowed from Roselie.