This year, Lovely Wife and I decided to join a CSA (Community Support Agriculture). It’s like a delicious stock market – you buy a share, give them your money, and between April and December, you get a cooler full of fresh, local, organic veggies every Saturday. While it’s a little pricey (we paid somewhere north of $1100 for the entire season), the opportunity to eat a great, diverse selection of fresh veg is something that’s worth the price. Plus, we’re getting stuff that I’ve never cooked with before, so that’s always good.
Now, let’s do a little mental math. Lovely Wife and I are two people. Sure, we like to eat, but we’re still two people.
And here’s what we got this week.
That would be…
- 2 heads of green romaine lettuce
- 2 heads of red romaine lettuce
- 4 heads of buttercrunch lettuce
- 2 bunches of kale
- 2 bunches of turnip greens
- 2 bunches of green spring onions
- 1 bunch of radishes
- 1 small container of basil
Two people. All of that. Perhaps we should have tried to find someone with whom to split our CSA share. This morning, while Lovely Wife has gone out running, I’ve tried to come up with some delicious ideas about what to do with all of this food. The list, so far, includes things such as: stir fries, BLT, chef salad, grilled romaine, kale chips, pork fat cooked greens, braised radishes, kale with garlic and bacon, and Caesar salad, just to name a few.
So every week, for the next 7-8 months, we’ll be getting a 48 qt. cooler full of fresh veggies. And any friends that may dare pass into our house will be subjected to whatever creations I can conjure using these ingredients.
Part of the reason of joining a CSA in the first place was to break us out of our culinary rut. Those that know us well know how much we love to cook and eat, but as schedules get busy, the opportunity to come up with new recipes and try new ingredients starts to slow. We go to the Happiest Place on Earth, pick up what we know we like, and go on. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s still a rut.
Now, I’ve got a bunch of stuff I don’t know what to do with immediately, and that’s good. We’re going to try new, delicious things, see what works, what doesn’t, and go from there. It’s almost like the bar I talked about earlier, with its ingredient challenge every week. I’ve got to use up the veg, because it’s going to go bad and wasting food sucks. So either I give it away or use it.
I’ll be keeping up all season with what we get in our cooler(s). I know we have cilantro to look forward to in the next few weeks, as well as cabbage, potatoes, and tomatoes down the line. We’ll always get weird bits, though, so I’m going to be dealing with new ways to conquer the mystery box every week. It’s like Chopped, but without the delightful Ted Allen.
If you’re in town, come by and see what we’re making. Invite yourself to dinner, please. If you’re not in town, feel free to suggest things I could do with my cooler ingredients.
Because otherwise, I’m just going to be puzzled and confused.