What’s the term for a group of vegetables? We have a herd of cows, a flock of sheep, a murder of crows… but what do you call a bunch of vegetables? A bunch?
Either way, we got a lot of leeks this week in the CSA. I tried to chop and freeze them a few years ago, but I just didn’t get back to using them and they got freezer burn. I think I will put them into a quiche. Sound good. Maybe with bacon?
That’s a lot of leeks. A bunch of leeks? A bramble of leeks?
When talking with my non-– CSA friends about joining a CSA, one of the first concerns that comes up is, “how do you eat all of those vegetables?”
My answer? We don’t.
Sure, we do eat a good portion of these vegetables, or else we wouldn’t have joined the CSA. But, honestly, there’s a lot of things that still will turn bad in the bottom of our refrigerator. Arugula and red lettuce are common culprits. We don’t sweat it, we have a compost pile. The food isn’t “going to waste”, we’re making fertilizer for next year’s garden.
But only about 5% of our CSA box will go bad. That’s because I often anticipate foods that we might not eat, and I’ll either find a special recipe to use with that vegetable, like I did with the pesto and arugula. Alternatively, some of the foods we put away to eat in the winter. This week, we received a large head of broccoli. Broccoli is really easy to blanch and freeze, and we eat it all throughout the winter in different dishes like stirfry and garbage rice. I know that the value of that broccoli will be greater to me in November or March then it will be this week. So, into the freezer it goes.
Last, I know there’s some vegetables that we just don’t eat in our house. Eggplant is probably the best example. What I will do is leave the eggplant at the CSA pickup point. There’s often someone else there picking up their vegetables who might enjoy an eggplant which would otherwise just rot in my refrigerator. I also occasionally give away CSA vegetables to my friends and neighbors when we are really overwhelmed with too many vegetables.
So, when you look at these pictures and you think “how do you eat all of that?” We don’t. We have figured out how to cheat the CSA system so that we don’t have to eat all of those vegetables. But importantly we don’t let the vegetables go to waste.
I don’t hate cauliflower, but if don’t love it either. It seems to always be the leftovers from the crudités platter, or the bad cheese and cream soup, or mushy and over-cooked. So, this week it will be a challenge for us to eat an entire head. Our former CSA in Wisconsin didn’t grow cauliflower because it was too much of a hassle, and we didn’t get any in our box last year. So… I can roast it. What else?
Thanks to Sam for taking the pictures. We pickup on Tuesday nights when I am teaching. He’s masterfully taken over the responsibility of photographing and packing away the share in the fridge.
We got two new and exciting things in the CSA this week: Cucumbers and Russian red kale.
The Cucumbers are the bearer of good news – Summer is almost here. They’re the first “vegetable” that we get each season that really needs some sun to grow. The turnips, asparagus, radishes, and bok choi that we’ve got over the last few weeks are cool-weather crops.
The red Russian kale is a fad, I think. Is there some local restaurant that’s doing something fancy with this type of kale? What ever am I going to do with an entire bag?
This is the last week of vegetables from Cedar Circle. In the fall, Cedar Circle transitions to a pick up CSA model, where we would have to drive up to their farm every other week to pick up our vegetables. We decided the extra driving lessons so worth it, so we signed up with a different CSA for the fall/winter share.
I’m surprised to see we continue to get corn from the farm. There’s also a tiny little head of butter crisp lettuce, which I love to make into Thai style lettuce wraps.
Over the past few weeks, my kitchen has exploded with Veg. I thought it would be funny to do an inventory, instead of taking a picture of the CSA…
Top shelf: Grapes. Local eggs.
Middle shelf: Growler of beer from Harpoon. Kale, Bok Choi, 6 ears of sweet corn. 3 red heads of cabbage. 1 green head of cabbage. 1 quart homemade Sauerkraut.
Bottom Shelf: Radishes. 3/4 head of red cabbage. Pesto. 5 lbs carrots. 1 lb green beans. Celery. Cheese.
Left Drawer: Romaine lettuce. 3 cucumbers. 2 zucchini. 10 jalapinos.
Right drawer: 3 heads of lettuce. Arugula. Swiss Chard.
On the Counter:
Peck of local apples. 5 Carmen peppers to be pickled. 4 peaches. 2 sweet potatoes. a seedless watermelon.
Out on the kitchen table:
Cherry tomatoes. Garlic and onions. An avocado. Bosc Pears. Gala apples.
So this week marks an important transition between spring and summer. We didn’t get any lettuce in our CSA box this week. We also didn’t get any tomatoes in our CSA box. This is very disappointing. What it means is there’s no period of time when the tomatoes overlap with the lettuce allowing us to eat BLT sandwiches. I love BLTs. There is no sandwich, save a simple sandwich made with tomato and mayonnaise, that even rivals the BLT in my opinion.
I guess I’m going to have to get up tomorrow and go to the farmers market. Buy some tomatoes, and a head of lettuce, so we can eat BLTs at least once this year.