Monday, June 7, 2010

Little Commitments

Finally joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. Can I live in Madison, call myself a cook and not participate? Pishahhhh! Picked up my first share--a head of butter lettuce, baby mixed greens, spinach, potatoes (from last season), chives, radishes, salad turnips and rhubarb.

My pledge is to cook around my produce and use it all--down to the last green--every time. A no-brainer for many more enlightened Madisonians, I'm sure. Call me slow. I can deal with it. I have a grocery store addiction. I admit it. I love to go, list in hand, and load up my cart. When my children were babes and I left them home with their Dad, I'd cover every inch of the store slowly, luxuriously. Aisle by aisle, humming along to the Muzak, I'd read an entire label uninterrupted. Even before--in graduate school when money was non-existent--the grocery store was my temple. Purchasing a new spice meant celebration. How else do you attempt to make chicken liver (about all I could afford in the meat/poultry department) eatable? Experiment after experiment failed, however. Had I had a cat at the time, it would have been obese.

Anyway, as a CSA newbie, I vow to eat the most perishable produce first and to read and follow instructions meticulously.

Very perishable baby greens? Part of our first CSA supper. Leftovers stored with a dry paper towel in a plastic bag.

Spinach refrigerated as is in original plastic bag.

Butter lettuce bagged in plastic and refrigerated.

Radishes and turnips? Separated from their greens and stored separately. Didn't know radish greens were eatable. Sauteed them with turnip greens in a little olive oil with pine nuts and a splash of red wine vinegar and fresh ground pepper. Not bad.

Never had salad turnips, either. Ate those too with the baby greens with a mustard vinaigrette made with the chives. The chive blossoms went in a vase on the table as suggested.

The potatoes were easy--wedged and roasted with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. I don't usually store my potatoes in the fridge; however, I will from now on per my farmers' instructions.

Radishes. Not all that fond of radishes but I've been eating a lot of them--in salads, sandwiches, and yes, even stir-fried with other veggies.

The Rhubarb challenge is to use it in a way that doesn't instantly add 2 inches to each thigh and a third cheek to my backside. I'm thinking muffins or chutney.

I live a small, personal life--nothing large or influential about it. I find contentment in little commitments. So for right now it is healthy, tasty, local produce; less food waste; and support for "my" local farmers. Such a sacrifice....


  1. Love your style, Kim. I found your blog by way of Julie, and I check hers regularly. When I saw you had a new entry, I clicked! You must be a Vermont Valley member (I can tell by the list of goodies you received last week!). We've been members for 11 years now, and this year I'm working one morning a week out there in exchange for our share, but more to learn and learn some more. Keep writing, please; you're good at it and it's fun to read. Thank you! Hope to see you in the 'hood. Happy Summer!

  2. Thanks, Amy. Yes, we are Vermont Valley members. Glad to hear you've had such a good experience for so many years. Thursdays will be a lot of fun this summer.