A couple of weeks ago when my friends and I were browsing the vendor booths at the 280 Boogie, I found a booth for a local farm that does a CSA program. If you have never heard of that (I only heard of it relatively recently), it stands for community supported agriculture. Basically I buy a share of the farm for the spring season and I get to pick up a bag of whatever fruits and veggies they have harvested each week. It supports a small local farm and I get fresh, in-season, local, organic produce for about the same price I would pay buying crap at the grocery store — maybe even a little cheaper. Everybody wins!
The only dodgy issue is that you can never be quite certain what you’ll get from week to week or how much. As a shareholder and stakeholder in the farm, I’m directly affected by the weather and the health of the crops. Of course on a more practical note, I don’t just get to pick and choose whatever I feel like — I take what I get and don’t complain!
So Tuesday I went to pick up my first bag of veggies from the Unitarian Fellowship where they’re distributed. I’d had to look the place up online, and I found it endlessly amusing that on the page of their website where the directions were posted, they had the heading “How to find us (physically).” Oh, tee hee, you funny Unitarians!
My veggies came in this reusable bag that I can take back next week, and inside was a letter from the farmer telling us all about what was in the bag, how things were going on the farm, and what to expect next week. I immediately got the feeling of being part of something when I read about how the crops were doing and what chores had been getting done on the farm — “my” farm, that I bought a teeny, tiny piece of!
In the bag I found a ton of pretty greens:
Spinach greens, spring onions, collard greens, and salad greens. I’ve been making tons of fresh salads with the mixed greens and have been throwing the spinach in everything (as is my usual — I always have a bag of spinach around for adding to, well, just about anything). The real stars of the show have been the collard greens, though. Despite growing up in the South, I have never really made collards nor did I grow up eating them (my Californian parents introduced me to avocados, artichokes, and jicama, but not collard greens). I’ve made them once or twice before, but never with any great success.
These, though, turned out great! I sauteed a little garlic and a diced yellow onion in a bit of olive oil, added the greens (I tore the leaves away from the stems & central “spines” first) and about a cup of veggie broth, seasoned with red pepper flakes and a little cayenne pepper, let them simmer for a while, and that was that.
I had them with some sweet potato oven fries and a link of Field Roast sausage, which is both the best fake meat product I have ever had and the best sausage I have ever had, real or fake, period.
It was awesome.
Lest you think I am getting too smug about my organic home cooking, however, please allow me to tell you what I ate for dinner last night: a bit of a hummus & crackers appetizer and about 600 calories worth of alcoholic beverages. Yes, that’s right; I went out for happy hour and stayed out for more happy hours, which were very happy indeed, but then I came home and never ate dinner at all. Definitely failed on the nutrition there! And now I am off to redeem myself by sweating it out at body pump class.
But tell me, what is the best thing you’ve had to eat recently?
I made coconut chicken earlier in the week, and then decided to make it again last night for my parents. They really liked it, including my dad, who is pretty careful about what he eats.
Here’s the recipe, in case you’re interested: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/34876360/ns/today-today_food_and_wine/from/ET
I don’t do the salsa; instead I spoon some sweet & sour sauce onto my plate, and put the chicken on top of it. Delicious!
That sounds pretty tasty – I bet I can tofu-ize it, too!
quinoa salad with mango & black beans, from the veganomicon. mmmmm. scroll down for recipe:
Ooh, I love that salad. I think I made it last summer. Might be time to bust it out again.