Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CSA Week #5

This CSA Tuesday, a few events reminded me of the importance and centrality of food and eating:

While picking up this week's CSA share, I met a new mom of a 2 week old girl. She had her baby in a carrier on her front and we chatted as we loaded our food into bags. I was happy to see that she and her husband are concerned about the quality of food their family eats and where it comes from, and are committed to a CSA even in the crazy early days of parenthood.

As I drove back home and was stopped at a traffic light, I noticed 3 teenage boys (I'm guessing about age 16) crossing the street. They looked like average teenagers, dressed in trendy clothes and talking and laughing together. Then I saw that each of them was carrying an empty reusable shopping bag and were on their way to the local grocery store. How wonderful that not only are they involved in food shopping (although they could just be buying pop and snacks for all I know - but I'm being optimistic), but they are helping to eliminate plastic bags by bringing their own.

Before all of this, I was at Ronald McDonald House with Social Mamas, preparing dinner. I always enjoy myself there (it's no secret I like to cook) in the great big light-filled kitchen. We spend the time talking about anything and everything (often heavy topics like religion for some unknown reason), and always laughing. Every now and then, someone comes into the kitchen for some food or just to pass through and we're reminded of our purpose there: to make a home-cooked meal for the families of children who are in the hospital. Most of the time, these are really sad cases. We met a mom last night whose son suffered brain damage and blindness as a result of choking on popcorn in a movie theatre. He went without oxygen for 10 minutes and noone helped him. They don't know if the blindness will be permanent. I can't even imagine.

At first I felt bad for our cheerful chatter, thinking we might be being insensitive, but then I realised that the sounds from the kitchen might help others feel like it was an ordinary household and not just a very serious and sad place. As I peeled and chopped the vegetables carefully and arranged them on a platter, I was aware of how cooking for others is a way to comfort and nurture. It can be so easy to forget the basic importance of nourishing our bodies and our souls.

All this brings me to our CSA...

The leeks from the past two weeks and some of the celery went into a delcious Slowcooker Chicken with Leeks in Cranberry Walnut Sauce. The lettuce and arugula have been almost all used in some tasty salads, and the fruit was eaten fresh. The mushrooms were dehydrated - so cool and likely the topic of another post - as were previous weeks' parsley and red kale. Last week's kale will also be dried and the yams will likely be chopped and frozen. I'm still planning on making a guacamole, but I can't seem to get around to it. We've already lost one avocado, and all the turnips and beets.

What we received this week in our share:

FrugalMaman's Fall CSA Box Week #5
Carrots (bag) 936 g
Zucchini (2) 497 g
Onions (6) 1340 g
Swiss Chard (bunch) 295 g
Red Potatoes (5) 939 g
Avocado (1) 211 g
Spinach (bunch) 232 g
Yam (1 XL) 518 g
Bartlett Pears (5) 833 g
Apples (9) 985 g
Bananas (6) 975 g
Total - 7.76 kg

The zucchini are a welcome addition, but they hail from Mexico and I'm a little conflicted about that. We certainly don't need more carrots, but I'll find something to make with them: perhaps another batch of Carrot Zucchini Muffins and some Curried Carrot and Cashew Soup. I'll likely combine this week's and last week's potatoes with some of the onions and roast them for dinner. I'm going to try using some of last week's butternut squash in an Acorn Squash Lasagna, since butternut and acorn squash are interchangeable. And the rest? We'll see...

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