Tuesday, November 24, 2009

First Box!

Drove to the drop site, a home about 10 minutes from mine. There were the boxes, sitting in the front yard! Mine had my name on it as I had asked for the offered kale, mustard and cilantro. At home, I arranged my bounty and mulled over a little what dishes I could make with each type of produce, what I should use quickly, and what would keep. I felt a deep sense of rightness, satisfaction, anticipation, "rootedness," if you will. This is just beautiful, tactile, LOCAL food.

How can I describe the vigorousness of these vegetables? They traveled less than 20 miles from farm to me. The salad mix is crisp, colorful and fresh, a fantastic, leafy blend of spicy and sweet greens. The Chinese cabbage, bok choy, kohlrabi, kale, mustard greens and spinach are pristine in their many hues of green. And the Brussels sprouts! A few minutes with kitchen shears and I'd removed those puppies from the stalk and bagged them, in all their layered, spherical splendor. Carrots and radishes look tender and ... how many ways can you say fresh?

Less than an hour after I set out to the drop site, everything was bagged (second photo), the salad mix was washed, dried and refrigerated, and tonight's and tomorrow's dinners planned.

Now ... to the kitchen to make my first CSA dinner! Fresh trout, picked up from the seafood market where my local egg subscription was also picked up today, couscous with CSA cilantro (there was just a little handful), radishes, and braised cabbage and mustard greens. I'm just using the outer leaves as they are gorgeous and I removed them to more easily bag the rest.

Only one disappointment ... the cranberries, from the west side of the state (more local than Maine!) looked like they had been washed and then stored, and were unusable. If they'd been left dry, they would have been fine. Update: Farmer's e-mail says they were probably in storage too long. I love the way the farmer stays in touch with us by e-mail, sharing his thoughts and perspectives on this winter CSA adventure. Update on the update: Some folks actually used the cranberries ... and some made liqueur out of them! I was not so inclined, but you do want to think twice or three times to make sure you don't waste anything in the precious box!

There's a lovely loaf of brioche ... but I think that's for tomorrow, with the creamed spinach ...

I love my box.

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