At home, I shelled the peas and served them steamed. They were beautifully fresh. I love fresh sweet peas. I sliced and caramelized the spring onions, which was sort of a shame because they're so pretty when they're fresh, but they were great poured over thinly sliced kohlrabi and tossed with chopped dandelion greens, olive oil, and lime juice. Lots of salt is needed to sale up a root vegatable, and this turned out very much like the turnip salads I made with last year's farm share, whenever another person in the office had too many turnips. Kohlrabi is crisper than a turnip, and not spicy, but is very good mixed with strong tasting things like onions and dandelion greens.
The week before, I came home with snap peas and snow peas, napa cabbage, kale, fresh eggs, green spring onions, and I'm sure other things that were great, but I just can't remember. I take so many pictures for a reason; no matter how much gingko I take, my memory is going. I do know that I enjoyed my half share, and I think I used all of it, which is pretty impressive for just one person. The other people in the family are indifferent vegetable eaters, which means half a share of organic produce a week is just a lot of washing, chopping, peeling, sauteeing, etc. One thing that's hard to get used to is that the produce arrives so dirty. I'm used to everything being washed and prepackaged and neat and tidy. Organic produce just isn't like that. It's dirty, and the leafy things are often full of holes because they don't use pesticides, but it's not like the stuff is full of bugs when it arrives, just dirt. So it takes some extra time to prepare, but I think it's worth it.
Last week I made a soup from the onions, kale, cabbage, some beef stock, and sliced packaged ham. Next time perhaps I'll use some uncured bacon instead, although the ham was quite tasty. I had the uncured bacon for breakfast this morning, with the farm fresh eggs and a dollop of the creamy cloumage cheese. Note to self: going shopping tomorrow, but PURCHASE NO PRODUCE. This particular organic farm also has fruit, cheese, eggs, honey, and occasionally brings plants for their farm shares. I don't know what it works out to, per half share, financially, but this stuff is paid in advance, so I need to make sure I eat it all up and waste nothing. Because of my crazy house (three kitchens, three cooks), it's sometimes confusing, figuring out what to cook so nothing is wasted. I'm still feeling my way through that, and things will be even more complicated when I start growing vegetables in the back yard.
It's expensive, and it's yucky dirty and needs to be washed really well before eating, and you need to make sure you eat it all to get your money's worth, but there's something deeply satisfying to me about not knowing what's going to show up every week. They do send out an e-mail ahead of time to give you an idea of what will be in the shares, but it's a funny thing. Sometimes, they say they'll bring bok choy, and it never shows up. Sometimes, they promise a potted plant, and you get strawberries instead. There's always something missing, and always something unexpected. It's almost as if they've got a secret agenda with the contents of the shares. Don't get your hopes up; anticipate something surprising. Don't get too set on one thing. Think creatively about how to plan a menu around mystery ingredients. A salad doesn't just have to be lettuce, and you don't have to cook everything you think you have to cook. You can eat sweet peas raw right out of the shell. My aunt taught me that, how good raw vegetables taste.
The vegetables in the market are often tasteless, tough, and old (because they've been on a boat or a truck for weeks before they get to you). I'm trying to keep my ears open when people talk about going blueberry picking, apple picking, or seeking whatever is ripe and available. I try not to pay exorbitant prices, but I am willing to pay a premium for an apple that tastes like an apple, instead of some fibrous nothing from somewhere far away. I'm trying to get organized enough to grow herbs in my yard. I have some chives back there, and a new mustard plant. I'm looking for foods that taste like what they're supposed to be, not bioengineered to resist bruising on a three-week long truck ride across country. I'm looking for melt-in-your-mouth, crisp, fresh, and full of life.
Life's too short to eat crappy food.