Monday, February 4, 2013


In the Bleak Mid-Winter

...when you honestly feel like you cannot bear another rutabaga, it's often a comfort to browse your local CSA options and dream of the shiny, seasonal fruits and veggies you will one day get to feast on again.

Don't worry, there are also lots of places which will explain what that nasty-looking brownish-red lumpy thing is, and how you can make it delicious (Generally: scrub, slice, roll in olive oil and sea salt, roast at 400 degrees until a little brown on the edges.)

If you always wind up with an inch of greenish liquid in the bottom of your crisper drawer, you are not alone, and maybe you do not actually want a CSA box. Maybe just keep on keeping on with nuking two Amy's Indian Mattar Paneer meals and adding a bag of frozen peas.

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fondue with cheddar

The tags!


@fondue with cheddar This weekend a guy walked by me complaining to my friend, and he said "Would you like some encouragement?", and I said "Sure," and he looked me in the eye, said "Spring WILL come," and wandered off. SPRING WILL COME!

fondue with cheddar

@zamboni That's fantastic. Nice work, random guy!


freakin awesome@n


i like rutabegas. i put them in my lentils. i need spring to start, all the stores are putting out garden stuff and its snowing still. :(


IS there a Canadian version of this site? That would be... dangerous for me. Maybe I shouldn't know.


Uggggh I just want to garden. Does somebody have a garden in brooklyn they are too lazy to take care of, and they want me to just come over once a week to do the weeding and harvesting? I love gardening so very much, this is about to be my 3rd year without one :(


@leon s You know there are gardening shares in public gardens thru the city? They will give you a little plot to tend, not sure how it works. This one around the corner from my old place seems to be looking for gardeners: http://www.615green.org/


@parallel-lines - Ahhh this is the best idea. Thanks so much!

(I also used to live near to that garden, when I had the apartment where I had a garden. It was so lovely!)


@leon s We also manage to grow a lot on our fire escape, but it was mostly herbs. Last year we had so much basil we gave it away to friends--also did rosemary, parsley, sage, organo and tomatoes and had a great yield.


oh, nice. I got cited by my landlord for growing things on my fire escape, and had to stop. :(
herbs like basil don't grow well indoors this far north either.
three cheers for almost-definitely-probably moving in June.


I had to quit my CSA because it pretty much felt like I was getting russian peasant food at caviar tsar prices. I don't mind an occasional rutabaga or turnip but four pounds is sort of over kill...

Okay, just looked at that link and now I'm angry. I never got anything half as nice looking as that stuff and definitely got duped. Never again, north Brooklyn CSA. Never again.


It is high past the time for Christmas carol post titles! (Mostly mad because this is now stuck in my head instead of All the Single Ladies, but I imagine that I will see another 100 pics of Beyonce today and this will soon be remedied)


I've seen what happens when people I know do CSAs, and have learned that unless I open up an orphanage with a dozen hungry mouths to cook for every day, I can't do the CSA thing. "Hey here's ten tons of fresh produce for you to somehow lug home from the store and find space for in your 400 square foot apartment! Now, LET'S WATCH IT ALL GROW MOLD."


@werewolfbarmitzvah Right? My parents got half a share for a while and it was STILL too much for a family of four.

ms. alex

@werewolfbarmitzvah The mold always made me so angry. I was trying so hard to eat everything, how dare my veggies go bad?!


@werewolfbarmitzvah Yeah, I seriously considered getting a CSA last year before I realized that I am a dummy because I can only manage to eat about 70% of the veggies I actually bought on purpose from the store before they go bad, so getting way more stuff that's totally random was probably not the greatest.


I spent hours last spring looking up CSAs in Chicago, only to discover that you had to pay for the whole season ahead of time and that was too expensive for me to do, even at a half share (because two people can only eat so much produce). Now you've rekindled my interest, and since I finally have a job...


@Amphora Irv and Shelly's! Not too expensive, you can order weekly (I tend to do every other week). Not always local, which sucks.



@Amphora Big Head Farm!! They have a solo share and it's plenty for one person. http://bigheadfarm.com/index-3.html I only got a handful of turnips, no rutabagas and the best green peppers and cucumbers I've ever tasted. Oh and Karen is the sweetest.


@joyballz Oooh they deliver! I might try this. Thanks!

almighty jugs

This could not be more timely. I've got an untouched head of red cabbage in my fridge that would be giving me major side-eye if cabbage could do that.


@almighty jugs Oh oh oh make piroshki!

almighty jugs

@Lucienne Just googled and holy hat those sound delicious. Do you have a particular recipe you like?


@almighty jugs No, I've never made them, only had them made for me. Which is better, but less helpful.


@almighty jugs Maybe make fish tacos and use it as a topping?


@almighty jugs Braise it!


@almighty jugs or roast it! cut it into wedges, brush with Cesar dressing (or just S, P, olive oil and balsamic vinegar) and roast at 425 for 40 minutes, flipping half way through.


@almighty jugs I made these fried avocado tacos (which were helpfully posted a few weeks ago) with red cabbage for the slaw. They were glorious and not as scary to make as anticipated (and of like what @parallel-lines suggested!).


@parallel-lines favorite use for cabbage EVER.


@almighty jugs Another vote for roooooooast it! I throw some slice onions and caraway seeds in with mine and then dress it with balsamic/mustard vinaigrette. It's nutso good.

Faintly Macabre

@almighty jugs If it's anything like the French red/purple cabbage, you can just chop it up (it falls apart on its own) and toss it with some oil, red wine vinegar, and salt, and it's healthy and tasty!


@almighty jugs Make this! Braised red cabbage with bacon It's so so good, I did it with my last red cabbage and was stunned at how great it was. Not going to lie, it makes you gassy.


I would like to join a CSA if I could afford one, but only if they changed the name.


@Lucienne I just want to make root vegetable soups without feeling like I'm supporting the Rebel Cause, is that so much to ask?


I don't do a CSA, I do Washington's Green Grocer, and they deliver a box of produce every week, and I've eaten all of it- only casualty has been half a head of cabbage so far. It helps that I split it with my girlfriend, and that we get the mixed (some organic, some transitional, some not organic), not-all-local box, so I get things like starfruit and avocados along with my apples and mushrooms. They have an all local box that I imagine has more root vegetables. Actually, I could really go for some parsnips.


@Probs I do something very similar. For anyone in Kentucky/Ohio/Indiana/Missouri, check out Green Bean Delivery. It's not ALL local and organic, especially in the dead of winter, but it's still worlds better than what I can find at Kroger.


@Probs I would definitely prefer this to what I got--sometimes they were pressed to give us something, so I ended up with the most holey, bug chewed up lettuce around. Not exactly appetizing.


I don't know, I'm still pretty happy with the root vegetables. I made butternut squash risotto last night and later this week I'm gonna roast up some sweet potatoes and parsnips. YUM YUM.


We quit our CSA because the farm packed and sealed(!) the plastic bins and kept them in a shed for two or three days before delivery. Things were frequently rotten or moldy by the time they got to us. A complete waste of both money and produce.



Nicole Cliffe

@iceberg My Australian friends have been known to sink to the floor in peals of hilarity when they visit Canada and we walk by a "Roots" store at the mall. Then they buy expensive novelty hoodies as gag gifts.


@iceberg Two trips to Australia have untrained me from saying "rooting for [that team]" or any variation thereof, even here! "I support [that team]" or "I won't be cheering for [that team]" all the way.


My CSA box is winter-only, in northern Canada. What is this "things that are not root vegetables" you speak of? I just eat a lot of very expensive carrots. They mostly make up for it with locally-grown wheat flour and many cans of saurkraut and pesto and chutney.

ms. alex

I had a CSA last year, and while it was awesome for many reasons (I grew to love even more veggies and became more creative/adventurous in the kitchen), I'm not doing it again until I either have a big freezer and time to freeze and can what I can't eat, or have kids and they come to love their veggies (so never). We got the smallest share and it was too much to keep up with. And I like to imagine that we eat a lot of veggies!

In other news, I got the cookbook "Mexican Everyday" by Rick Bayless and now I need to try all the recipes, and I can't find chayotes anywhere in this town.


We are lucky in all things produce here in Northern CA, but I did want to give a shout out to our Full Circle farmbox. I share with some friends who live in the area, so I pick up a box every other week and usually manage to get to almost everything before it goes bad. Few advantages for Full Circle - stuff comes from different farms, so we're not reliant on the sluggy lettuce or endless cauliflower that Farm A just has to send us. The stuff seems to be cleaner and better-stored than previous CSA experiences. And they allow you to swap out stuff online before packing - so if I don't want the turnips, I can usually have the oranges instead, or whatever. It's working out well for me, because I am hella too lazy and disorganized to get to the farmer's market on the weekend.

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