The CSA: Week 7

For me, vegetables fall into two categories. Those that I eat on a regular basis, familiar and comfortable, as crucial as milk or eggs or Cheerios. And those I gaze upon suspiciously.

For the first five weeks of our CSA, our haul consisted more of the latter – vegetables that I don’t necessarily use. Vegetables that were projects. Experiments.

Kohlrabi. Beets (yellow, red and bull’s-eye). Cabbage. These are projects. These are vegetables that require recipes. You don’t just make a beet salad – you find a recipe, you learn to roast or boil the beets, you hesitantly take your first bite, and you quickly tire of the taste after a few days.

This is what happened with our beets. We put together a very nice feta cheese beet salad, and it tasted good. It was different. But it was good. However, the second day brought more beets, and we quickly discovered that beets are both an acquired taste and an occasional treat. Eat beets one or two days in a row, you’ll poop maroon. Eat them any more, you’ll grow to hate maroon.

Lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers – now we’re talking. I’m not against variety, but sometimes I just want something familiar. Something I could find in my garden. They’re staples, with no recipes needed. Everyone knows what to do with cucumbers. Everyone can use a green pepper. There’s no research – it’s nearly impossible to screw it up.

So I was happy to see a higher percentage of familiar last week when we picked up the other half of our CSA (a mix-up led to us getting just half of our allotment on Saturday) Hot peppers, green onions, carrots, and peas. Stuff I knew how to use. Hooray! Familiarity!

And this week, even more
Green onions
Kohlrabi (will they ever stop growing?)

I’ve learned a lot over the past few weeks, about how to use vegetables I’ve never heard of and how to open up my horizons. But now we’re getting into the meat of the summer, and it’s refreshing to enjoy some of the tastes of the season.

Because there’s nothing better than a vegetable sandwich. Tomato, cucumber, lettuce, mustard, a little green pepper, a little hot pepper, some Muenster cheese and a fresh slice of bread or bagel.

(And, let’s be honest. Nothing goes better with bacon than tomato and lettuce.)

(And, let’s even be more honest. No one wants beets with their bacon.)

This was lovingly handwritten on July 13th, 2008