The CSA: Weeks 14 and 15

What do you do with 30 tomatoes?

50 potatoes? Five full-sized cucumbers? Two large bundles of carrots and 15 onions?

When you’re a family of three, with one of those three being just 13 months, how do you eat five squashes?

My fear is, you don’t. You let them go bad. You give them away. You forget about them quickly, lest your inner waste-not conscience smacks you upside the head.

Herein lies our problem. We’re waste-notters. And we have too many vegetables.

The week before we left on vacation, we were a total whirlwind of busyness, flitting around the house and town and all over the place like the proverbial chicken with no head, organizing the last week of daycare and preparing for a full-on onslaught of travel.

So we had little time to make real meals.

Which means our CSA sat dormant. Piling up. Spreading out and taking over the kitchen. And with a garden full of tomato plants, thriving even without a consistent water supply, we left town to a kitchen that looked like a cornucopia murder scene, vegetables spilled everywhere, covering the counter and threatening to climb up the walls.

While we were gone, we missed a Saturday, in turn, missing a week of the CSA. Thankfully. Otherwise, we’d be in even worse shape.

Instead, we returned to yet another half-share, lovingly deposited by my mother, and realized we had a problem. We had over 30 tomatoes total, now. Our potatoes had expanded, with at least 50 small tubers in several piles throughout the kitchen. Squash was on special, apparently, and cucumbers the size of overgrown zucchini threatened to take over our fridge.

(And yes, the aforementioned zucchini were available as well, in addition to more carrots and more onions, a green pepper and two jalapeños.)

So here’s our plan.

Eat them. All of them.

Tomatoes? Half went into an easy gazpacho recipe, as did one of the cucumbers and the green pepper. More cukes will be used in a cucumber melon sesame salad. Onions? Let’s have a redux of the incredible English Onion Soup with Cheddar recipe from Jamie Oliver. Potatoes and zucchini? Kerrie’s been waiting to make tiella for ages, and this is her chance.

I don’t think it will all be gone in one week. In fact, I fully suspect that our stash will grow again on Saturday, maybe to the point that we don’t make up any ground. Or (gasp!) we actually fall further behind.

But hey – with the price of produce and the freshness of what we’re getting, I can’t imagine I should be complaining about getting too much of a good thing.

(Of course, if you need a potato or two, you know where to come calling.)

This was lovingly handwritten on September 9th, 2008