29 June 2008

Food Ruminations

You know that our food supply is all screwed up. It's one of the reasons I love the CSA so much - six months out of the year, I don't have to buy produce at the supermarket.

Apparently, Obama agrees. Here's a snip from an interview with him:

As president, I would implement USDA policies that promote local and regional food systems, including assisting states to develop programs aimed at community supported farms. I also support a national farm-to-school program and am pleased that the Farm Bill provides more than $1 billion to expand healthy snacks in our schools.

I hope he means it.

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It's funny, last year I was totally into cataloging the vegetables every week, even though it became a little like a millstone (make the list, make the post, oh no!). The past few weeks, I've stood in my kitchen after the CSA pick-up, wondering what was missing. Some little OCD part of my brain wanted to make that list before putting the stuff in the fridge. So I've been scribbling the list on an index card and sticking it to the refrigerator. It's helping me keep track of what's come in, and when.

Old habits die hard.

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I was tickled to see that Jennifer (Ponderosa) was posting her own lists - I feel off the hook, blogosphere-wise. This week her CSA delivery included "1 caterpillar".

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I had to make something for the potluck supper at the graduation the other night, so I checked my index cards and decided to make a cole slaw. The CSA had sent out a recipe for an asian turnip slaw; I, of course, couldn't find that recipe and anyway it had peanut butter in it (a no-no at the peanut-free daycare center). So I invented.

2 carrots, grated
2 scallions, thinly sliced
6 japanese turnips, julienned with the mandoline
1 small arrowhead cabbage, shredded
a handful of parley, minced

soy sauce
champagne vinegar (because that's what there was)
vegetable oil
jarred grated ginger
ground pepper

I can't give proportions for the dressing because I kept adding a bit of this and a smidge of that until it tasted right - but there was about a tablespoon of honey and the same of ginger, and about a third of a cup of soy and vinegar and oil. And it definitely needed a couple of hours in the fridge for the vegetables to wilt and amalgamate. It was good - and a good way to address the abundance of those lovely japanese turnips.


Sunshine said...

I could leave absolutely the longest post in the universe about my thoughts on food safety.

However, I do love the months during which I can pop down to the local farmers' market twice a week and buy something fresh that somebody who lives nearby grew in their own yard.

It makes me feel less like I am putting nasty horrible chemicals in my kids' mouths and trucking food from long distances doesn't help either.

Her Grace said...

I am adoring our CSA this year too. I'm making lists as well, mainly, though, so I can remember what recipes I used. That influx of spring greens was a challenge.

I, too, hope Obama means what he says and that he ends up in a position to make things better.

Maude Lynn said...

I'm waiting impatiently for my garden to start producing!

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I stopped by the farmer's market here on Wednesday, something I don't do much because I have the CSA; I stopped this week just for fun, just because I had some extra time.

All of the kiosks selling produce come from farms 120-180 miles away, because I live in the desert where hardly anything leafy grows, and it was CRAZY expensive. They wanted $2 for a pint of green beans, $4 for a pint of berries!

There were locals there, though: local ranchers. You could buy frozen meat from a goat, bison, elk, cow or sheep. And suddenly I realized that I'd been going about this buying-local bit all wrong. Here, it seems, it makes more sense to buy local meat than local produce. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Have you read Animal, Vegtable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver? I put it down to check out some blogs, so it's interesting you are posting on the same subject.

Anonymous said...

How creative and wonderful that sounds! Good for you!

niobe said...

I can't eat anything today. So, of course, your recipe looks especially good.

Irish Goddess said...

Recently I almost sent you an email lamenting the lack of CSA lists! I loved reading about those odd vegetables and to what use you put them.

MadMad said...

Sounds yummy! I saw some at my local farmer's market, and wondered what to do with them! Hope they have them again next week, so I can try this! I love (good) slaw!

Queen Goob said...

I. Am. Such. A. Redneck.

Don't hate me because I'm blonde but I had no idea what the heck CSA was. After looking it up (there are a lot of organizations with that acronym by the way) I am happy to see it did not stand for The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord - an Arkansan white supremacist group prolific in the '70s and early '80s.

HEY! If I eat at local fast-food restaurants, does that count? No? Give a girl credit for trying?

Mayberry said...

That sounds delicious. I wouldn't have the first clue (or the second, or third) what to do with turnips!

Mayberry said...

That sounds delicious. I wouldn't have the first clue (or the second, or third) what to do with turnips!

Girlplustwo said...

how bad is it that i don't know what a 1. japanese turnip is or 2. a mandoline?

Julie Pippert said...

Down here, ours is year round. It is often a surprise what we get.

We were overwhelmed by turnips and two friends taught me a method for them much like mashed potatoes. It was great!

We keep getting aphids.

Anonymous said...

Slaw! One more thing I can attempt with my new food processor.

Anonymous said...

Love the CSA and the farmers' market. Thanks for the recipe, we'll give it a whirl.

Woman in a Window said...

I'm feeling underachieving in the kitchen. Lamb...casserole. We had fish sticks, carrots sticks and nachos without the burger tonight. OK OK, so I worked. Tomorrow won't be much better!