I am very happy to be eating again.
I am also pretty thankful that my CSA has taken me back.
During the summer months, I looked forward to each and every Thursday, which was the day when I could pick up my box of local organic vegetables. I never knew what I would be eating over the coming 7 days and I always anticipated the upcoming bounty. I discovered vegetables that I had never eaten, and some that I wouldn't have ever considered buying in the store – celeriac and sun chokes are two good examples. When autumn rolled around, I balked at signing up for the winter box because I couldn't imagine a whole winter of only eating root vegetables – I figured I could get those anywhere. I wasn't thinking clearly, and have spent the last couple of months pouting over my bad decision.
Meanwhile. my freezer has been undergoing a slow depletion of the foods that I had prepared and frozen during the summer months, back when I could barely keep up with the all the vegetables coming through my front door. I had used both my CSA produce and what I grown in my garden to make soups, stews, turkey pot pies, and a slew of other healthy and delicious meals, not to mention the vegetables that I had parboiled and threw into the freezer 'au naturel'. Now, after fasting for several days, reading the first part of The Omnivore's Dilemma, and even further scrutinizing the quality of foods available in Montreal stores, I decided to see if I could get some CSA winter produce.
I emailed my CSA farm (isn't the internet amazing? I emailed a farm!) and sure enough, there was a spot for me. The farm only comes into the city every two weeks in the winter, so there were only 4 pickups left. I waited until the allotted pick-up time and sauntered over to the secret pick-up spot to see what I would be getting.
As you can see by the photo at the top of this post, there were:
* unidentified sprouts
I was overjoyed! Well, actually, it took a while before I was "overjoyed." At first glance, and even at second glance, my basket resembled what I imagined a prison CSA basket would look like in California, assuming that west coast correctional facilities have gone "locavore". After three or maybe half-a-dozen more glances, I realized that I live in Montreal with the igloos and the skidoos, and I should be happy that I have enough food to eat and not complain about my dull northern bounty.
These root vegetables, which were harvested weeks ago and then stored (with the exception of the sprouts) would definitely feed Noshette and I for at least two weeks. I immediately made a good, pure root vegetable soup which turned out a little thin. We drank from the broth to help break our fasts and ate the veggies with some brown rice. I had made more than we needed so some went straight to the freezer for later use.
A couple of days later I dug into the freezer and pulled out a container of squash soup from the summer which was a little on the thick side and a container of the new and considerably thinner vegetable soup, and proceeded to mix the two together. They married and formed a beautiful new kind of soup, which I will call Squash-Root Soup.
Here is the BEFORE shot and the AFTER shot:
For lunch I had a bowl of this new Squash-Root soup and a salad made from my new local, organic, winter vegetable bounty: endive, sprouts, grated carrot, and some marinated tofu and leftover rice thrown in for a touch of class. I can't wait to see what we'll get in our next basket, and I'll be happy even if it is mostly the same stuff again. I'll just have to dig through my cookbook collection and find some new recipes.
I'd like to see a snapshot of what people are getting in their CSA baskets in other cities and towns. If you currently receive a CSA basket, please leave a comment with a list of where you are living and what was in your basket this week. Let's see how jealous I can get...