Haven’t we all pretended to be top chefs, hosting a television cooking show to a captive audience of amateur foodies and aspiring cooks? No? Just me? Oh.
Well, in any case, I’ve thrown myself into the ultimate kitchen arena. For the next twenty weeks, my meals will be dictated by the seasons, and the crops of my local food producers. I’ve signed up for a twenty week share in the Community Shared Agriculture program of Taproot Farms. This means I receive a box of locally sourced, occasionally organic, healthful produce every week. Now I only have to learn to part with my weekly grocery list and instead open my mind to spontaneity and some unusual ingredients.
Fresh cilantro, Swiss chard, garlic scapes, bronze fennel; these are just a few treats that have appeared in my first two boxes. If you’re not particularly adventurous, the boxes also contain staples like tomatoes, carrots, turnip, green onions, and field greens. There’s also a convenient swap box at the pick-up location, if you’d prefer an extra tomato in lieu of beet greens (crazy, I know).
While I can feel good about eating locally produced food, and supporting the farms in my community, I’m also reaping the benefits of convenience and savings. Having a weekly supply of vegetables at a convenient pick-up location means that I’m not wasting time at the grocery store (though I do love grocery shopping) several times a week, running back for forgotten ingredients that likely have more food miles than I can bear to count.
I’ll keep you apprised of this culinary challenge, particularly when I begin my monthly meat shares through the same program. Now to find the right local wine pairings for these summer meals…
So, Halitrax readers, where are you getting your dinner?