Thursday, November 11, 2010

Produce fatigue

The final pick-up for my CSA half share was last Friday. Thank heavens. I don't think I'm going to renew next year.

Don't get me wrong, this whole support-the-local-economy-while-eating-healthier thing is great. I cooked a lot of new things, like a spinach, onion, bacon, and chard quiche. I pickled beets. I did a lot of stir-frying. I made more pesto. I experimented with things that I thought might go together, with general success (a weird take on chili, for example -- chicken instead of beef, garlic, onion, greens instead of beans, a ton of spices, and egg noodles. Looked strange, tasted great). I have a ton of tomatoes in the freezer at the moment that I want to turn into tomato soup before my parents get here in two weeks. I'm seeing homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese as lunch for that Wednesday. If I can get around to it.

Problem is, I'm still not using everything I'm given before it goes bad. I didn't get a freezer this year like I thought I would--money was a little too tight--so I couldn't blanch and freeze things as much as I would have liked. Mom and I experimented with fava beans and failed. I'm up to my eyes in potatoes. Before I started freezing the tomatoes they were attracting fruit flies.

And the eggs! Dear Lord, the eggs. That was new this year. They started a co-op or a trade or something with some other farms, and now we get eggs every couple of weeks. I didn't realize how little use I have for them until I started to get so many. There was a three-carton pile-up in the fridge at one point this August. I mean, a girl can only eat so much egg salad before she starts to smell like a sulfur mine. I made that quiche, I baked a little bit, I scrambled a few, but the eggs just kept on coming faster than they were leaving. Eventually I just gave the new cartons away to my neighbor when I brought my share home. She tried to pay me for them. I had to assure her that she was doing me a favor by taking them off my hands.

I really don't have the money to shell out on something if I'm not going to be able to use all of it. And this year they didn't offer a discount for next year to renewing members. They haven't sent out an email about renewals at all, come to think of it.

I'll do this again in a few years, when finances are better and I have a little more cooking experience. And a chest freezer. Definitely need one of those.

I think what I'll do instead is go to the farmer's market every Friday next season and buy a smaller, more manageable amount of produce. Then I'll work with it over the weekends.

1 comment:

Average Jane said...

I gave up on my CSA after a year. I just couldn't keep up with the veggies. I didn't get eggs, but I did get meat and I mostly didn't like it. The grass-fed beef tasted weird and I still have a ton of it in my freezer.

I meant to go to the farmers' market all season but I ended up going exactly once. Apparently I'm not good at the whole local eating thing.