April 19, 2010

CSA delivery: or, how to make Monday your favorite day of the week

The following is a reprint of a previously published post. I'll be back this Thursday with a brand-new Thrifty Threads post.

Getting this delivery of local organic produce every two weeks has changed our lives! Cooking is more fun, and my husband is eating more fruit. On top of being better for the environment by cutting down transportation costs and supporting the local farmers, this stuff is much fresher, so it lasts longer, and it tastes absolutely delicious.

Here's a rundown of this week's bounty (I definitely need to consult the list because I don't know what some of it is): starting from the back and moving roughly clockwise is watermelon, bi-colored sweet corn, cavallion melon, red butter lettuce, a beefsteak tomato, zucchini, Ronde nice squash, cherry tomatoes, black grapes, homemade tomato sauce, plums, nectarines, red onions, rooted basil, and Armenian cucumber. Those purple goodies in the middle? Fresh Black Eyed Peas in the Shell. I've never seen those before.

I can't decide what to have for dinner tonight. I'm really excited about the corn, we'll have to eat that. Maybe I'll tackle those Black Eyed Peas, there are instructions on how to prepare them. And I'll definitely be referring to all the zucchini recipes I received from my readers when I cook that zucchini later this week.

I've posted today's recipe below, although we didn't receive eggplant, so something must have changed at the last minute. Our CSA visits four local Farmer's Markets over the weekend and picks the freshest offerings each week.

If you live in Los Angeles, this CSA operates through the restaurant and catering company Auntie Em's. This delivery costs $42, and we're getting it every two weeks, which is plenty for two people. I like what the owner has to say in this week's newsletter about the whole issue of trying to eat responsibly for our bodies and the planet: "I think that we should all try to do the best we can, and be proud that we're making a difference. Don't beat yourself up over the fact that you're not eating grass-fed beef, if you are buying organic produce, recycle, and are walking more places. It is really hard to do it all. But you can make good choices everyday."

I agree. And Auntie Em's is helping my husband and I make a good choice. I believe that many people making a lot of small changes has a greater impact than if a few of us become Ed Begley, Jr. (no offense to EB). The point is that you do what you can, and it all adds up. For me, the baby steps method works well so that I don't become overwhelmed. I can incorporate small changes into our lives like composting and eating local produce without a huge outlay of time or resources.

Becoming a non-consumer has led to a slew of other healthy lifestyle/good for the environment changes for me. What about you? Do you have a CSA option or Farmer's Market near where you live? Maybe you grow your own produce. Have you ever made Black Eyed Peas from the pod? Do you boil or steam fresh corn? Please leave your thoughts and questions in the Comments section.


Laura said...

I'm practically drooling over your picture of the produce. We have a garden, but all we're getting now is some greens, although we should have lettuce ready in another week or two.

If I'm in a hurry, I steam corn in the microwave, but if I have the time, there is nothing better than grilled corn. Open the outer husk (but do not pull off) and remove the silk, they recover the ear with the husk and secure at the top (I use a small strand of husk for this). Soak the entire ear in water for about an hour before grilling. Place a plate or something heavy over the corn so it stays submerged. Grill over medium heat, turning frequently so it doesn't burn. YUM.

Simple in France said...

Oh, I miss being in a CSA. I paid for a quarter of CSA subscription for my parents back in the States and they are so enjoying it. I can't wait to get back into the habit once we've settled down in France. I like the element of surprise.

Tina said...

Auntie Em's?? I live and work in Eagle Rock. Are we neighbors?

Your blog is fabulous and motivated me to put the "eat this" sign in my fridge.