So, I've been thinking about food a lot lately. ;-) I've been enjoying the foray I mentioned last week of moving into menu planning, and trying to get my kids to expand their palate into actual healthy food. A few years ago, my sister gifted me this book that first got me thinking about this issue:
I really enjoyed it. I love memoir/slice of life stories such as these. And back then, I started trying to incorporate more whole, unprocessed foods into our routine and refrigerator. I would definitely say that it had a lasting impact, albeit a small one. A large impact necessitates more action on the part of the main dinner supplier (me), and I was still a bit too chicken to puree up some Brussels sprouts and tell my kids that they had to try it. I was content that they started to occasionally try different foods and grow to like a few of them. We had actual nibbles of guacamole, and consumption of corn on the cob. Baby steps, right?
True, but at this glacial pace the kids would barely have moved on to an actual bean before college. I thought of the book again recently, and re-downloaded it from my Kindle Cloud to read again. It re-motivated me. Then Shauna'h introduced me to Prep Dish, and then I found out about this new CSA that would deliver right to my office.
CSA's have always fascinated me. For the longest time, people around here would mention them, and I would wonder what that vegetable share acronym stood for (Community Supported Agriculture). I just knew it sounded like a really wonderful concept. Seasonal, weekly fruit and vegetables, all locally grown and harvested. If only my family would eat vegetables.
I like most vegetables. Mike definitely likes them less than I do, but he always eats them. The kids? Well, they consider it torture to eat vegetables. They're pretty good about fruit, though Henry still requires a bit of prodding. Unless it's watermelon. Watermelon is the guy EVERYBODY wants to hang out with at the party.
I figured it just wouldn't be worth the money for me to sign up for one. There are lots of CSA's where I live in WNY. Tons of farms around here. And the ones I'd been familiar with required you to sign up and pay for the entire season up front. This new one I found out about is week-by-week, with no minimum number of weeks that you must claim. You pay a small registration fee ($15), and then from week to week decide whether or not to claim the produce. You find out on Fridays what will be in the boxes for the following week. If you don't want it, or will be out of town or what have you, you just put a hold on your delivery, and you don't pay for it. I decided to take a chance and sign up. I chose the smallest share, which is $16 per week if you choose to get that box.
Last week we got an English cucumber, 2 Hothouse tomatoes, a bunch of radishes, romaine lettuce, kale (yes, yes, I know, more to come on this ;-)), and a pint of strawberries. This week we're getting more strawberries and cucumbers, but also Boston Bibb lettuce, spinach, sweet potatoes, and a pint of yellow onions. Because Prep Dish always uses seasonal ingredients, there is inevitably overlap with what I'm getting in the CSA. Next week, the sweet potatoes, onions and spinach are going right into recipes from Prep Dish. The strawberries are always gone within a single day, regardless. Everybody in the house loves freshly picked strawberries. Mike and I both use lettuce constantly for salads at lunch. So it's been working out really well.
It's still early days, but so far so good. The kids are skeptical, there is no doubt about that. But let the record reflect that Anne ate baked Kale Chips yesterday and declared them good. I'm go claim my Mother of the Month medal right over here. ;-)
It doesn't always go so well. There was the Great Pineapple Salsa Incident of 2017. It had cilantro in it. Cilantro is green. Hence, it is met with utmost suspicion and disdain. The result of this little mutiny at the dinner table had unfortunate results for the entire family. But we made it through. Henry, in particular, looks particularly pained when he looks at the magnetic menu board I have stuck up on the refrigerator. His eating habits are much more ingrained than Anne's. But we're getting there, we are. He loved the lemon blueberry muffins that I made yesterday for breakfast.
I've been enjoying the heck out of finding out what my CSA box will have in it each week, and exploring the new recipes from Prep Dish. Summer isn't my favorite season, as you well know. I don't like hot weather. But I do love that it's dance performance season. And I am truly loving this foray into belonging to a CSA and really savoring seasonal food. I'm hoping this inspiration lasts through the fall harvest and beyond!
Any other CSA members out there? I'd love to hear about your experiences!