Since things have been sucking pretty bad around here lately, I thought we’d turn things over to Boston’s own Calamity Shazaam in the Kitchen, since she can always put a smile on your face whether you really want one there or not. Back when I was on vacation (sweet, sweet vacation), she had graciously offered to take custody of my precious (non-bean) farmshare. Let’s see how things went:
So last week me and my neighbor Even Steve went out to Waltham to pick up the harvest. Firstly let me say right now: there is nothing farmer about me. Out I went in my skinny jeans, gold flip-flops, bright red purse, and Hollywood sunglasses. Hahah!
They saw ME coming for sure! Tammy had explained the pick up system, so I was prepared enough to bring my own bags. And everyone there was really nice, even if I had to keep guessing at Tammy's last name like a total fraud. Which was absurd anyway, because what fancy pants chick is going to be randomly driving around in Waltham looking for a farm share to defraud by randomly guessing that someone there by the name of Tammy happened to have a share.... Thankfully the farmer lady was able to help me out with that, although I am still sure the clipboard person was convinced of my fraudular inclinations.
First I picked out my eight items:
The white things are little sweet turnips (eerrr I think), the red balls are beets, carrots, chard, fava beans in the pod, purple scallions in there, and a couple of yellow squash and zukes in there too. And a head of lettuce.
The veg pick up at the shed was easy enough - you put the veg in the bag and done. However, I wasn't totally prepared for the pick your own herbs and stuff. Did you know that herbs, outside of containers, grow really low to the ground?
We tramped over to the herb & bean plots. Face it, I looked like a city slicker with my giant red bag and gold flips. This is why my Little House dream has remained a dream. I would last about a day on the prairie.
I clipped a few herbs - basil and parsley, and then we hit the bean bushes.
Ok, seriously, what the f*ck is a fava bean anyway? And how the f*ck are you supposed to eat them? Anyone?
Fava beans come in a thick woody pod and I could not figure out if I was meant to pick the little ones, or the big ginormous ones. In the end though it didn't really matter. I sent the beans flying around the kitchen trying to shell them and then the ones that did make it in to the pot turned grey when I cooked them.
But everything else I ate. And fast because it turns out that farm fresh produce has a shelf life of oh, about a day before it all goes flabby. Which is a good thing and a bad thing. I totally panicked because the next day the carrots had all gone flabby, and so I hurried to cook and eat everything by Sunday night. But a good thing because pretty much by Monday morning I was pooping straight compost. I could literally feel the cholesterol leaving my body. It was great to eat such yummy vegetables.
The chard was particularly delicious. I sautéed it with a little olive oil, some garlic, and red pepper, a culinary cliché I know. But really it was a completely different taste than chard that is a little older. I even ate the stems.
So this week I was a little more prepared. I picked up some more carrots, chard, onions (purple and shaped like a torpedo) and two bulbs of fennel, which I gave to my Mom who likes those sorts of things. Because even though I feel like I ought to like fennel, and endives, and radicchio, I really cannot learn to like that particular bitter green taste, nor the weird licorice taste of fennel.
The carrots I turned into a soup, along with a head of cauliflower, onions, garlic, and curry. The chard is for dinner tomorrow night - probably sautéed again with a poached egg on top.
All in all, not a bad way to start the week, especially when the food is a gift. And also on a side note, I got a replacement copy of Jilly Coopers Polo finally in the mail. I love Jilly Cooper. Her writing is both excellent and florid and it is like a literary crack hit for me. So with soup, an egg, and a great read for a hot night, life is pretty terrific.