A Sarcastic Appetite

A First Foray into CSA
July 22, 2009, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

That’s “Community Supported Agriculture” to you people. I don’t support it, but my friend Char does! When she knew she was going to be out of town this week, she offered her share to me. And you better believe I said yes.

So on Tuesday I scooted out of the office at 5:30 and hopped on the 1 train to the UWS with an empty bag in tow – pick-up was only held from 5-7pm and I didn’t dare be tardy. I became confused by the incredibly simple directions and wandered around a bit before finally finding my way into the basement of a church on 86th and West End Ave.

It’s amazing: you walk around a room and people fill your bag with vegetables according to what size share you have. It’s like trick-or-treating, except healthy and weirdly exciting, though if I had been able to bring my 8 year old self with me she would have been none too pleased there weren’t any Reese’s peanut butter cups to accompany the rainbow chard. And the whole thing took about two minutes. I guess other people might stay and make small talk – you know, being the community supporters that they are – but I am not one of those people. I caught the crosstown bus in the rain and headed home with a bag brimming with wet, dirty vegetables.

And, wow, they were glorious:


Roughly going clockwise, we have: beets, rainbow chard, green beans (ou, pardonnez-moi, “haricots verts”), Napa cabbage, carrots, field greens, a little bit of dill, onions that look like real onions, and zucchini.

I poured myself a glass of wine and surveyed my collection with an overwhelming sense of smug satisfaction….until I realized I had absolutely no idea what to do with 2 lbs. of rainbow chard and an entire head of Napa cabbage, really, was that necessary, and who’s going to eat 1.5 lbs. of green beans and when was the last time I ever even bought zucchini anyway?


So my glass of wine and I sat down and perused my cookbooks, and I got as far as ‘use carrots in carrot cake’ before giving up. This was going to take a little more effort than I thought; despite cooking consistently for the last couple of years, I still can’t look at a table of vegetables and know what to do with them.

Well thank you, Mark Bittman, for doing my work for me! His “101 Simple Salads for the Season” is exactly what I needed. Tonight I made #14 and #15, and both were quick, simple, and good. They each could have perhaps benefitted from sitting for a bit at room temperature, to meld a little more, but they were perfectly good regardless. I won’t reprint them here, since they’re less recipes and more suggestions, but there you are. See if you can guess which is which. Ha!


Now only 99 to go….

1 Comment so far
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“I don’t support it.” Thank god you clarified! For a second because it said “community supported” I was confused, but, whew cleared that up… ha. I kid. Sounds like me basking in the glory of Eastern Market (minus the actual “cooking things part”

Comment by Pontiac A. Nignag

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