It’s week 34 of our CSA adventure, and week 34 of our pregnancy. In pregnancy land, this was the week of the ultrasound, and a lot of my writing juices were absorbed in that preoccupation (blogging pre-ultrasound, blogging post-ultrasound).
But what about the CSA food? How did that factor into our week?
We are real people, after all. We have real life preoccupations. So, do we have time for “real food” or “slow food” or “local food” or whatever other food term you prefer to describe the CSA food that we’re eating? Isn’t it easier, in a stressful or busy week, to just stop at McDonald’s and eat off the dollar menu?
In addition to the busy schedule, our dishwasher has been out of order. Something about a tube. And a snowstorm delaying a repair guy. And getting a really inept repair guy…I’ve been complaining about it in detail to friends and to Mr. Wetzel and on twitter.
Wouldn’t life be easier if we just scrapped this “commitment to the farm” thing?
Meh. I don’t think so.
You see, I drive once a week to the farm and pick up all our veggies for the week. We do still go to the grocery store for non-produce items, but I save that excursion for Thursdays and shop off a list. So, technically, we’re only driving around twice to pick up our food. (Three times if you count our stop by the dairy farm for raw milk every Sunday after church). If we relied on fast food or pre-made meals, we’d be making many more runs and stops.
You can eat an amazing amount of farm food raw, and food that you have to cook tends to keep for a while. This week I relished the carrots from our share; I had a pregnancy craving for them two nights in a row, and they were such a terrific late-night snack. The apples are my no-brainer snack; I eat them with organic string cheese from Trader Joe’s. Leafy greens make great salads.
What don’t I eat? I’ve been meaning to make cole slaw out of the cabbage, but the idea of grating it just intimidates me. I will. One of these days. I will conquer the cabbage.
I stash the potatoes until I have a slew of them, then cook them all at once. Typically so I can do something with them that involves cheese. My “fast” potato meal is, of course, to wrap it in foil and bake it.
And the onions? This pregnancy isn’t letting me eat them, so I’m storing them. Come Spring and Summer, they’ll come in pretty handy. I remember always running out of onions last year during the warm weather.
When I don’t know what to eat for a meal, I take a look at what we have, and do something with it. We don’t have to choose what’s in our fridge. The seasons do that for us. Thankfully, the seasons change, as well, which keeps things interesting.
Do I only eat what’s in the CSA? Nope! Do I only eat locally? Nope! This week I had the BIGGEST pregnancy cravings for strawberries. It’s February, and we’re in Washington; there are NO strawberries here. When I stopped by Costco, however, they had packages of strawberries, grown in the USA, and they looked and smelled great. I brought them home and polished them off within 36 hours. And I was delighted to!
We eat locally most of the time. It’s easy to eat locally, even during a busy or stressful week. In many ways, eating through our CSA is easier on meal planning because it’s a no-brainer: we eat and cook what’s available. We drive around less, and we eat at home more. All in all, we are healthier and spend less money, while maintaining a great appreciation for the food of our region and the food that’s in season…and that love spills over into other foods as well. Our CSA food is ultra-food: it is ultra-good and it is a sound choice. And we are real people.
(more) Rainbow Chard
There’s so many things I’d like to say about this post. It’s full of images and words that inspire me and bring joy to my heart. Baby Wetzel, Scooter, strawberries & Nutella (!), classic square-round Tupperware plates holding real food ready to nourish the Wetzel household. Aaaaaaah. Life is good.