or “Evening Fridge Visits & Seeing the Beauty Right in Front of You”
By Patrick Kruse (re-posted from July 2016)
I opened my fridge one evening and was looking for something to snack on. You know, like a salty pickle or an orange. Something quick and delicious. I began to rummage around in the drawers and on the bottom shelf. Grrr, nothing quick. I noticed I had a bag of turnip greens and a head of cabbage from our CSA. Wait – this was last week’s CSA! Yikes, I realized I needed to use this stuff! I did a quick search for recipes. Hmm, I didn’t realize turnip greens meant southern cooking. That’s not something I dive into very often. Before long, I was mixing a roux using some local pork lard and flour and getting ready to give those turnip greens and cabbage a nice bath. I ended up with a delicious soup unlike anything I’ve had before.
It made me think though, why was I taking this wonderful food for granted? I don’t know if you’re like me, but since being part of a CSA, going to shop the produce aisles is a slightly different experience now. Even shopping the organic section doesn’t compare to the quality of the things in the CSA. As Matt mentions often on the farm, organic just means organic pesticides. Organic pesticides can be better than conventional ones but it’s better to think shopping small-scale before you think about organic even. Small-scale farmers are less likely to use ANY pesticides, whether their farms are organic or not. So basically, you’re better shopping local always. And really, what can be more local than a farm in the city right near where you live!
I realized as I was going to do grocery shopping recently that I couldn’t drive anywhere in the city and find something at a store as pure and naturally grown as what I was getting in my farm share. It reminded me of the value of what was sitting in my fridge each week. Yes, it’s hard to use sometimes just because I don’t know how, but it’s worth the effort to find a good recipe I’ve never done before and invite some people over to enjoy it with me. In the spirit of taking full advantage of all this pure and beautiful produce from our farm share, I thought it would be great to make more accessible the recipes we all possess. So perhaps you have a lovely way of using your cooking kale that perhaps someone else is tragically letting go bad because they’ve never used it before. We would love to hear about how you’re using the things you get every week or if you hear of a certain produce on the horizon that you have a good recipe for, send it our way!
I had the privilege of living on the East Side a couple of years ago for 7 months. It’s the land of corner stores and no grocery stores. Pizza and wings is nice once a month…okay, I mean, once a week. 🙂 But it’s sad that such food deserts exist in right in our city where people are eating that stuff every day. It makes the beauty of farms like 5 Loaves Farm and others even more pronounced. Urban farms are able to meet this need by growing the BEST food for people right where they live. So in the same spirit, I would encourage you to share your BEST recipes with us so we can share them with the rest of the CSA. The produce in your fridge each week can’t be bought anywhere else and it is grown with a heart that wants to care for you and your neighborhood. If it’s just that you need someone to cook for you, I will stop by. Just pour me a glass of wine or a cup of tea and we’ll rummage around in the fridge for something delicious.