Tag Archives: groceries

A Saturday Night

Scene: Montrose Whole Foods. I am pushing an overflowing little red cart of a particular “customer in training” that abandoned her training duties. Ben is chasing after aforementioned customer, trying to keep her from wreaking havoc. “Customer in training” is trying to pull down every single water bottle (why do they have so many?) and generally being squiggly and noncompliant.

Enter a young couple.

Ben: “Oh look at them with their beer and their wine and their no kids.”

Me: “And we’re trying to make more.”

Our Garden, Three Years Later

Our lime tree is growing, just not any limes.

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Our fig tree is a much taller stick, with occasional leaves and fruit that never ripens before falling off the branches.

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Our avocado tree died, twice.

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Our compost bin is quite literally a feeding trough for rats.

Our rain barrels are cracking under the weight of all the water they are collecting for our non-use.

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Our garden beds are weedy, but that trooper of our rosemary plant continues to bring its aromatic gifts to the table.

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I tried to plant a much too belated spring/summer garden after our first winter success.

jalapeño plant

baby tomatoes

basil plant

However, the shade and the drought and my all-day sickness meant it ended up a pile of weeds.

Last fall we tried again, with friends, and were met with the same fate.

Here’s the thing. I don’t like gardening. Ben has no interest in it. Bugs gross me out, a lot, and I’d rather sit on the couch and watch The West Wing than tend to the garden on a daily basis. I do love the idea of a garden though, oh so very much.

I’ve decided the idea is not enough to continue my fruitless investments. Organic soil and compost and fertilizer and plants add up to quite a bit of change, especially when there no return on the investment. Yes, if we had rich soil and used our compost to actually create that brown gold instead of feeding vermin and grew our plants from seeds and everything actually grew, yes, it would be quite a frugal endeavor. Not to mention all the positive environmental implications.

However, for $650 I can order a share of local produce from our co-op every other week. For $260 we can buy a dozen fresh yard eggs every week.  It is almost exactly what we need, and I have minimal encounters with bugs. And so this is what we are doing.

Someday, maybe this spring, I’ll clean up the beds and plant a thing or two. Not for real ambition, for Leila. I want her to see how we get the stuff on our plates and take an interest in the nuances of growing it. Plus what kid doesn’t enjoy playing the dirt, with bugs? Who knows, maybe she’ll get the hang of it, and we can have that amazing garden after all.

How To Eat Your Veggies, September

For a long time I religiously ordered one medium share and one fruit share from the co-op. I came. I picked them up, filled out an order for the following week, paid for them and left. No thinking required. I ate most of the veggies. Ben ate most of the fruit. After my first trimester aversion to basil and utter fatigue at the mere thought of washing dozens of veggies last summer, I quit ordering. Lots of produce died before I finally took a break. Then I began volunteering and my passion for produce came back with a vengeance. I found it impossible to spend four or more hours around the beautiful bounty every week without greedily wanting to hoard it all. I kept upping the weekly ordering ante. I did not want to waste a single leaf, but I did not want to walk out of the space each week without handfuls of greens even more. I ate, a lot. Eventually though I would finally give quite of a few poor, rotted greens over to the compost to rest in peace.

Between Leila’s birth and our summer sabbatical I became a bit more conscientious of our consumption. It involved more thinking and less compulsive binge veggie buying. I thought I’d share some of my produce intentions. One of my favorite things about the co-op is the near constant discussion of all things food, and I wanted to keep that going here, at least for this afternoon.

Currently filling our crisper drawers & counter (and what I plan on doing with them):

(old)

– 7 beets (roasted in oven, tossed with walnuts and goat cheese for a light 1/2 lunch)

2 bell peppers* (Gingery Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash, allrecipes)

1/2 small head, green cabbage (Blue Cheese Cole Slaw, Barefoot Contessa)

1/2 small head, red cabbage (Blue Cheese Cole Slaw, Barefoot Contessa)

1/2 bunch, parsley (Blue Cheese Cole Slaw, Barefoot Contessa)

– 2-3 carrots

– 1 small bag baby carrots

– 2 kiwi (plain)

– 2 lemons (squeezed into water)

1/8 small seedless watermelon* (plain)

1 yellow onion (Gingery Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash, allrecipes)

2 acorn squash* (Gingery Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash, allrecipes)

(new)

green leaf lettuce, 2 bunches (base of Caesar salad)

16 white button mushrooms* (Stuffed Mushrooms, Real Simple)

3 portobella mushrooms* (Crispy Portobello Mushroom Fries, How Sweet It Is)

– 2 red potatoes* (roasted – preheat oven to 425; wash & dry potatoes, dice and toss with 1 T olive oil and Tony Chachere’s; roast for 40 min, turning once)

– 1 lb okra* (blackened – heat 2 T unsalted butter in cast iron skillet; wash & dry okra, slice and cook in pan until brown and slightly charred; toss with Tony Chachere’s)

– 4 avocados (1 mashed for Leila; 3 in and on whatever strikes my fancy)

1 red onion (with leftover BBQ chicken in Stovetop BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese, How Sweet It Is)

– 2 pints cherry tomatoes (roasted and tossed with pasta and/or tossed in aforementioned salad)

– breakfast radishes (plain)

– blueberries (plain or on cereal)

– 3 lemons (squeezed into water)

– 2 kiwi (plain)

– 2 oranges (plain)

pineapple (plain)

(RIP)

– 2 lemons

– 2 small tomatoes

– handful of lettuce

You’ll have to trust me when I say it’s pretty because I only did not have the energy to snap a quick photo of the stuff. Maybe next time.