You all probably know Tammy from Food on the Food, she's the funny one who writes a proper food blog with actual real recipes, pretty photos, and correct grammar. Yeah, that one.
She is also a very good eater who knows all sorts of things like about farm shares and locavoring, and making things out of odd lots and figuring out sauerkraut, and that sort of thing.
Anyway Tammy went on vacation and offered me the option to take her farm share for her. Which, having heard about the Farmer, I immediately said Yes, Please! To which she replied, yeah not THAT farmer.
Well, too late, I'd already said yes. And as it is my current job pays me very little so the prospect of free farm-fresh food was quite enticing. Even if I wasn't going to finally meet the Farmer.
Did I mention that I'd been given two weeks worth? Yep. How nice is that? Pretty fricking nice.
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 sauteed it with a little olive oil, some garlic, and red pepper, a culinary cliche 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 sauteed 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.