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Sarah Saves the Day

July 16, 2014

That crappy gas grill I bought last week? It’s still in the box.

Not because I’m not excited to give it a whirl. I’m kind of looking forward to charring some vegetables on the fire. But for starters, I’ve been busy. Also, it’s also been raining. Plus, there’s the sticky issue of having no vegetables to cook.

Sure, I could just run out to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Honest Weight, or any of the local farmers markets. Or I could arrange a Field Goods account, place an order with Farmie Market, or simply just walk to the Barber’s Farm truck that is a regular fixture around my neighborhood. Not to mention the Price Chopper, Shop Rite, Hannaford, or Walmart produce sections which are all only a few minutes away.

But no. Instead I was just sitting around a barren kitchen bemoaning the fact that this would be the second year in a row that I missed signing up for a CSA share with my favorite local farm. Incredibly, my salvation came from a reader named Sarah.

And if you don’t remember, here’s the comment she left,

Roxbury is actually still looking for members this season–and, this past week, said that they would pro-rate the membership of people joining now. ( Eileen Street and Troy are full, but you should be able to get into South Main. There has been even more bounty this year than usual.

Well, that very same day I picked up the phone and called Roxbury Farm directly. And after printing out their form, writing a not insignificant check, and dropping it in the mailbox, I’m officially back on their rolls with a vegetable and a fruit share.

Yesterday was my first CSA pickup in a long long time, and damn it felt good.

The haul was a large head of lettuce, a small head of cabbage, a pint of string beans, two green bell peppers, two summer squash, one zucchini, two cucumbers, a bunch of carrots (with their greens), a bunch of new onions, a bunch of green onions, a bunch of rainbow chard, one large bowl of loose salad greens, one crown of broccoli, a bunch of basil, and seven local peaches.

This was one of those days when the per week cost of under $30 is truly amazing.

As usual, the first thing that must be done is triage. Which things must be used immediately, and which things can wait. The most pressing items this week were the loose salad greens and the basil.

So I made a gigantic summer salad. The first one I’ve made in a couple of years. And the greens were amazing. They were tender, delicate, and so full of life. As usual, I just simply dressed them with a little salt, a lot of olive oil, and a hint of acid. In this case it was white wine vinegar. The salad also used up one cucumber, one carrot, and one new onion.

After dinner, I whipped up a batch of pesto that will get put away for a quick dinner tomorrow.

Man, this is an exciting way to cook. There are so many directions one can take this bounty. Part of me wanted to do something with peaches and the basil. I’m still hoping to make a cocktail with the cucumber and some lemon. Earlier this week I made it to the Asian Supermarket, so the pantry is all set for any number of potential stir fry directions.

But now I’ve got to head back down to Wilkes Barre, PA. This time though, I may only make one stop in Old Forge. Part of me wants to try a third style that is offered in the region, which has been likened to a fried Sicilian. However, if Ghigiarelli’s is open when I pass through, I may need to finally try their white (and maybe their broccoli).

If you follow the FLB on Twitter, you may even just get the play-by-play as it happens. But no promises. I’m terrible at live tweeting when I’m eating. I don’t know how the kids do it these days.

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