Sunday, August 29, 2010

Guilt and the CSA

So, I’m lying in bed on a Saturday morning, thinking how nice it is not to have to get up at the crack of dawn. Suddenly, this little voice inside my head starts whispering,

“The cabbage is wilting! The kale is limp! Don’t let them go bad. Get up! Get up!”

So much for sleeping late. Soon, I am padding through the kitchen chopping kale and shredding cabbage. The sun is barely up.

I’ve heard of Catholic Guilt, Jewish Guilt, and Protestant Guilt (can we assume that guilt is largely non-denominational?). But, I actually suffer from CSA Guilt.

I’ve seen what it requires to plant and nurture the seedlings. At times, I’ve even worked in the fields. I know what it takes to grow good food. So if it rots - because I was lazy or let it go to waste - I feel the pain.

I did cook the turnips, but somehow, they've now migrated to the back of the refrigerator. I barely manage to save the newly-harvested garlic from a creepy mold attack …

The greens – like Kale – are particularly problematic. “Nutrition guilt” is perhaps even more ruthless. “I can’t let the Kale rot. It’s good for me.”
The digital pressure cooker is a pretty good guilt buster.
A full bunch of kale can go from guilt laden …
…to cooked and ready to be frozen, in about 6 minutes (not counting chopping). No guilt there. I’ll dine on greens all winter.

I am particularly proud of how quickly I deal with the Japanese Eggplant.

I mean, what do you do with these things?

But, within thirty minutes, I’ve managed to dice these suckers into uniform disks …

Pop it all into the pressure cooker …

And, ZAM!!!! Instant Ratatouille! It's almost like an episode of Bewitched (Sam is late preparing dinner and has to resort to witchcraft to put the Ratatouille on the table). There are plenty of servings for lunch so I don’t have to feel guilty about spending a fortune for a salad in New York City.

So, thanks to the lightening-quick pressure cooker, my conscience feels a little lighter when it comes to the produce from Restoration Farm.
Although, I have to admit, I still don’t call my parents enough…
©2010 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

21 comments:

Fresh Local and Best said...

You are a funny one. Although I would feel tremendous guilt too about letting good food go to waste. The ratatouille looks delicious.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I'm loving that you're loving your pressure cooker. Mine gets a lot of action during the winter. I have kale in my fridge. Time for me to take care of it so I don't waste veggies!

~amusette~* said...

you are so lucky to have all of this beautiful food to eat...I'm so happy to see that you made such good use of all of it. That kale is like green gold ... very unaccessible here & to go along with your CSA guilt has left me with kale envy ... who knew that vegetables could make one fall victim to the 7 deadly sins? :)
Wonderful commentary as usual T.W. !

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I couldn't help but chuckle reading about your guilt with vegetables. I feel the same way when I clean out the refrigerator and my husband says, when he sees me throwing away something, "why didn't we use THIS?"

Fun post T.W. and a great read to brighten my day.
Sam

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I have got to get over my fear of pressure cookers -- or my version of CSA guilt, which is Farmstand Guilt. I've been meaning to buy a pressure cooker for ages but can't shake the memory of the one that exploded in my grandmother's kitchen.

Kalyn said...

I have garden guilt around here, a related ailment. I love how you're freezing the greens; I need to try that! And ratatouille in the pressure cooker is brilliant!

I try to give away a lot of my garden stuff so I don't feel too guilty when I see it on the counter or in the fridge!

Kalyn said...

Forgot to say, I recently made raw kale salad, very good! Will be posting that soon. If you're a fan of greens I bet you'd like it. Mine was a variation of Raw Kale Salad from the Kitchn.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

So it looks like we've added "Crisper Guilt," "Garden Guilt," and "Farmers Market Guilt" to the list! It pained me to throw away a beautiful Italian eggplant (purple flecked with white) after it went bad last week, so today I'm madly roasting all of the eggplant I pick up yesterday at Restoration Farm!

veron said...

I'm glad im not on CSA or I'd feel plenty guilty about the veggies going bad. I've never used a pressure cooker - scared to. :)
about the eggplants, next time you can skin then cut them in quarters, panfry them a little and freeze and use whenever.

Julia said...

I had the same problem with Eggplant, and ended up pickling it. Though I'm still on the fence about that...

Sophie said...

What a funny & lovely post! I was smiling reading this. I love kale &Ii also love eggplants aka aubergines like we call them.

I also love using the pressure coker a lot & that instant ratatoiulle looks pretty & tasty too!


MMMMMMMMMMM,...lovely & tasty food!

Mary said...

I so enjoyed reading your post this morning. Fear not! Winter is on its way and there will be plenty of time to sleep. In the meantime, heft that barge, and lift that bale. Have a great week T.W. Blessings...Mary

Susan from Food Blogga said...

CSA guilt. I love it! But I gotta tell ya from experience, that Catholic guilt is no joke. ;)

Diana (Di) said...

T.W. what a chuckle as you are not alone. Yesterday I picked the green beans, kale, the last of the Nantes carrots, piracicaba broccoli, and made a Ratatouille with the zucchini and eggplant 'Ichiban'. I still have red cabbage that must be used soon...

Guilt? not sure. I think it's my Lithuanian grandmother's fault... she threw nothing away. Plus, when you start all these from seed, what's a person to do. ;)

Stacey Snacks said...

TW,
I noticed that Susan at Food Blogga posted this on facebook! How true!
I can't keep up with the zucchini and this weekend I couldn't help myself but buy gorgeous heirloom tomatoes in the Hamptons, and when we came home a bag of 20 plus with peppers and onions were waiting on my doorstep from my generous neighbors!
HELP!

Anna Haight said...

I feel like I'm doing an extended version of the Iron Chef each week when I try not to waste my 1/2 box of CSA goodies. I've also added a juicer to my repertoire recently. And I still miss some things. I'm particularly bad about the lettuce getting used.

Velva said...

You were a busy guy early in the morning, and it was all worth it!

Chef Dennis said...

my mother always used a pressure cooker, I didn't know there were digital ones...it sounds like a great kitchen tool! You sure made quick work of all your wonderful veggies!

Jann said...

Such a wonderful idea for use of the pressure cooker!

Lori Lynn said...

Cute post. I know exactly how you feel...
LL

Scoopalicious said...

Yum!