Aah, the CSA is back! A brief hiatus in deliveries while winter ended and spring began (the farmer building and planting for a new season) led to a near breakdown in cooking here. Certainly led to a lack of inspiration.
I’ve become so gratefully accustomed to the regular routine of receiving what seems a gift box of food to organize meals. Without it, and always under the influence of trying to eat more locally, it’s been slim pickings. Those authors, like Barbara Kingsolver, who try to eat locally for a year, hit this low spot in April (as our ancestors did) – early for new crops and late for stored vegetables.
In the weeks without delivery, we’ve been reduced to a lot of everyday tacos – our staple, mostly pull-out-of-the-cupboard meal. It varies with what is to hand and includes the usual basics – beans, cheese, tortillas, lettuce – maybe frozen corn or peppers, leftover vegetables, salsa – an avocado from south of here, tomatoes in season. It’s a whatever, whenever sort of meal.
The blog’s bean project improved everyday tacos by leading to batch after batch of black beans (recipe compliments of Martha Stewart, of all people, sent by a friend and reader). It’s totally simple – an overnight soaking followed by cooking (sometimes for a very long, slow time) with quartered onions, smashed garlic, and a spoonful of vinegar (add jalapeno peppers if you want). The beans are such a treat – good that night and as leftovers – and it’s easy to freeze a batch for yet another night of everyday tacos.
I love and appreciate the localness of the food our farmer provides, but what I didn’t think about till this little break is how dependant I am on her energy, her stimulus to get me going, focus my meal thinking.
These first deliveries combine stored vegetables and brand new salad mix. They’ve contained leeks, potatoes, stir-fry greens, carrots (stored in the ground and sweet from winter frost) – and field-grown tulips. Often recipes the farmer provides catch my eye – like a recipe for Carrot-Leek Oven Pancake – not something I would have come up with on my own, but I’m eager to try.
I’m thinking the black beans would work with a carrot leek oven pancake. With tulips on the table.