Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Saddest Day of the Season

This was our final weekend of CSA vegetables for the year, and I'm feeling wistful. No more Saturday morning divvying sessions with our share partners. No more root-vegetable roulette. And that familiar masonry of boxes? . . . 86'd until June.

As we speak, I'm cooking up a pot of potato soup with some of the last remnants: red and white potatoes, a small onion, and garlic that comes still attached to its stalk, heavy with soil.

It's pretty crazy how nature finds its way of getting you through the winter. The last couple of weeks have brought us cabbage, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, greens, carrots, and of course the potatoes, onions, and garlic currently simmering in a pot on my stove. If we were thrifty farm families, this would get us through until the baby lettuce and ramps start showing their heads in late spring. But we're not: we're urban borrowers, reliant on the organic farmers to the north and the kindly neighbors who offer up their porch as a drop site.

We still have some popcorn on the ear left from the 2007 season, and I imagine it'll be the same story for the dry cobs that started arriving this October. It's probably our way of keeping one baby toe in all things local(ish). Maybe some deference to the virtues of storage through the cold months and the promise of cycles eventually repeating themselves. Either that or we're just too lazy to make popcorn. But what can you do?

So for the next few months our vegetables will come from the local supermarket, and I guess the thought of out-of-season zucchini and broccoli has its illicit charm. But I'll miss the challenges of kohlrabi, celeriac, and Jerusalem artichokes. Six months and counting.


Rose said...

Oh, kohlrabi--that *is* a challenge.

We still have a huge amount of popcorn left from our Colorado CSA...and we moved over 18 months ago. So now it's not even "local"!

Enjoy the soup--it sounds wonderful.

Christy said...

The single best thing to do with kohlrabi: slice it in thin shoestrings (a mandolin is great if you have it) and add sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and toasted sesame seeds. Tasty stuff.

I suggest a collective popcorn and toast Thanksgiving in 2009!

Diana Sudyka said...

I swear that I heard our local Whole Foods laugh maniacally on the last weekend of our farmers market. It knew we would eventually return with heads bowed in shame to pay ridiculous prices for out of season organic produce. I feel your CSA pain.

I can vouch for the deliciousness of Christy's kohlrabi salad, as she had made it for me once.

leslie said...

I envy your sadness. Our CSA felt like it would never end. I thought I'd never be sick of raspberries, but I was.

tracy said...

Unrelated to fresh produce: eagerly awaiting a posting on what the hell's going on with your state's governor.