by April Paffrath
Slate published a great piece by Catherine Price (25 March 2009) about what to do when actually faced with abundance in vegetable form. When your CSA offers you endless repeats of vegetables that have never won your devotion, despite 30 years of trying, you can get into a rut. Or, you can wait for them to quietly rot in the fridge while you have a crisis of guilt. Her article has her tracking down Mark Bittman (How to Cook Everything) to do some free association involving turnips and kale. Then Price talks to Deborah Madison (Local Flavors), who can turn any vegetable into a wonderful meal.
Price's piece is funny because she's self-depricating about the vegetable panic. Like her, at the end of the season, I'm about worn out with ideas for some crops. I can feel her exasperation with turnips and with her own lack of creativity when faced with a non-favorite vegetable yet again. Price seems to default to gratin and I can so relate because I default to roasting when I can't create a complex menu idea in my head...or when things are threatening to go bad on the refrigerator shelf and I have no energy for making dinner.
CSA shares come whether you're prepared for them or not. Her piece shows that we really do need to shake up our food expectation and do our best to jump out of the rut as often as we can. Plus, she got Bittman to mock her for panicking over even having late-season vegetables. We're lucky to have the ample supply of veggies, and she shows that knows it. It's just a question of what to do with it for the fifth week running.
photo: partial screen shot Slate