Sunday, 10 February 2013

the first veggie box

This is the year I decided it was time to get it together when it comes to the food we eat and to stop making the same old randomly put together meals, probably featuring sausages and fish fingers a little too often, usually conceived of fifteen minutes before the childrens dinner time. To start actually using some of the stack of cookery books I own, to plan more in advance and cook good, simple food. I wanted to start buying less but better quality ingredients and making more conscious buying choices which support local producers when possible. Another key factor was that I was also pretty sick of the below average fruit and veg from the supermarket which was often starting to go bad before I'd even got it in through the door.

So in addition our very young vegetable patch in the garden, I also signed us up for an organic box scheme with a newly launched local co-operative not long after we moved here. After a few months of patiently sitting it out on the waiting list, they finally had a space for us to join. This Thursday, our very first weekly box of organic vegetables and fruit was delivered to our doorstep. Rose was so excited she actually tried to climb inside the cardboard box with it all.

We made a beeline for the juicy plums and oranges, oohed and ahhed over the lovely array of vegtables and pondered over the remaining few ("....Erm, so what exactly is that then?"). Thanks to google, they have now been identified as beetroots. Slightly embarrassing to admit when I grew up in the countryside, on a farm no less. It would seem I didn't pay much attention to things of little interest to me at the time, including vegetables. I will also come clean that I had to watch a video on you tube about how to prepare a leek (with Lila peering over my shoulder adding helpful observations along the lines of "Mummy, why aren't you chopping yours as fast as that lady?"). It's all a learning curve though and the resulting leek and bacon risotto topped with a poached egg was worth the effort and the large pile of washing up. I have no accompanying picture because as a general rule, I would rather eat my food as soon as possible than stand around photographing it. The kids finished every bite without even the mention of a post-dinner biscuit bribe, so that can go down as the first veggie box success story.

What shows up in the box every week will be completely different, depending on the season and what is in abundance, and the idea is that this will force me to be more creative and venture away from the old favorites on permanent, boring rotation. No doubt there will be a few surprises and a fair amount of what arrives may have never made it into my shopping trolley before. I know that some days it's likely to all feel a bit overwhelming but it will be Autumn here soon and so when all other inspiration fails then I can just throw it all in a big pan to make soup and at the very least it should keep us warm.

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