Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bye bye, Mom! *Now* how am I going to use up the veggie box?

Hi knitters,

Well, we put Mom Wiz on the airplane to go home yesterday morning. (Note to self - don't fly out of San Jose airport Monday morning if you can avoid it. Lots of business travelers meant a security line that went from the American Airlines check-in counter, across the bridge to the parking garage, where it wound through a maze of ropes, like Disneyland. The family in front of us were through passengers who thought they had landed in some third-world country, not Silicon Valley. But the line moved very quickly and swept Mom away all too soon.)

We had an awesome visit, although we saw too little of sis-in-law Rebecca, busy director bee that she is. We did see her shows, though - Midsummer Night's Dream, which she cast, and Sweet Charity, which she directed. And we ate at home a lot more this year than we have in past years. More on that later.

We've already started talking about what to do when Mom visits next year. I think we ought to rent a cabin in the Sierra and kick back for 3-4 days, let Mom see another side of California. Mom says we should have more movie nights and go to the Garlic Festival. We all agree that we have to continue the Shakespeare in the Park tradition and play more cards.

Knitting while Mom was here included:

* Modular red scarves from Iris Schreier's pattern - Mom finished two, I'm not quite done.

* Stitch-n-Pitch knitting on the train to the SF Giants game - socks in Baywood yarn for Mom, watermelon socks for me.

* Seams on the three year old whale sweater, since baby X arrived on Friday the 20th (congrats K. and G. X!)

* Pattern research on a cream lace shrug for me, so far considering elements from a shrug in Lace Style and a cardigan from the summer Knitter's. No decisions yet. Heck, no swatches yet!

(I apologize for the lack of photos - I lost my camera battery charger in Alberta. Without ever using it. Hmm. I'm stubbornly refusing to buy a new one, for at least another week, since I'm sure it's really just hiding somewhere, giggling.)

Since Mom left... i.e., since yesterday, Bill and I have been immersed in a project for my friend Michelle who is a professor at Sonoma State University. She is assembling an exhibit of research she and her students done to record the stories of the Women's Movement in Sonoma County in the 1970's. It's an oral history project involving digital voice recorders, transcripts and a lot of background work to understand the context of the stories the women tell in their interviews.

Bill and I are technical consultants to the exhibit, working on things like a web site, a blog for the guest book, a giant timeline, and visualization of the work of the Sonoma County commission on the status of women. The whole topc is very seventies, naturally - full of consciousness raising and grass roots action. I think the collaborative work on the exhibit aligns nicely with the subject matter -- "Let's hold a bake sale!", "Let's build a web site!" The work is really fun, although it's stressful just now. We have a long way to go to make this exhibit happen by August 12.

The intense work on the exhibit has kept us home the last two nights, which is helping with the Problem of the Veggie Box. You see, we signed up with one of those Community Supported Agriculture services. We picked Two Small Farms, because we had a preview of its wares when Adam & Rebecca went to England and left us with their subscription. We enjoyed eating those fresh veggies so much that we decided to sign up for our own box.

Little did we know.

The veggie box comes once a week - Wednesday is D-Day. Every week there is a mix of greens, stuff you might put in a stir fry, herbs and sometimes fruit. They post the this week's list of veggies every on Monday, for those the plan-ahead type people. I usually just get a surprise when I open the box.

The variety and randomness of the box has revitalized cooking here at Chez Spinnity. I look up recipes based on the ingredients found in the box. Last week, for instance, we made a Lentils and Lamb dish with cubed celery root, carrot and leek (box), with a side of spinach (box) and grueyere gratin new potatoes (box). Three veggies used up in one meal! And we've been eating so many awesome salads - I particularly love it when the box coughs up beets. Mmmm, roasted beets in salad, mmmmmmm. It's clearly worth the subscription fee to get this much variety into our diets.

But without Mom around, getting through all this vegetation will be tough for just two of us. Tonight I found a wonderful quick recipe for Fennel and Parmesan salad to use up the fennel bulb from last week's box. But that's... one... veggie used up. We're definitely falling behind, after only two days on our own.

I think this women's movement project is really rubbing off on me, because the first solution I can think of to the Problem of the Veggie Box is... a commune! A dinner commune! If more people were eating dinner at my house on a regular basis... surely I'd be able to get through the veggies. Right? If only we didn't live in the far-flung bay area, with friends in 5 area codes, I'm sure it would work.

Since everyone is so scattered, I have to go with a much scarier alternative: talking to my neighbors. I bet one of the families on either side of me would be interested in sharing the box. Let's see... today is Tuesday. The box comes Wednesday. And I still have potatoes, lettuce, peppers, spring onions, strawberries, and a leek left from last week.

Excuse me, I'm off to chat up those neighbors!


Anonymous jeni said...

It was so nice to see your mom again. She looked like she was having a great time visiting you and Bill. As for those CSA boxes... good luck. We've tried them 2 different times and we just can't/don't eat that many veggies in our house. Shame on us! We found that many things started to go bad within 4 days so we had tons of veg and then no veg for the last few days of the week. However, I did like the variety and the knowledge that my veggies weren't mass-produced in some "factory", which is where many veggies come from these days it seems. And I also discovered that my family <3's chard. Who knew?!

August 01, 2007 8:20 AM  
Anonymous seltsame said...

As a single person household, I could never get through a whole box of vegetables either...but I think it's a great idea. Maybe the farm would consider putting out smaller boxes for smaller households? If your neighbors don't take you up on your offer, I'd be interested in chipping in for a 20-25% share of said box. We're close enough geographically that I think it could work.

August 01, 2007 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had a great time Mary. Good luck with the veggies. Love you! Miss you! Mom

August 02, 2007 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Jo said...

Yep, you have a veggie problem. That's why I switched to Planet Organics, with which I can customize my order and trade veggies for meat or milk and still meet my minimum. That said, my strategy when I had the veggie box coming was to cook a heap of veggies on Sunday evening - steam things, stir-fry things, and curry things. Just veggies. Then I had side dishes set for the whole week!

August 03, 2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger Abigail said...

We did Two Small Farms for a while but couldn't cope with all the greens. No one in my family will eat them except me. We also split ours with the family next door. They give out great recipes from that place, though!

A cabin in the Sierra for a few days sounds heavenly. :)

August 04, 2007 9:32 AM  
Blogger adamwiz said...

Hello Sis!

Cabin in the woods sounds fun! Even if it's just an overnight or two in the Santa Cruz Mountains, eh?

Since I cook all vegetarian at home, we have less trouble getting through the Two Small Farms box. However, I often feed friends at work or send a big dish of something with the lovely wife to *her* friends at work. And I eat ALOT of salad and greens'n'rice. Luckily, I like that stuff.

I'm also looking into brining!



Take care,

August 13, 2007 2:11 PM  
Blogger Wiz Knitter said...

I'm so behind on posting to your blog! Thanks for the shout-outs.

This week, Adam made a VERY yummy cauliflower pie with a potato crust. Killed about three vegetables with one stone.

September 14, 2007 2:44 PM  

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