Monday, June 29, 2009

"Oh, I hope not!"

We enjoy the benefits of receiving a Boston Organics box on a weekly or bi-weekly basis - full of organic veggies and fruit, cage-free eggs, and fair trade coffee. But that's not enough! This year I also bought a share in a CSA (since our back 40 square feet is paved with bluestone and can't support much in the way of a garden....) Our Farm School CSA box yields such delights as garlic scapes, kohlrabi, and fresh herbs each week. What is a kohlrabi, you may ask? (I had to Google it, and then Epicurious it to find a recipe for it....) Well, it's kind of like a shiny smooth celery root complete with stalks, but the stalks are more like kale or chard greens, and the root tastes more like a cabbage heart. Ah, the culinary adventures. I used the greens as kale in a kale/potato/cilantro/chorizo soup, and cubed the root part to make a chopped salad (along with apple and fresh baby fennel.) But that's not enough! This week I ALSO went down to the wonderful Union Square farmers' market to get such delights as fresh made that morning mozzarella, small farm chipotle goat cheese, and cranberry lavendar lemonade - not to mention more greenery. I was intrigued by one of the offerings - fava tendrils. As I am a big fan of pea tendrils which are lovely, I bought a bunch and brought it home in one of my wonderful reusable bags, along with a beautiful leafy bunch of baby fennel and some new beets with greens (roasted beet and goat cheese salad coming up!) gPop aka Jim is largely tolerant of such adventurousness. I had to Google fava tendrils too - and maybe I should have KNOWN when Epicurious had no recipes for the fava tendrils. Well, I sauteed them with a little olive oil and garlic - and while the leaves tasted okay, kind of like stringy spinach, the stalks were just about inedible. It turns out that the rainy weather here pretty much ruined the fava crop, so the growers are turning to using the greenery as the fava pods just aren't going to make it. Note to self - trim woody stalks. Second note to self - never buy fava tendrils again!

I had used the baby fennel bulbs in a chopped salad, which left me with a giant bunch of delicate, spidery fennel stems and leaves. I began to wonder aloud if anything could be done with them other than a short trip to the kitchen compost bin. Long-suffering Jim was heard to say "Oh, I hope not!"

The Life Cycle of the Rhododendron Flower

The seconds, minutes and days have flown since my last post - enough to have seen the entire life cycle of a Rhododendron flower. We have gone from the crocuses, violets and tulips of early spring, to the lilacs and irises right to the daisies, poppies, peonies, rock (and other) roses and brown-eyed susans of early summer.

My first child turned 30 - and will have her first child in the next few months. We are looking forward with great expectation to the coming visit of Miguel, Aurelia and Sylvia (over 1 year old now!) Jaime is preparing for her next great adventure, graduate school in New York City. Bonnie's muzzle is graying, along with the gMom and gPop's hair. All part of the great and endless cycle of life.

Speaking of the ebbs and flows of time - as many of our work colleagues are forced from their jobs and leave, interesting items emerge from the debris of past times. Here's a shot of the gPop circa 1975 from a notebook of employee photographs!