Monday, January 18, 2010

Giving Away

The downside of CSA is that sometimes you get stuff you don't like or sometimes, you find yourself with too much fresh produce that you don't have time to cook. Both happened to me last week and this week.

For the past two weeks, I've had an unusual amount of social engagements to attend - friends wanting lunch, friends in from out of town, family in from out of town, a family event, a dinner with colleagues. All of these things involved eating food that I didn't cook at somewhere other than my home and all of the events were wonderful. But I ended up with too much food and it's going to spoil.

Unfortunately in the chaos, the sapote went way past its prime and thus, was not given its second chance. I had to throw it outside for the raccoons. They loved it.

I did however, manage to devour my steamed green beans because I like them as a cold snack. I also used all of last week's peppers and tomatoes, combining them in my mother's recipe for stuffed peppers in tomato sauce. It really isn't a recipe at all though. All you do is make your favorite meatball recipe and instead of making into meatballs, you stuff the raw meat into hollowed out peppers, place them in a crock pot, cover with your favorite tomato sauce recipe and cook on high for about four hours. Then when they're done you can either take them out and melt some cheese over them or you can boil some spaghetti and serve the peppers and sauce over the pasta. I ate that for lunch for an entire week.

The rest, well, I didn't eat and I agonized and felt guilty and like a bad person. Then it was time to rush, in between events, to pick up this week's share. Luckily, due to last week's freeze, we didn't get a lot, but now I find myself with two large heads of cabbage, some kale, some unripe tomatoes and the world's teeniest clementine (it's so cute).

I hate kale. I know some people love it and that it's really good for you, but I hate it. I've tried it a number of ways but I still hate it. Everyone in my family loves it. I make it for my mother, boiled in chicken stock and olive oil with hot peppers and sauteed onions and garlic stirred in. She begs me to make it, yet I won't touch it. My sister makes her famous pasta with kale, white beans and turkey sausage. Ewww.

So here's the good thing about having too much. You get to give stuff away and that makes people happy. I'm taking my sister the kale this afternoon and I know she'll be thrilled. She'll love the tomatoes and an extra head of cabbage too. I'm keeping the world's teeniest clementine.

For lunch on my day off, I'm making Molly Wizenberg's Cabbage in Hot Sauce with my remaining head. I considered her cream braised cabbage, but I'm just not feeling heavy cream right now. Hot sauce, I'm always feeling. This recipe also sounds like it would be good with some toasted sesame oil and perhaps some ginger. I'll let you know how it turns out. Her recipes are usually pretty good, although some disappoint in the direction of bland. That's easily remedied though with some doctoring up. She lives in Seattle after all. Maybe we tropical dwellers just like spicier food.


  1. The way you make stuffed peppers? That's pretty much the way my mother makes stuffed cabbage for one of the jewish holidays.

  2. You have to try Michael's kale. It will win you over.