This experiment has led to some deep musings (is that an oxymoron?):
- You may be able to teach an old dog new tricks. But it’s really hard to teach a tired dog new tricks!
- We modern women may ‘have it all,’ but we’re also really tired doing it all, and may not be doing it all really well!
Like many women today, I have the superwoman complex – I must have it all and do it all – marriage, kids, career, hobbies and, of course, enlightenment and improvement in all possible areas. Thus this experiment – to introduce my family to local, seasonal, organically grown produce, good for our bodies and our planet. But in the process, I have learned that my culinary skills are very, very limited! I know how to cook what I grew up eating, and I’m really good at the semi-homemade approach to cooking using some prepared foods and some fresh. But when it comes to trying new ingredients and cooking from scratch, I am doubly challenged because there are so many techniques I’m not very familiar with. And when you have young kids you’re trying to feed and get into bed after you get off work and before their 8:00 bed time, trying to teach yourself new recipes and new techniques can cause a Type-A, first-born, perfectionist Super Woman like myself to nearly go catatonic.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Which leaves me scratching my head and asking a lot of questions: What is the new model going to be with moms not staying at home to slow cook all day and gradually passing their skills on to the next generation of little women? More dads are staying home with the kids, but are they doing the slow-food-from-scratch thing which they’ll then pass on? Probably not. And with so little time and energy on my hands, when do I teach my kids the little bit that I know? And when do I learn more myself? I am lucky enough to observe Bob and Lenore in action throughout my work day, but that’s while running the store and manning the reservation line. So my learning is taking placing very slowly.
The only conclusion I have to come to is that I have to “lighten up,” as my mother told me often in my youth. When I get my CSA basket, rather than pressuring myself to do something new and different every night, I may have to deem one night a week New Recipe Night and get in the kitchen early armed with a recipe from Bob and Lenore’s cookbook which I can faithfully follow rather than rushing and improvising.
Here’s what has most recently appeared on the Bonn table with ingredients from the CSA basket:
- Fried ham, steamed broccoli, Bob’s handmade papparadelle noodles drizzled with basil-infused olive oil and garnished with chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese
- Turkey-spinach burgers and potato hash with onions and carrots
- Pan fried pork chops, apple-beet slaw, fried rice with onions, carrots and bok choy
- Bratwurst, mixed greens salad, lightly sautéed zucchini and mushrooms finished with Bob’s Tomato Jam
- Italian turkey meatballs, boiled cabbage, potatoes and carrots with onions and garlic shoots
The biggest hit was, of course, the burgers and hash. The kids were intrigued by the beets, and we talked about how beet juice has been used as a natural coloring agent throughout the ages. Unfortunately, these beets were small and young and not quite as sweet as others I’ve had, so they didn’t go over well. I wonder if they’d like those pickled beets from a can I hated as a kid?! The boiled potatoes and carrots would have been well-received had I not included the cabbage. I chopped it up real fine so they couldn’t avoid which just made them mad! I do have a wee bit of knowledge and saved the stock from the boiled vegetables for another night to use when cooking rice.
And that brings me to the end of another week in the life of the Green Project. I welcome your comments on our Facebook page.