Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Little Boxes (Of Vegetables)
Three weeks ago, we picked up our last produce box of the season. They're still doing the boxes for a little while longer, just not at our usual pickup spot. The logistics of getting all the way downtown (sorry, I mean Uptown) once a week have recently gotten quite complex, and as much as we love the boxes, we have not been able to figure out how to get to the other drop point at the appointed time.
This means that for the first time in several months, I have to go to the grocery store. It's not that I didn't go before; we needed bread and milk every week or so. But this? This roaming the aisles, half-assed list in hand, struggling to figure out what I'm supposed to be buying in order to keep us from eating our shoes some time during the week? It's HORRIBLE.
I had gotten used to starting with ingredients first - looking at our weekly box and going "Okay, I have 6 ears of corn, 2 butternut squash, 4 tomatoes..." and figuring out what to make of them. Now I have to start with an idea or (worse yet) a recipe, tracking down ingredients and trying to use the stuff I bought before it goes bad. Which, since it's no longer the super-fresh local things we had been getting, means I have about ten minutes before it starts to grow fur and bite my hand when I reach into the produce drawer of our fridge.
I find the produce department at the grocery store sort of revolting now - all those piles of over-waxed apples, irradiated avocados, sickly, pale tomatoes, strawberries the size of ping-pong balls (with about as much flavor). All that stuff which seemed tolerable before but is utterly disgusting now that I've had the real thing. All that stuff that has traveled so far to get to us, sprayed with God-knows-what to keep the bugs out, all picked far too green yet it still spoils a day or two after I get it home. It's one thing to be making do with tasteless, grainy trucked-in produce; it's even more irritating to have it rot practically on the drive home.