Saturday, May 17, 2014

Being Co-operative

I'll have to be careful how I choose my words here. "I got us into this" is, I think, far superior to "It's all my fault". However you want to apportion blame or causality to the photograph below, it's certainly all my own work. We've joined a vegie co-op… for the next four weeks (filling in for friends who are travelling).

And here's the first Saturday morning pick-up. Thirty bucks' worth, all bought at the Sydney Markets in Flemington. Wouldn't have a clue how organic it is or not. And there's just two of us to eat it all. And a similarly large pair of boxes will hit our kitchen benchtop next Saturday. And the Saturday after that. And… oh dear!

Here's the checklist
• One large brown paper bag of button mushrooms. Some will go into tonight's baked chicken and rice dish, the rest will disappear into melted butter one day this week and end up as sidekick to a steak.
• Lots of carrots, but that's OK, as my adorable Pam is 20% rabbit (I suspect). Loves her carrots. And what she doesn't eat raw, I'll chop and cook tonight and other nights this week.
• Big bunch of celery, Pam to the rescue again. Crunch crunch crunch…  and what she doesn't eat raw, I'll chop and cook tonight, and other nights. Good sauce starter pack, carrot and celery.
• One bunch of shallots (green onions). Easy peasy. Some to disappear tonight. I can feel a stir-fry coming on for Wednesday.
• 2 eggplants (in season now). Easy peasyish, but we do already have some eggplant in the fridge, so our neighbour Katerina will probably enjoy one of these.
• 3 corn cobs (one goes into the baked chicken, the others will disappear easily enough)
• a kilo (at least) of Roma tomatoes (we know what to do with them, saucery here we come)
• 8 Valencia oranges (yummm… freshly squeezed OJ on Sunday morning)
• a dozen or more Imperial mandarins (in season, juicy, sweet and a bit fragrant; they're my special treat and will disappear soon enough)
• 10 Royal Gala apples, in season, juicy and crisp, another easy assignment, as we both work from home and like to snack on fruit
• big bunch of English spinach (pan-fry on Monday with raisins and pine nuts, touch of nutmeg, as a side dish, an old French favourite)
• And last and definitely least of all, one bag of that awful white-bleached garlic from China. The only disappointment in the box. They use chlorine to bleach their export garlic in China, then fumigate it with methyl bromide to kill any bugs. Yikes! That's about as un-organic as anything that's actually grown in the ground. We're giving that bag a miss.

Apart from the worrying garlic, everything else looks great. So, bursting with enthusiasm, we're confident of knocking this box off this week. But then there's next week, and the week after that. I'm glad all this bounty of co-operative boxes actually has a "finish-by" date.

I don't think we could keep this up for two months, let alone a year. But it's a delightful change for a couple of weeks. It'll probably change what we cook and what we eat in the next month, which isn't such a bad thing, even if our diet is already a varied and healthy one (well, most of the time).

Have you ever been in a vegie co-op, and how long did you last? Amazingly enough, this lovely bunch of people has been doing it for years, so I am told.


Sue O said...

I remember eating Gala apples as a girl in New Zealand. I think they were a relatively new variety and were so delicious, we ate them by the boxful. One year, I ate so many I got sores on my legs. Unfortunately, I've never eaten a good one in the US, they are always mushy, even when in season.

Lanie said...

Yep. We were in a veggie coop for a while - maybe 6 months. We always got loads of potatoes, and carrots. I found that I ended up throwing a lot away....unless there was lots and lots of planning to work out how to use the right veggies. So we are now much happier to cook from the garden + local fruit shop. Loving your posts. We are travelling for 4 there wont be any gardening posts from me for a while.

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