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Potatoes, oh glorious potatoes
Wednesday March 31st 2010

My Danish blood was flowing strong through my veins tonight. See, there were new potatoes in the box, and Danes are a true hardcore potato people. When my mother (my Mor) was growing up, my MorFar (my mother’s father – aka my grandfather) would travel around Sjaelland (the big island in Danmark) when he found out someone had a specific type of potato. Then he would buy them and store them on the floor in the cellar of the farmhouse. My mother tells me about how that cellar floor would have little piles of different kinds of potatoes from different farmers around Sealand. After my mother had moved to Canada, when she would visit the “old country” her father would time the planting of the potatoes in the garden to coincide with her visit – so that she could have “new” potatoes for her visit! That’s how important potatoes are to Danes! I remember he would do the same for me as a young boy – except it was for peas, as he knew I loved to stand in his garden and peel the pods and pop the seeds in my mouth.

So it brought true tears to my eyes when I bit down on the first potato at tonight’s dinner. True tears, believe me – the potatoes were so so good. Nothing tastes like a truly “new” potato. As Andy has taught us, those small baby potatoes you find in the supermarket are not “new”, rather they’re just small. As I understand, a “new” potato is one which was harvested while the above ground portion was still green. Andy has told me that he has Danish ancestors – well, Andy, based on the beauty of these potatoes, your ancestors are looking proudly down on you today! These potatoes were unbelievably delicious. They brought me to my roots and to my family in a way that little else can. Ahh, the power that food has on your soul. Tak, MorFar. Tak, Mor. Og tak, Andy og Steve!

Okay, so down to business. Here was the bounty from this week.

Well, the potatoes were getting eaten, that’s a certainty. And (Continue Reading…)

Box comes tomorrow. What’s left over?
Tuesday March 30th 2010

Another whirlwind night. Melinda’s out of town. Kids are in Spring Break camp. Then early swimming lessons. Barely had time to make dinner.

Here’s what’s left over from last week’s boxes. Two (big) beets, two lone rutabagabagas that escaped the fire some night, and half a bunch of kale.

Not bad, considering I had two extra boxes of veggies – 27 pounds of produce total. I think there’s only 2-ish pounds of veggies left.

What was easy? (Continue Reading…)

Battling my nemesis – the choy!
Tuesday March 30th 2010

Gotta say, I had no idea what to do with the choy. And I had three shares worth of the stuff.  And all my cookbooks are more along the olive oil side of things rather than the asian side. But that’s the joy of the internet. Oh, no, I didn’t use a recipe from the internet – those things are entirely untrustable. Actually, I’d use a recipe from food52.com or from Cooks Illustrated, but no-where else really. Nobody has tested them!

So I trolled the net looking for inspiration. Two conclusions I got: (Continue Reading…)

The veggie list for Week #3 is out.
Tuesday March 30th 2010

The list just came out. Yumm!

- Cauliflower
- Fennel
- Strawberries OR New Potatoes
- Rapini Greens
- Lettuces
- Leeks
- “Baby” loose Nantes Carrots
- Butternut Squash

Oh, a choice between new potatoes or strawberries! Awesome.

Okay, so what’s the plan of attack for this bounty? (Continue Reading…)

Seeing Julia, and the influence of citrus
Monday March 29th 2010

It was special delivery day for citruses from LadyBug Buying Club. It’s the CSA’s special retail outlet where you go to a specific location in the city on a specific day and pick up a box of whatever the farm has alot of. Think of it this way. Let’s say the farm has a tonne (or 12) of tomatoes. Um, this will happen later this summer. Even if they spread them out in all the CSA boxes and discount them to the restaurants and retail, they’d still have lots left over. But what about selling boxes of tomatoes directly to people for canning? Take pre-orders, load up the mini-van or truck, head to the city and meet up with a bunch of serious veggie people. It’s win-win. They deplete their inventory of whatever they have surplus of, we consumers get large volume of product to “put up” for the winter, and we get to see Andy and/or Julia, which is a real treat. See, Andy and Julia used to go to the Farmers Market, but alas, no more. So it’s really great when we get a chance to see them. I always make sure to bring the kids along so they can see Andy and Julia. Tonight it was Julia and she was busy dealing with all of us and it was great to see her lovely smile and good cheer.

Okay, if that doesn’t convince you, take a look at this photo!

And now I have 40+ pounds of oranges (Continue Reading…)

Sunday Suppers
Monday March 29th 2010

When I was growing up, dinner on Sunday meant going out for Chinese food. In the days before Toronto became one of the capitals of the world for Chinese food, dinner was at Young Garden. You remember the food. Spring rolls with that yellow sauce. Sauce glistening (with corn starch) on the food. It all seemed so exotic. I think the highlight for me as a kid was the lollipop (with gum in the middle! Remember those?) at the end of the meal. Oh, and dipping your fingers into the warm citrus water to get them unsticky.

Well, we’ve found that we have continued the Sunday dinner tradition (Continue Reading…)

Stress stress stress and veggie triage.
Friday March 26th 2010

Okay, it’s been a hell of a stressful day. Got a call mid afternoon to pick up Emma (the 6 year old). For you non-parents out there, sorry, but you might not comprehend. For you parents out there, yes, there is olive oil under that cap. Ugh.

But why should that stop me from making a good dinner with all this CSA goodness? (Continue Reading…)

How do kids actually grow?
Thursday March 25th 2010

I sometimes don’t understand it. Our 6-year-old usually comes home with a full lunch box. Both Emma and Alexis usually push their food around their dinner plates, probably in some off-hand hope that the food will miraculously turn into hot-dogs and mac-and-cheese (also known as Kraft dinner to my canadian friends). Know what I’m saying parents?

I was home with Alexis today, who was sick. Juggled the snotty, teary kid and work emails and telecons. Ugh. Then the wind picked up in the afternoon, it got cold, and I thought a soup was in order. Sort of a spring minestrone I guess. Tons of spring garlic, carrots, rutabaga-baga, and some kale at the end. Chicken stock as the base.

Here’s how it looked as the “sofrito” was sweating.

And then the final (Continue Reading…)

Two extra boxes! Fridge is full!
Thursday March 25th 2010

2 boxes at 9 pounds each. That’s an extra 18 pounds of veggies! 27 pounds total. That’ll be a challenge folks! Especially with all those rutabagas!

A visit from a dear friend and a sweet roast chicken
Thursday March 25th 2010

My favourite bar in the whole world is a quirky dark little dive bar in the Mission called The Attic. A true dive bar, in a world without enough dive bars. If you’re ever in the neighborhood check it out.
Anyway, I have a regular meet-up at The Attic with a few friends from my days at Genentech. But life and schedule (Continue Reading…)