Menu Monday

April 27, 2009 at 9:37 am

Rob Gardner

The first thing you need to know about Menu Monday is this is a week with no CSA.  Farmer Vicki just found herself too much a victim of our wild spring conditions.  When she scheduled spring CSA, she scheduled a mix of storage crops, overwintered crops, hoop house crops and field crops.  This plan worked well for three weeks.  Very well if you ask me, from almost overly sweet carrots to generous packages of herbs in our boxes.  Yet, it was not working to her.  See, too much rain, too much cold kept her off her fields.  Her storage supplies and hoop house crops were running thin.  She just could not meet the demand.  Doing something she has never done before, she put a halt to a weekly CSA run.  No one will be the victim of these circumstances.  Farmer Vicki has offered several options to her subscribers to make up for the missed week.  Me, I’m going to see if I can negotiate my own deal, taking it out in her fantastically hot, hot peppers when they come to harvest many months from now. 

The second thing you need to know is that this Monday like most Mondays, proceeds not so much with a CSA box but with a box or two or three of leftovers from our weekly Friday night dinner.  My wife braised up  local chicken parts with some of her home processed tomato concentrate plus some stock veg we had in the house (leeks, carrots, onions) as well as some not so local olives.  Her polenta on the side came from Weisenberger in Kentucky, beneficiary of the local when we bought it rule.  Me, I made the starters Moroccan.  Three salads: beets, carrot-turnip and radish-orange.  What makes them Moroccan you ask?  A good hand with cinnamon, cumin and paprika (in fact too good a hand for some in the Local Family).  We have extras of all of that to eat this week.

The third thing you should know is that we are never ones to rely just on a weekly CSA.  One day last week I stopped in the Downtown Farmstand and picked up some prized local parsley.  A daughter and I stopped in at Cassie’s Green Grocer and walked out with dandelions (to be told in another post), arugula and salad greens.  Three members of the local family visited the Green and Growing Fair at Garfield Park on Saturday and we returned from that with kale, chard and Easter egg radishes. 

The fourth thing you need to know is that one day this week is a daughter’s birthday.  The menu is set for this night.  Hamburgers still left from our local cow, grilled; ramps still left from a last week’s foray to Cassie’s, also grilled; attic potatoes also well left, maybe grilled maybe made into a salad; plus my classic garlicky lemon cabbage salad.

At least one night this week we will be too caught up in events for much of a solid dinner.  I think we may be hard pressed to resist the call of Five Guys or its ilk, but I will try.

At least one night this week will be Friday, so we will make it an event.  Around Wednesday or so my wife and I will start thinking of what should we take out of the freezer (meat) for dinner.  We cannot think too hard about that, so the meat will be ready by Friday.

At least one day this week I imagine the kid’s lunches will contain non-local fruit.  I think this time of year is an especially trying one for locavores when it comes to fruit.  Is it apples again.  Not even our apples but rather crappy ones leftover from Michigan.  Yet, even the oranges are past their prime now, as we found out above with the radishes.  There will be local veg in the lunches, the radishes or some side-salad.

That’s all the things to think about for me on Menu Monday.  What local foods do you have, and what are you thinking?