I used to follow an assortment of delightfully frivolous blogs, like one about how to dress yourself if you’re only five feet tall, and the best way to decorate your dorm room for less than ten dollars. At some point in many of these blogs, the writer would vanish for months at a time and re-emerge saying something like “Sorry I’ve been gone so long, I was doing XYZ.” I would roll my eyes and lose all respect for the author.
My original vision was that my CSA blog last year would be largely comedic, and the reader would enjoy laughing at my inept attempts to cook kohlrabi while giving myself food poisoning and having psychotic breaks about beet greens. In retrospect, I felt that last year’s CSA experience benefited from the observer effect, where the act of observation on a phenomenon changes it. Faced with a modest audience, we threw ourselves headlong into the CSA project, utilizing a combination of my organizational skills and Andrew’s culinary prowess. The end result was something disturbing similar to a food blog, at least for a few months.
The paradox, of course, about blogging about your overwhelm is that past a certain threshold, you are also too overwhelmed to blog. So after posting a few times a week for eleven weeks, in the height of the season, drowning in tomatoes and corn and all manners of radishes, the blog went fallow, even as box after box of vegetables kept pouring into our apartment.
In a last ditch effort to salvage my self-respect, I went through all of my photos from the fall trying to see if I could figure out what we did with at least some of the vegetables. One of the reasons for starting the blog originally was to have documentation of what we actually cooked, so we could go back and find the recipes later (it’s nice to have a use for your blog that doesn’t depend on people actually reading it). Sadly, the evidence is pretty spotty:
September: This looks like some delicious…pork? In some sort of salsa? (Andrew tells me it’s jerk pork, and that it was delicious)
October: I spent most of this month refreshing fivethirtyeight.com, but photographic evidence seems to indicate I also ate at least one bowl of pumpkin soup:
November: I spent most of this month randomly crying in public and drinking heavily, but we did host Thanksgiving using almost entirely CSA vegetables, which was pretty spectacular and also I’m sure none of my family members will agree to have a holiday at my apartment again until we get a dishwasher. No photographic evidence exists other than these pies, which do include CSA apples and CSA pumpkin mush. I remember that part pretty vividly. Andrew reminds me that the sour cherry pie also featured CSA sour cherries that we froze in July, because we’re smart.
December: Three full boxes of vegetables came east with us for the holidays, which we spent alternating between Andrew’s family and mine. I don’ remember what we did with everything, except by the end of the trip most of the vegetables were gone and it came down to about eight watermelon radishes which we forced everyone to eat, like, 4 days in a row. Luckily, they were a big hit with members of the under-two crowd.
And that was the end of CSA 2016.
We hadn’t really considered not doing a CSA this year. We just sort of assumed it was on. But the spring got busier than usual. Andrew got a show downtown that began in April and that runs for six months straight. He’s gone for dinner 5-6 nights every week, and three days a week he isn’t around for lunch either. More rational people might have decided that this year it might make sense to make some changes, say, for instance, not having a CSA.
But as the memory from last year of piles upon piles of giant brassicas rotting into puddles of brown goo faded once again, we thought, This time it will be a real challenge. Armed with two years’ experience and a sense of trepidation, we ventured once more into the, um, beets.