Monday, October 17, 2011

The tyranny of the CSA box

Cabbage, aged gouda, milk, bread crumbs 
It's obviously an error when a dish that Nigel Slater calls "a gratin of white cabbage, cheese, and mustard" does not  include any mustard.

I only noticed the omission after I sat down to eat Saturday night's dinner and thought, wow, this gratin is kind unctuous and could use some. . . hey, wait a second! I assumed I'd missed a step in the recipe, but I reread it and mustard is mentioned at no point except in the name of the dish.

Mistakes happen. Even without mustard, the gratin was hugely popular with the males of our household, who seemed to mistake it for macaroni and cheese. I was not so easily fooled. I feel cooked cabbage is too watery for cheese sauce, which just slid off the limp, sodden leaves. If I am going to eat a fattening cabbage dish, I would choose cole slaw.

Now, I only have two more cabbages left in the refrigerator, plus a bunch of collards, a couple of Delicata squash, many radishes, several weeks worth of beets, some spoiling, slimy bok choy, and much more! They hit us again tomorrow. This is the tyranny of the CSA box. Tyranny that could (and one of these days will) be ended with an email.

14 comments:

  1. Another delicious and fattening way to dispatch with surplus cabbage: saute it in butter until well wilted down, add heavy cream and mustard and reduce. Serve with pork chops. Or underneath braised cubes of pork butt.

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  2. I was just looking in my crisper and trying to figure out what to do with a head of red cabbage, sweet peppers, some swiss chard, and most of a head of cauliflower. I don't have to worry about delicata squash until the new box on Wednesday.

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  3. Our CSA lets us order what we want from their website. They post what they have available and you tell them what you want and how much. You give them money upfront and they just deduct the amount of your order from your account. They deliver only what you order. You might want to suggest it to your farmer. I think a lot of people leave CSA's because of the guilt caused by being overwhelmed by things like cabbage, beets and parsnips.

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  4. Going to start using my name rather than Anonymous! Anyway, had to fire my CSA for the same reason. Couldn't handle the pressure/guilt of cooking so many veggies.

    I have yet to try a Nigel recipe... may I be so bold as to request some baking from My Sweet Mexico...?

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  5. P.S. I made my first ever Sidecar tonight (with bourbon, which I think you mentioned at one point).

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  6. I am interested that I got your book at the local bookstore BEFORE I received my Amazon order.....
    good news for those of us who love independent bookstores.....

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  7. Your book came today! I was almost late for work tearing it open and then remembered, right, people expect me somewhere now.

    Don't forget the cabbage and white bean thing. And you described almost exactly what I have in our fridge, only we have tatsoi instead of bok choi.

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  8. Cabbage with cheese? Can't wrap my mind around that...

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  9. Yay! Your book came last night! I love it. I had no idea you could make your own creme fraiche. I'm excited, b/c so many recipes in Around My French Table call for it, and every time I've tried the awful brand in my supermarket, it ruins the recipe. Other people act like it's the greatest food ever made, so I'm pretty sure that the problem is with the brand, not with creme fraiche, in general.

    There's lots of good stuff in your book. I may need to work my way up to camembert, though. Yikes. :-)

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  10. Ei -- You can live a very full life and never get around to making camembert. I'll post a picture of my creme fraiche experiment on Facebook. It was funny.

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  11. Sitting here reading your book, couldn't be happier!

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  12. We are swimming in lettuce from our box and it's killing me. I mean sure, lettuce is easy to use (just make a salad!). But once you get behind and it comes every week (which it has been so far) it feels beyond overwhelming and wasteful.

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  13. I made something similar from the Joy of Cooking just last week. It was called Cabbage Gratin. It was absolutely delicious and my 11- and 13-yr olds asked for seconds!It called for pre-cooking the cabbage and included eggs, cream, Gruyere, Parmesan or bread crumbs, caraway, and cardamom.Delicious and refined - check it out!

    I also made sauerkraut in a big crock to use up all the cabbage from the garden. Always a first:-)

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