CSA Share #14: Adjusting Expectations

IMG_3850This share contained some vegetables I thought I would not see again until next year. Check out the perfect zucchini squash. We don’t usually see zucchini like this at this time of year. If there are zucchini, they are the giant squash that time forgot, best used in breads and muffins, or roasted with a stuffing. We are also knee-deep in watermelon. That’s never happened before; I’ve got some recipe reading to do, so we can enjoy them before they go soft. The ability to adjust and revise your menu expectations week-to-week is a big part of being a CSA member.

The next share is the last for the year, and it’s also Open Field day, when we are allowed to wander out to the fields with our canvas bags and cutters, to harvest the remaining crops that interest us. I haven’t always been able to take advantage of this opportunity, but last year, I came home with some precious little cabbages, just right for a small slaw salad for dinner, and a stealth crop of cilantro that others didn’t seem to recognize, or want. There were also lots of slender Japanese eggplant, tomatoes both red and green, kale, kohlrabi, and chile peppers. I can’t wait to see what treasures await me in the fields this year.

Of course, in the back of my mind, I have to remember that I only have a working kitchen for two more weeks, and then all food prep and cooking will be happening in a tight corner of the dining room. While the microwave oven is useful, and I am clever, there are serious limitations to what can be served during that time. With any luck, we will only be out of the kitchen for a few weeks, while we get rid of the old cabinets and flooring, paint the walls, put the new cabinets in place, and begin installing the new floor and backsplash tiles. New countertops will be ordered and installed, and then the unpacking can begin.

I had hoped the kitchen remodel would be further along by now, but there are always delays and unexpected kinks in plans of this magnitude. The current delay is the masonry work. That demolition isn’t scheduled until the end of October, so there isn’t much sense in getting ahead of ourselves, emptying the kitchen prematurely. We have begun, though.

IMG_3851In case you’ve ever wondered what your kitchen would look like without wall cabinets, here you go. The base cabinets are nearly empty as well, but there’s no sense in removing them until it’s absolutely necessary. We don’t want anything new and shiny in the room when the brickwork is being demolished and removed, and we don’t want to spend the next month eating microwave meals. So we wait, and I keep on cooking whatever nature generously provides.

This summer has been unexpectedly cool, and the CSA shares have been different than in past years, but still abundant. I’ve learned to be flexible in the kitchen, and that mindset has spread into other areas of my life. I don’t always know what’s around the next bend, but I’m always grateful for the unexpected treasures I find there.

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3 comments

      • Ah yes, they are similar! Tian is supposed to be a ‘side dish’ but as you could probably tell from pictures, I just tend to pile it into my bowl and stuff my face with it! Most vegetables are better with cheese, at least where I’m concerned! :D

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