I hate winter. And in the depths of the winter months, I look ahead to spring and summer with unwavering optimism. “I’m going to run 30 or more miles per week!” “I’m going to sort through the dozens of boxes and bins I haven’t touched since we moved two years ago!” “This year, I’m going to rise to the challenge of our vegetable share and figure out a way to prepare all of the items we receive each week for my family to consume.” This all sounded totally doable in February. Now that we’re well into August, I am failing the grand plans I made six months ago, and in no way more so than with our vegetable share. (Half share, actually. It’s truly pathetic.)
Each Tuesday, with a canvas bag slung over my shoulder, Jazzy, the one-eyed wonder dog, and I walk to pick it up, praying that the contents will be at least something I recognize. Tomatoes? Yes, I not only know what to do with those, all three of us like them. Sauces, soup, pizza, sandwiches, salads—we’re all on board with tomatoes. Same goes for red potatoes, though I do find it challenging for us to get through all the red potatoes when we’re given a sack of them three weeks in a row. Fortunately, potatoes keep well and don’t pose a rotten vegetable emergency if we can’t eat them within a week. Kale I recognize and know how to prepare, but Josh and Virginia have a tough time choking it down, even in chip form. Kale is a primary item that I stuff to the back of the vegetable drawer, where it quickly wilts and then rots. The worst is when we get something we don’t even know what to do with, or don’t even really recognize. I don’t want to do a lot of research on my food. I’m busy. I’m also lazy. I just don’t have time or the will to figure out what to do with gold cylindra beets. I know, I know, most of the time you can roast just about anything, but egads, roasted, again?
Right now, zucchini is the bane of my existence. I roast it, sauté it, bake it, shave it over pasta, blend it into pesto, bake it into bread…and I don’t even really like zucchini. But week after week, despite heroic efforts to use the squash, I end up throwing out more than we can consume. Tuesday, I got six more zucchini in my half-share box. It never ends. But the thing is, is it does end. Sooner than I’ll want it, the temperature will drop, the days will get shorter, and I’ll have to put all my shorts and tank tops away and bust out my long pants and sweaters. The challenge of the weekly vegetable share will come to an end just as fall hits its stride. And I’ll miss it. And come February, I’ll start to get excited about it all over again.