Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to Capay

That's right—I went back to the Farm Fresh To You box.  Delivered to my doorstep and good variety (at this time of year at least), I went back to a bi-weekly medium box.

This is the third box I think since I restarted:
Lettuce, peppers, eggplant, plums, squash, melon, potatoes, cherry tomatoes.  I could tell you the exact varieties if I could be bothered digging the newsletter out of the recycling.  Actually it doesn't look like a lot when laid out on the table like that (esp. compared to some previous years).

Hmm, eggplant (I mean aubergine); I think I need to put that on my substitute list as I don't know a single way to prepare it that I actually like.  Also, need to get into more regular cooking.  A fair amount of the last box is still kicking around, but at least it's fairly hardy stuff.

Back to the box

What's happened in the year since I last posted here?  I went to the farmer's market pretty much zero times (everything good is gone by the time I get home from work) and I pretty much get everything from the grocery store.  I persisted with the chicken/eggs CSA for a while but the pickup was not that convenient either and the price of eggs crept up to almost the price I would pay for pasture eggs at the cheese store a block from my house, so I spent down my remaining balance and didn't renew.

Then I decided about three months ago to get back on the box wagon but decided to try a different CSA for a change.  Eatwell farms has a pickup point very close to my house so I signed up for a biweekly box.  The verdict?  I don't think I can do any CSA that requires me to go and pick it up at a prescribed time and place, even if it is two blocks away from my house.  Also the Eatwell box is pretty heavy on the greens and they are dirty—sure I'm going to wash them anyway but there's something nice about not having a load of dirt in your lettuce.  There were some nice things though: strawberries, the ability to add eggs to your order and the occasional surprise half dozen eggs when they had more than they needed.  But after the four boxes I'd prepaid for I decided it wasn't working out.

Which brings me to one last thing—they did that supremely annoying thing were they auto-renewed and charged my card.  Sorry, but I signed up for a prepaid plan and that's not cool, especially since I could find nowhere on the website to cancel it so I had to contact customer service to refund me.

What happens next?  Wait for the next post…

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A change in directon

Ok, I give up.

We cancelled the box a couple of months ago. Too much stuff was ending up in the compost bin and it was too unpredictable as to whether we'd be eating at home on any given evening; it was time to take break. That's not to say we'll not restart it sometime.

Also the local shopping landscape has changed in our neighbourhood; there's a weekly farmers market two blocks from my house and a Whole Foods opened in the neighbourhood which has in turn encouraged the local independent market to up their game by doubling in size and adding a butcher, deli and fish counter.

And our eating patterns are changing. We're both pretty tired of take out so we're actually eating out slightly more but also cooking at home more, but shopping in the neighbourhood for what we cook. It's very easy for me to stop at the store on the way home for ingredients so we can have fresh stuff every day rather then using the dregs of a biweekly box. Also we're unabashed meat eaters and the box didn't really help with that whereas I now have two decent butchers within walking distance.

So the direction of this blog will be changing. I do want to post more home cooked meals. There's going to be more meat, and we're already working through some experimentation with all the different cuts that are available. Something else I'm going to address is food cost; it's all very well for white middle class San Franciscans like me to blog about our organic dinners but but I thought it would be interesting to talk about how I actually shop and what we actually spend on food.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2 Mar Box (+ catching up)

It's been a while. After getting back from vacation we were variously laid down with flu and other ailments, I was on my own for a while, some veg rotted. Then we had a lot of cauliflower and it mostly got turned into gratin, which was great. And now I finally catch up; we're drowning in oranges though. This week:
  • Gala Apples
  • Murcott Tangerines
  • Kent Mangoes
  • Kale
  • Collard Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Garnet Yams

Thursday, January 6, 2011

5 Jan Box

I just got back from vacation the night before so a box of Capay goodness was a welcome sight the next morning. We have:
  • Anjou Pears
  • Gala Apples
  • Minneola Tangelos
  • Leeks
  • Red Kale
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Radicchio
  • Yellow Onion
I'm on my own for a week, but I think I can still find use for all of this. Although I'm not sure about the butternut squash from weeks ago that is still sitting on top of the fridge, along with the pumpkin fished out of the bay about two months ago…

Friday, December 17, 2010

Another CSA

The veg box delivery is great but for a while I've also been thinking of getting involved in a more meat-oriented CSA. I do like to eat meat, but have been making a lot of effort to make sure I'm buying good meat; fortunately in San Francisco that's not that hard, but getting into a CSA would be even cooler.

I googled around a bit, found quite a few that didn't really work for me (like Marin Sun Farms) and decided to try Soul Food Farms: Chickens and eggs, only a $100 commitment and a reasonably convenient pickup location.

Once a month I can choose what I want online (one whole chicken and a dozen eggs in my case) and then pick it up a few days later on the way home. It's not cheap (working out at around $30 per order) but I like the regularity of it—ordinarily I might roast chicken two times a year but we really like it and even better we can use the carcasses to make stock, which is something we do use a lot of.

Is it worth it? I don't know. It does a have a high feel-good factor (poultry is one thing where I look at the options in the store and don't have much idea what the labels mean for the animals' welfare, e.g. organic vs. free range from the same supplier). And not having to commit to a regular monthly order means I'll probably top up my balance with $100 every so often and then order as I feel like it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

8 December box

So we skipped a box for being out of town over thanksgiving. On to today…

First of all I forgot we got a box today so I bought some veg on the way home intending to make a risotto. Then I forgot that Cior was going out tonight so I would only be feeding myself. So I just emptied the bag of spinach that has been sitting in the fridge into a bowl with some mustard dressing and ate that for dinner. But in the box:
  • Satsumas (lots)
  • 2 pears
  • Navel oranges
  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Dino Kale
  • Red Cabbage
  • Butternut squash
  • Baby mixed lettuces
  • Radicchio
Winter veg is here again! Roll on Brussels Sprouts!