I know I know. A blog about what I got in my weekly CSA and how I'm going to cook it is definitely not new. I'm about two years behind the "eating local is cool" curve. Some introductory remarks:
1. I try my best to buy local for a number of reasons, but not because I think it makes me a better person. Quite simply, it's sometimes cheaper than going to the grocery store and the produce lasts considerably longer than the stuff that's been shipped from afar. This realization has coincided with the development of a serious love of cooking, so that I enjoy the challenge of finding something new and trying to make it into something delicious.
2. I'm not the perfect or ideal vision of a "locavore" so I try not to identify as one. I occasionally supplement my CSA items or farmers market purchases with stuff that's not in season. I buy meat from Costco. I use plastic containers to store leftovers. And I've actually been known to use plastic utensils to eat my lunch at the office when I forget to bring real ones from home. Basically, if you are reading this and consider yourself a true locavore, I'm the devil.
3. I live in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. The area is a dichotomy of newbies who tend to flaunt their healthy bike-riding-local-food-eating-gastropub-loving lifestyles and the longtime locals who are personally offended by the newbie criticisms of the fly-ridden produce section at the one local grocery store. (It's worth noting that the defensiveness is punctuated by the fact that most of the grocery carts being lugged around that store have not one fresh fruit or vegetable in them.) Nonetheless, there are quite a few of us who happily exist in the middle ground of these two camps - old heads who hit the farmers market once in a while, and newbies who can be seen chowing on a cheesesteak from Slack's every once in a while.
4. Our CSA is Henry Got Crops, which is a joint venture between the largest food co-op in the city and the city's agricultural high school. I like the idea that we are supporting an urban high school that is teaching city kids about farming and veterinary sciences. Plus, we've tried to join a CSA that is closer to our house every year since we moved here and it always fills up too fast. And quite frankly, recent neighborhood events have made me pretty happy about our choice to go with Henry Got Crops.
5. The purpose of this blog is really to just serve as a clearinghouse for ideas on how to cook the seasonal items that come to us each week. It might morph into something more, but please comment, encourage, criticize, snark, or otherwise contribute. I like hearing other people's opinions almost as much as I like touting my own.