Monday, July 21, 2008

Making Do

I received some potentially grim news from my CSA over the weekend. The weather over the past year - the recent floods, a later-than-usual winter, and last summer's drought - had taken its toll. Home Grown Wisconsin decided not to deliver food boxes for the next two weeks and will add two weeks on at the end of the season.

The farmers simply needed time to catch up and let their food grow. Too much had either rotted or washed away, and they had to replant a lot of crops.

I knew this was a risk going into the CSA, but I consider myself very lucky to have access and the means to buy fresh and healthy food until it starts up again. I feel terrible for the farmers though. For their sakes, I hope they can overcome this setback and recover their losses. I don't know how devastating the weather has been to their bottom lines, but this gives me all the more reason to buy from them whenever I can.

So with no CSA box coming for awhile, I'm going to do the next best thing - shop at farmer's markets and grocery stores that sell locally grown food in the meantime.

Tonight I went to the Green Grocer, a new store in Chicago that sells food from Midwestern farmers. I bought a bunch of chard, a yellow squash, and a jar of tomatillo salsa from a farm near Madison, Wisconsin. I was going to make quesadillas but when I stopped by my Mexican grocery store, several boxes filled with corn tortillas beckoned me (so did the price - only 36 cents for a dozen!).

I made chard and squash soft tacos instead.

To create this dish, I chopped the squash and sauteed in garlic and olive oil, added the cut pieces of chard and covered for a few minutes. Meanwhile, I heated up a few tortillas, then added the veggie mixture, and spooned a bit of the tomatilla salsa on top followed by a sprinkle of grated parmesan.

The cooking part took very little time, and the taste of the corn tortillas brought back some great memories from my trip to Mexico - it was the shopping part that took awhile, mostly because the Green Grocer is nowhere near where I live. But I'm glad I made the extra effort.

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