Every summer I spend a long weekend at my parents' lake house in western Maryland. It's about a 10-hour drive from Chicago.
Since Ryan couldn't make it this year, I got a ride with my sister's family. In the mini-van. With my 2- and 4-year-old nephews. And the dog.
It was a long ride.
In the 20 summers that my family has spent up there, we've always eaten the same meals. Grilled hamburgers. Grilled chicken. Corn on the cob. Salad. Yuengling beer.
This year I brought some food from my CSA - a bag of carrots, potatoes, an eggplant, and a watermelon. I wasn't concerned about introducing some "new" foods into the mix, but I wondered how it would play out.
The carrots were easy. In fact, my nephews and I ate most of them before we got there. They helped me peel all of them before we left Chicago by standing on little stools to reach the sink. Once I showed Max how to peel down from the top of the carrot (instead of the other way around), he was a pro. Nate mostly watched and knawed on a peeled one.
I wanted to use the eggplant as soon as possible because it had been a few days, and I was worried that it would go bad if we waited too long. Our first night there as hamburgers sizzled on the grill, I cut the eggplant into vertical slices, dipped each side in olive oil, and salted. Then I threw them on the grill for about 7 minutes on each side. Delicious!
A few nights later, we boiled and mashed the potatoes with butter, milk, and salt. Decent, but not enough flavor.
My favorite food moment came with the melon.
I was upstairs when my mom, Max, and Nate sliced it open. "Linds?" my mom called out. "Are you sure this is a watermelon?"
"I think so," I said. The CSA newsletter had said I would get either a watermelon, an orange fleshed musk melon, or a green fleshed honey dew.
I went downstairs to see for myself. My mom was cutting up little pieces and digging out the seeds as my nephews gobbled them up. She couldn't cut fast enough. They literally squealed with delight.
It looked like a watermelon. It tasted like a watermelon (but sweeter). We decided that it was a watermelon. (Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera but here is a great photo of the watermelon taken by someone else who is in my CSA.)
Okay, so that would be my favorite CSA-related food moment.
My true favorite food moment came when we made s'mores. I think Max and Nate liked them too.