Growing up I always made a big deal about my birthday, mostly because I was a year younger than most of my friends and always felt behind.
I saw my birthday as a day to catch up, and everyone knew it. Exactly three months prior, I would start to self promote so by the time the big day rolled around, anyone who forgot incurred my wrath. Then my friends turned a year older, and that longing to be the same age started all over again.
That all changed once I turned 30 and no longer felt so eager to catch up.
So that may explain why nine days ago, a very important birthday of sorts slipped by without me even realizing it: my two-year blogiversary! But really, it was two years ago that I subscribed to a CSA and changed my eating and cooking habits. (Technically I didn't receive my first box of produce until November 16, so I suppose I have some time yet.)
When I started this CSA experiment, I wasn't sure if I would really take the time to find recipes, cook, and manage to eat the stuff too. But it has become a new way of life for me.
I went from buying the same boring foods at the grocery store to getting unidentifiable veggies that I had to figure out how to make.
I went from coming home from work, ordering takeout, and planting myself on the couch in front of the tv all night to chopping onions and garlic, sauteing with spices and veggies, and going straight to bed after eating and cleaning up. (Except when Lost is on. Two more months!)
Along the way I have collected some favorite recipes: strawberry and feta salad; chicken tajine; rhubarb crisp bars; pasta with butternut squash and sage, and so many others that I was just plain lazy to blog about.
I have learned important lessons about cooking: always make at least one test batch when baking pumpkin pie for a holiday dinner; always put a lid on the pan when popping popcorn on the stovetop; and food left out too long or stored incorrectly will rot (and when this happens, I will feel sad).
I also have made many discoveries about food and my own tastes and habits: I don't like a vegetables that rhyme with arse-snips; potatoes come in different colors; and grating beets is tiring, turns my hands magenta, and inspires bad, punny dialogue between me and Ryan (Me: I'm beat. Ryan: You're doing great, Hon.) I never wrote a blog post about this, so you'll have to take my word for it.
I now know what sunchokes, rutabega, celeriac, salsify, and rhubarb look like.
I think some foods taste best when eaten raw: raspberries, grape tomatoes, carrots, and strawberries.
I would be nothing without onions and garlic.
But most of all I have gained tremendous appreciation for the farmers, who deliver fresh and delicious produce week after week. I have learned that no matter how hard they work, sometimes the weather has other plans. Like last summer too much rain destroyed crops, and my CSA decided to delay deliveries for a few weeks to let the farmers catch up.
I know the feeling of wanting to catch up. But as long as they're growing food, I'm eating it, I hope, for many years to come.