The Farm (Shares) Report, 06/09/09 – Seven Pounds of Greens

It is farm shares time, and the Red-Haired Boy and I have been eagerly awaiting our first delivery from Steve.  Today was the day.

Last year, or maybe the year before, Steve started sending an e-mail early the day of the dropoff indicating what we were getting.  Today’s list:

  • pea tendrils
  • red leaf lettuce
  • romaine lettuce
  • chicory (his name – I usually refer to this one as curly endive)
  • bok choy
  • spinach

As the season progresses, it’s typical to get about 8 different items, so I confess to wondering if six bunches of greens would be enough to last until next week.  Still – greens picked this morning!  The only thing better is greens picked five minutes ago.

It was misty, so I bundled young Miss Gillian into a nice thick blanket and took the stroller over to the drop point, keeping up a little patter about getting our veggies from Farmer Steve.

When I arrived … let’s just say that my fears about adequacy were unfounded.  We got only six items, true, but they were six HUGE items.  The romaine was almost as big as Gillian, and with the exception of the pea tendrils, everything else was comparably sized.

“Steve,” I said, “What on earth are you feeding these plants?”

“The same thing I feed him:  steroids,” he said, pointing to Steven Jr.  Given young Steven’s dramatic increase in height since last year (I think the kid is 4 now, but I’ve lost track), it’s believable that everyone and everything on Parker Farm is getting extra growth hormones or something.

The total haul could barely be persuaded to fit into the basket underneath the stroller, and I still had to pick up a gallon of milk, too.  And we get the SMALL share.  Apparently the conditions this spring were perfect for greens – not too wet, not too dry, and rather cool even by New England standards.  Today, in fact, the temps were in the 50s.  (Yes, people, it is nearing the middle of June.)

I didn’t think to weigh the abundance until after Mat and I had eaten some, and I’d stemmed the spinach to make room for it in the fridge – but the total weight after these efforts was 6 lb 11 oz.  Surely we’d just been given 7 lbs of greens.  And all this for maybe $12 or $13 a week.  (Since we play a flat fee in January, the actual cost per week depends on how long the season lasts.)

After packing everything into plastic bags and rearranging the fridge, I said, “There.  It’s all in now.”  The Red-Haired Boy replied, “Does the door close?”

Here is my plan for using these lovely veggies:

  • Several mixed salads using the two lettuces and some endive
  • A Caesar salad using just the romaine and a knockout homemade Caesar dressing
  • A frittata with the spinach and more endive (and maybe the greens from the turnips and radishes I picked up at last week’s farmer’s market)
  • Chicken, coconut milk, the bok choy, and some zucchini that are kicking around the fridge

I have not yet thought through what to do with the pea tendrils.  No doubt some will find their way into a salad or two, but I’m thinking they need to be just wilted in a garlicky broth.

Add comment June 9, 2009 Melancholy C

Brief Non-Sequiturs on the Inauguration of Barack Obama


I wasn’t sure if I was happier to see Obama in, or Bush out.

One of the most miraculous things about the American Constitution is that eventually even the war criminals have to give up the Oval Office.

Perhaps the most striking thing about Barack Hussein Obama is not his race, but his name.  Of the last 42 presidents (Cleveland was president twice, remember), the vast majority have had Anglo-Saxon-Norman-Celtic last names, with a few Knickerbockers and 1 Pennsylvania Dutch.  America hasn’t looked like that for a long time; it’s about time the Presidency has caught up.

This article on the ethnic background of the President was one of the most beautiful things in yesterday’s New York Times.  This is what America looks like.

When President Obama returns home for vacations (and let us hope it is far less frequently than his predecessor), he will be heading to a major urban center instead of a ranch.  Sarah Palin and “the Real America” notwithstanding, most Americans live in metropolitan areas.  It is Obama, not Palin, who represents the Real America.

Obama’s Inaugural Address showed an unusual combination of class and balls.

We have replaced a President whose normal facial expression is “deer in the headlights” with one whose face shows intelligence and focus.

The next few years are going to be hard, and Obama, while hyper-competent, is no superhero.  Still, just a few days before the birth of my child, I felt much as though my mother must have felt when she saw the moon landing, 9 days after my birth: a miracle has occurred, hallelujah.

Was I the only one who, watching the Obamas escort the Bushes to the helicopter, thought that it looked very much like a security guard escorting a persona non grata from the building?

Words used by Barack Obama are the featured theme in this week’s A Word A Day.  At last, literacy in the White House.

Obama issued an executive order freezing all pending Bush regulations until review.  This year, our peaceful transition of power feels more like a bloodless coup.

Add comment January 22, 2009 Melancholy C

What the Heck?

Why can’t WordPress just leave its authoring UI alone for a whole year? I have been an infrequent blogger for a while, and every time I come back here, I have to relearn the UI! For the first year I was here, I loved WordPress and told everyone how great it was. But if you have to constantly relearn how to use the thing, what good is it?

Add comment January 22, 2009 Melancholy C

Dear Craigslist buyers

Dear Craigslist buyers,

Let’s get a few things straight here.

1.  If you and I have agreed upon a specific time for you to come look at or pick up an item, I am arranging my life around being home at least 15 minutes before you say you’re showing up and sticking around for at least a half hour after the appointed time in case you are either early or late.  I am extending you the courtesy of being at my house for 45 minutes, during which I can’t leave lest you show up.  So extend me the return courtesy of either showing up or calling me to say you’ve been delayed or aren’t coming.  That’s why I am entrusting you, a complete stranger, with my phone number.

2.  I am not a warehouse.  If I’ve priced a bulky item at $10, it’s because I need it out of my house.  I am not holding onto it for you for 3 days because you can’t make it to my place until the weekend, especially because I don’t know if you’re even going to bother to show up (see item 1).  Somebody who wants it tonight gets first dibs.  If you can’t come until Saturday, check back on Saturday to see if my listing is still up.

3.  Coming over and looking to decide if the item is in acceptable condition is fine.  But I post the dimensions of items for sale so you don’t have to come over and look at it to see if it will fit and then tell me you think it’s too big.  Home Depot has tape measures for as little as $5 – get one and measure your space before you respond to my ad.

Thank you, and I’m looking forward to doing business with you in the future.

Add comment September 17, 2008 Melancholy C

Food of the Gods

There’s nothing like Brie that has been allowed to come to room temperature so it’s all soft and spreadable.

It’s like cheese-flavored butter.  Or maybe butter-flavored cheese.

Add comment September 8, 2008 Melancholy C

Palin – Big Yawn

I have been watching the convention speeches on YouTube, so I’m a bit behind.

I’m on Palin’s speech, minute 15 of 45, and so far she has said nothing of substance.  I don’t get why the right is swooning over her, and why so many people think her speech is the best thing since the Gettysburg Address.  Then again, maybe you don’t need any qualifications for an office that ain’t worth a bucket of warm spit.

1 comment September 4, 2008 Melancholy C

Just When You Thought Air Travel Couldn’t Get Any Worse …

… Air France wants to let people use cell phones.

Here’s my take on what’s wrong with this idea.

The last time I flew Air France I had a hard enough time getting any sleep because the woman in the seat behind me had to talk to both her son across the aisle AND the stranger in the seat next to her.  Even though everyone else wanted to sleep.  Because it was, you know, an overnight flight.  And people, you know, tend to sleep at night.

What will it be like if everyone is shouting into their cell phones over the air noise?

2 comments January 24, 2008 Melancholy C


Last night the Red-Haired Boy and I caught the last twenty minutes or so of Paul Simon’s concert at the Library of Congress on the tube.  I had a hard time enjoying it, though, even though Simon is clearly still a consummate performer.

When he called Art Garfunkel on stage to sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” all I could think was, Who are these two old Jewish guys, and why is Simon and Garfunkel coming out of their mouths?

Maybe it would do me good to turn on a TV once in a while.  The last time I saw an image of Paul Simon was probably around the time of Rhythm of the Saints.

We are time’s subjects …

Add comment January 1, 2008 Melancholy C

Name the Whales!

Dear readers, I urge you, please please please vote for Mr. Splashy Pants:

2 comments November 26, 2007 Melancholy C

My New Invention

A jar with a tight-sealing lid on both the top and bottom.

Anyone who eats natural peanut butter (the kind where the oil separates) knows what I’m talking about.

This kind of nut butter is much easier to handle if you store it upside down, so that the oil ends up on the bottom and the spreadable nut butter is on the top.  But who remembers to do this?

Add comment October 19, 2007 Melancholy C

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