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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Susanus of the Boxus

I like to think of myself as on a par with Carolus Linneaus. You know old Carolus. He was the first guy to classify living things, and put them in categories. (Maybe you remember him as Carl, from before he changed his name.) At any rate, when I unpack my box each week, I like to put my fruits and vegetables in categories as well. However, where our buddy Carolus was more concerned with such trivial matters as genus and species, I have more distinguishing categories:

1. Things I have had before and I am quite happy to see them again.
2. Things I have had before and I am not at all happy to see them again.
3. Surprises that make me smile.
4. Surprises that absolutely stupefy me as to what they are, and/or how in the world I am supposed to eat them.

The items in the box fit neatly into the above categories. (And when you consider the example of the duck-billed platypus, you will have to concede that my categories are much more useful than Carolus's).

Category one: Old friends who have come back again

There were more oranges, mandarin oranges, carrots, and spinach. And that was good. I have developed a working rhythm with these items, and I was ready to restock them. More broccoli means that I had best get on the ball and finish last week's broccoli, but I can do that. Ditto for the onions. There were also more potatoes, and so I stuck them in the bowl that has last week's leftover potatoes. I am always happy to see a potato, though. Who doesn't love a potato?

Category two: Obviously these guys don't realize the fates of their forerunners

I got more collard greens this week. Even though it has been a couple of weeks since I had collard greens, I wasn't ready for more. Way back at the beginning of this whole CSA box lifestyle, I made lots of mistakes. One of those mistakes has become legendary amongst some of my friends, and is called the "collard green-turnip-carrot-parsnip-lasagna." A lasagna of which there are still frozen family-sized portions waiting to see the light of day. What can I say? I was enthusiastic, if not skilled. So anyway, I am not too thrilled to see the new bundle of collard greens.

Category three: What a wonderful surprise! Do come in!

A new fruit! Just when I thought I might actually turn into an orange, a la Violet Beauregarde, I was so happy to see grapefruit. As a matter of fact, I took a short break from unpacking the box,  cut open the above featured grapefruit, and ate it up.  I also may or may not have made a cocktail this evening with one of the grapefruits. 

They make a nice centerpiece as well, no?
I was also thrilled to see these babies:

I don't call them babies flippantly. It's baby garlic. YUM!
Finally, I was most excited about this cabbage:

Isn't this the most cabbage-y cabbage you ever saw? I love this cabbage! I was really only vaguely aware that cabbages look like this.  By the time the cabbage hits the grocery store, all of those great outer leaves have been removed. And I, for one, love those leaves. Of course, the first thing I did was take them off and throw them out before I chopped up the cute little guy into tiny shreds. But I liked them before I did that. 

Finally we have category four: What do you expect me to do with you? 

This week, I have only one item that fits here. And thankfully, it's a small item. 

Short of opening a small diner, and garnishing tired plates of tepid eggs and limp bacon, I am really not sure what I am going to do with parsley. 

Any suggestions?