The lettuce in the photo is 3 weeks and 2 days old. It was part of the share intended to be taken to my mom, but the head of lettuce and a zucchini were forgotten. Because it had been properly stored, the lettuce was beautiful and still edible with only one leaf discarded. The oversight was good as I had a bit of anxiety with not being able to have any fresh produce until the next pickup, nearly a week later. Five days is such a long time when you love the foods you eat.
Right now there is just a bit of food in the house, most left over from last year’s harvest. There is roasted red pepper soup, butternut squash soup, gnocchi with tomato sauce, and salads from the lettuce. Once the contents of the next share are known, there will be a trip to a farmer’s market, grocery store, and butcher to round out the pantry.
My profession allows me increased free time during the summer months and this time is used to preserve the bounty of summer. Time is needed to make a soup, the chosen preservation method, but less time than it takes to go out to eat. In fact, preserving the food through soups, stews, and other dishes allows me to have a hot meal minutes after arriving home after a long workday. This food is healthier than quick serve and delivery options; less expensive than prepared food and processed food options; and faster than delivery options. The bonus is the soup is cooked and is in a single serving container so there are few dishes to clean. The key is to make items you like to eat. A soup that contains unloved ingredients is no joy to eat and no bargain.
Many recipes yield food perfect for freezing and those recipes are in the kitchen waiting for the right veggies to arrive. Other recipes still require their discovery in a late-night online search of recipes. Meanwhile, the gift of blueberries and raspberries are being consumed with joy (and ice cream).