Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Fresh Start

On Day 13 of the Ice Harvest, we have decided it's all right to return to normal.
The freezer doesn't look much better than it did at the beginning of our plan to eat up all of its lurking, languishing, hoary, gelid contents.
But we're OK with that. Most of the fresh produce remaining in the refrigerator is manageable: a little cauliflower to roast for some soup (Hm! That would work well with the leftover vegetable broth) and some jalapeños that simply make brilliant ad-hoc additions almost anywhere (cauliflower soup, say?).
Besides. It was farmers' market day at the Civic Center today. In this incessant, horrid, rainy weather, Cranky and I feel some obligation to go and buy from the stolid farmers who set up their stations, rain or shine. They do fine when the sun's out, as it was the Sunday before last (and what a zoo it was, according to reliable reports). But on miserable days like this, the poor farmers need some support.
We chatted with Chris Zuckerman of Zuckerman's Farms in the Delta. He has some gorgeous asparagus, and we bought a bundle. Chris said the San Rafael market is known for its loyal customers (!), and he told us Thursday is the big restaurant pick-up day for local chefs. How cool. (Obviously the chefs are there a lot earlier than I can bother to wake up for... I didn't run into any of them.)
Chris also told us he has darn-well imprinted on his brain the fact that the drive from his farm to Marin is 95 miles. So he's perfectly within the 100-mile radius of the food-provisioning limit for the Eat Local Challenge, coming up in May. (And he said there will still be asparagus in May. Apricots, too! Boy, spring — what a head-twisting season.) I told him about the Challenge, and he thought that was neat. Chris reads blogs, I learned. (Not food blogs, but...)
So. We have the dual disciplines of Clean Out the Freezer and the upcoming Eat Local Challenge.
I am so happy to let the one fall away, as I prepare for the next.


Greg said...

It's asparagus time again.Cool... going to have to drag my old butt to the market on Sunday

Catherine said...

Good for you getting out to the market. I went to our tiny local farmer's market yesterday and it was half the normal size vendor-wise (I buy my organic produce from a die-hard who is always there). Its interesting how different all the markets are. I haven't been to the Thursday one for a while, but I think it's probably the best.

Beautiful photo, BTW!

cookiecrumb said...

Greg, go! (If your aching back will allow it.)
Catherine: Thanks for the compliment. Where's your tiny local market -- Fairfax? (I'm just guessing.)

Brett said...

You deserve some asparagus, girlfriend, after all that defrosted food you've been plowing through. I bought some Zuckerman's asparagus Saturday at the FP market in SF. So sweet. I love spring!

KathyF said...

Roasting cauliflower for I hadn't thought of that! I did make soup with my cauliflower the other day, though, so we're definitely thinking along similar lines!

Kevin said...


I'm planning an asparagus event in conjunction with Eat Local. I'll be posting the details this weekend, so dig up your favorite asparagus recipe.

Dagny said...

Hmmmm. I know this really cool farm in the Sacramento area. The guy who runs it will let you walk into some of the fields for a tour of upcoming produce. Then you can hit the little "shop" for the fresh picked stuff. My dad has been bugging me about visiting. Now I have a reason.

mrs d said...


Mgghgllgrrghhggghhh... Asparagus...


The eat local thing is going to just kill me this year -- so far north, watching all you CA folks eating things that are barely out of the ground up here...

Of course it would help if I could get off my butt and get my garden planted.

cookiecrumb said...

Brett: Aww. Thanks. It wasn't too bad, really, but I was getting tired of stewy, casseroly things.
KathyF: Yes, break it up into florets and splash some oil on, then roast until you can't stand it anymore! Save a couple of teensy extra-roasted bits for croutons.
Kevin: I will stay tuned! My favorite asparagus recipe is simplicity itself.
Dagny: If you come back and read this, I'd love to know the name of the farm. Cranky and I are headed that way for R&R shortly.
Mrs. D: Is it too late to save (freeze, ::gasp::) any local winter bounty? I would think it's too early to plant, what with the terrible weather.

mrs d said...

Local winter bounty? Heh. You must have us confused with some other county. :-) Our winter once-a-month farmer's market is rather lacking in bounty.

(And, actually, our weather's been lovely -- we're just far too busy to take advantage of it!)

Dagny said...

The farm is Kelley Farms in Freeport.