As we prepared the weekly shopping list the other day I was suddenly really sick of writing down the same old foods to prepare the same old “safe” recipes that I know everyone will enjoy. After a summer of being separated from my cookbooks and kitchen equipment I am ready to get back into some serious cooking. It got me thinking about how great a weekly share in a CSA (community supported agriculture) can be in getting people to try new foods and recipes. Unfortunately the growing season is almost over and our travel schedule doesn’t fit in well with a traditional share in a CSA. Then it dawned on me that there might be another way that our family could still adopt some of the great things about a CSA share without actually having one. I realized that Whole Foods has weekly specials on produce and that we travel by Whole Foods once a week on our way to the Children’s Museum. So, if every week we bought the organic produce that was on special to use in a new recipe it would kind of be like we were taking part in a weekly CSA. The rest of the Fives were keen on the idea and so begins our experiment with our self-designed Whole Foods CSA.
For our first week we bought organic raspberries, organic butternut squash, and a gorgeous bunch of organic red chard. We then sat down as a family and picked out the recipes for our featured ingredients. After flipping through many cookbooks and searching a few web pages we agreed upon the following menu. A Swiss Chard Frittata from the tried and true Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Accompanied by Terry Walter’s recipe in Clean Food for Butternut Squash Casserole. To be followed by a Raspberry-Chocolate Mousse Pie that we found on the great blog Cooking My Way Through My CSA.
I am happy to report that our first go at this experiment turned out successful. We had never made frittata nor introduced the younger Fives to Swiss chard and to our surprise the dish was a huge hit. The butternut squash casserole received lukewarm reviews but no one flat out refused to eat it. Five of Hearts claims that squash reminds her too much of melons and cucumbers, something which all of the Fives have an aversion to. Of course the raspberry-chocolate mousse pie was a huge success. Five Ball did a great job decorating the top with the leftover raspberries and we all did our part in devouring it. So, for now we are looking forward to seeing what will be on special in the produce department of Whole Foods next week and hoping that this continues to add a bit more pizzazz to our regular weekly menu.