So what happened? Frankly this whole thing started when we started getting a lot of kale and other mysterious greens from a CSA share box.1 We had friends who hosted a pick-up location, so instead of having forgotten shares go to waste, we got to collect the scraps — which were mostly tiny squashes, herbs, and greens. And that’s an awesome way to get free food, but OMG how much parsley can a person eat in a week??
The next big push for cooking happened a few months later when we decided to pursue a vegetarian diet. As people who usually slapped a chicken breast and a side of canned green beans on a plate and called it dinner, this was a big change for us. I was pretty lost and spent a lot of time doing google images searches for weird root vegetables and squashes so I could figure out what to do with them. Is this thing even edible or is it just for decoration? What in the hell am I doing?2
Once I got over the initial hump of “how do I make a meal without meat as the centerpiece” I found my whole world of food opened up. Weird huh? We restricted our diet and it became much more vibrant. Bonus! And that’s when I started to write down recipes and lessons that I learned as I went. I figured a blog was a good format for storing things like this. So here we are, a few years and several recipes down the road — and some people actually read this thing. :)
Exciting New Foods: My husband and I have been traveling in Central America, which means exposure to new dishes, vegetables, and spices. This also means we’re moving a lot, so I’m using a different kitchen at a different altitude, with a different stove, different pots etc all the time. Every meal that turns out well is a victory indeed. If you haven’t tried cooking in someone else’s kitchen in a while, be prepared for it to turn out less amazing than you had predicted. But do go cook in someone else’s kitchen. I believe with every ounce of my being that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Friends who cook together, stay together… or at least get to eat well in the mean time.
1. A CSA box is a share bought from a farm within a Community Supported Agriculture program. You can learn more about how CSAs work here.↩
2. I have since created a memory game from common CSA vegetables to help families (and myself) learn how to identify those mysterious foods. You can find it here on TheGameCrafter.com In the process, I have learned the difference between a parsnip and a turnip. And I even learned how to spell rutabaga. How do ya like me now?↩