We did things a little backwards. In late February we were told that we’d have to move out of our apartment by August. Which was fine. I spent time looking at apartments for rent in Astoria, found a good real estate agent that seemed great and had good listings, signed up for a local CSA, and then we moved to Brooklyn. We moved even before the first CSA pick-up.
We survived the move – I think in large part due to hiring movers. Our kitchen is smaller, but there’s a lot more light in the apartment. All of my worries about the illegal stove/kitchen and bathroom of our old apartment are gone. And we’re no longer living above a gas line that almost exploded.
The worst part about the move is the CSA pick-up. Justin has been upstate teaching during the week, so the responsibility of doing the trip to Queens has fallen on my shoulders. It’s been therapeutic to go back to Astoria, which was the first and only neighborhood I lived in while in NYC until now, but it makes for a hellish Wednesday.
The other issue stemming from the CSA is the ingredients. Most of the time it’s been all delicious and easy to sort out. In just the last month I was introduced to garlic scapes – which I made into a pesto that’s now frozen, waiting for pasta night. I ate yellow cucumbers for the first time and found a caterpillar in my fava beans (I didn’t cook that pod – but the rest was tossed with lentils into a curried salad). The weekly assorted greens all find the same fate: sauteed and devoured.
Other ingredients leave me baffled. What is purslane exactly? Why does it look like the jade plant we have outside on the balcony? And what are those odd seeds that are falling out of the pods? I emailed my mom these questions since she’s the botanist in the house – and she chastises me and tells me to put it on a salad or sauté it. When in doubt, sauté!
And so we move on, later and later into the season with new produce arriving each week. I know the peaches won’t last forever, so I think I am finally going to take the plunge into canning. I can’t imagine anything better than opening up a jar of peaches in December. A new cookbook has introduced me to agar-agar, so I feel ready (and even optimistic) at the prospect of trying some of the custard desserts in The Book. In the meanwhile, I’m printing out the list here so that I can stop my CSA lettuce from wilting: How to Store Vegetables/Fruit Without Plastic