Tag Archives: Farmers Markets

Top 11 Posts of 2014, With Thanks to Spinal Tap

Here we are at the end of the year when those of us in the entertainment industry run out of funny steam and cover it up with top 10 lists. Because I really want to push up the volume, I’m going for the top 11 posts. I was going to list a mix of posts that WordPress stats tell me you liked and add some of my own personal favorites. But as I reread them I realized I had a lot of fun writing most of them, so it’s too hard to pick. Plus, if you don’t like the list, you only have yourselves to blame.

Thank you for hanging out with me this year, and I promise more shenanigans in 2015. Have a happy new year!

11. Black Lives Matter Thanks for reading this one. It was a bit of a departure for me and more serious, but something I needed to write.

10. I would Have Gotten Away with It if It weren’t for that meddling Hamster, Who knew a hamster could be such a rich source of blog material? As a follow-up to this post, yes, he did need surgery, it cost a bundle, I learned that there is actually hamster medical literature, and he is still with us to ring in 2015. More Hamphrey posts to come!

9. Real-Life math Sucks. It still sucks, but I got to let off steam about my divorce and laugh at math, so it’s all good!

8. Let’s Do Things Without Shoes. This was the oldie, but goodie–misheard lyrics. I had a lot of fun reading people’s responses to this one.

7. It’s All About Me, Hannah. Alas, I never did get Lena Dunham to comment on this or respond to my tweet about it. I’ll increase my celebrity social media stalking next season.

6. California Steamin’ I wrote about two East Coast friends who left me for the Left Coast. I saw one at Christmas and I am happy to report he still has his Masshole chops. To the other one, who still hasn’t read this post and is from New York, I say, Boston’s bettah and Yankees suck!

5. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Divorce.  If your divorce isn’t funny, please feel free to laugh at mine.

4. I’m Sexy (if Only in My Head).  Perhaps it’s bad taste to be amused by your own writing, but this one still cracks me up. It made the top 5, so both you and I have excellent taste.

3. Radishes, Carrots, and Kale, Oh My! I love that this post is the third most popular and it was the second one I wrote this year. Foodies and their gastronomic obsessions are all over the blogsphere, but I’m a Cheez Whiz and Parmesan-in-a-can girl, as this post proves. Seems like I can work with that.

2. Thanks a Lot. I was surprised by how much the “kid table” really resonated with people. I also need to add a post script about my brother. For the record, I was describing our holidays from 20 and 30 years ago, because I’m a bratty youngest sister and that’s how I roll. He actually has been attending our holiday get togethers in recent years and seems to enjoy himself (as much as anyone can when they are with their bratty younger sister for more than 24 hours).

1. And what continues to be the Number One, most visited piece on my blog? Yes, It’s still that crazy serious piece I did about women and shaving many years ago. Shaving, Waxing, Electrocution: A Primer on Women’s War on Hair. So much for my humor ego. Go figure. Next year, I’m leaving that thing out of my stats or will try to sell the movie rights to Seth Rogen.

See you next year!

Radishes, Carrots and Kale, Oh My!

Photo credit: Something GUD

I believe in the benefits of farmers markets and community-shared agriculture (CSA). I really do. But there is one tiny problem. I’m not an adventurous cook or eater. So that puts on extra pressure if I’m signing  up to get large amounts of random vegetables, many which are unfamiliar to me or I don’t like (I’m talking to you acorn squash and eggplant). And, when it comes to farmers markets, I admit I can be lazy and forgetful. I either forget the farmers market days, or I remember, but it’s off the path of my routine commute. And even if I were delusional enough to think I could turn over a new leaf, my friends’ story about getting inundated with CSA parsnips for months scared me back to Stop and Shop. But then I read about a new start-up in the Boston area called Something GUD that seemed like the answer for culinary scaredy cats like me. They offer small shares of different kinds of foods—vegetables, dairy, meats, breads—all locally sourced. The free delivery (in a cooler you leave out) and an offer of a reduced-priced trial convinced me to try it. Finally I was going to be able to get rid of my guilt about not supporting local farming!

And then the box arrived. I found:

  • Homemade granola (delicious)
  • Fresh yogurt (made my stomach feel funny, but everyone said it’s because it’s fresh and you have to get used to it—how do people know these things?)
  • Fresh mushroom ravioli (to die for)

So far so good. Then I pulled out the vegetable bag and panicked. If pressed, I can tell you they were root vegetables, because I could see their roots. I recognized a couple of carrots which I clung to like long-lost friends. There were six or seven whitish, purplish round and oval things I have never seen before. A search on the internet seemed to narrow it down to turnips or radishes or both. My inadequacies as a cook and eater came flying at me full force. What the heck was I going to do with this stuff? I took a deep breath and decided that a root vegetable is a root vegetable, so I found a slow cooker recipe, chopped up the lot, threw it in, and pretended I was a celebrity chef. It was edible, but started to wear out its welcome after the third night. Did I mention I also just cook for myself? But I decided not to give up, and ordered the organic vegetables share for the next delivery, thinking I’d have more variety and a better shot at recognizing something. Rookie mistake. While I did find a better recipe, there were way more vegetables than I could use and there were still some I didn’t recognize. But the new recipe was a much better fit and I happily ate my “I’m a do-gooder” stew all week. I skipped a couple of weeks to use up the rest of the food and next decided to try the smaller, regular vegetable share. I also added the Iggy’s Bread and the fresh Nella Pasta ravioli. I finally got the vegetable part right, but as I pulled out the ravioli, I paused. It was kale and currant. I actually made a face like a junk food kid being served a bowl of broccoli. I busied myself with making the do-gooder stew and let the weird ravioli sit for a few days. Finally, though, my practicality set in. I couldn’t let it go to waste. Perhaps guessing that people would wonder at the flavor, the text on the box says that the slight sweetness of the currants counters the bitterness of the kale, making it appealing even to kids (and adults who mimic them, I would add). So how was it? It was insanely good. I can’t even describe what it tastes like, because my taste buds don’t get around a lot. So thank you Something GUD for giving me a chance to face my food and cooking fears and shine my community support halo. And if anyone needs to identify a watermelon radish or purple dragon carrots, my rates are reasonable.