Last night, Josh and I meant to go to the street food festival. And we did. We went there. We just didn’t stay there, because staying “there” meant staying on a street that was lined on both sides with food trucks, turning the walkable space into an alley crammed with a few thousand people too many. Yes, much of the food looked very, very good, and yes, Josh and I were very, very hungry. Just not good or hungry enough to validate spending 30+ minutes in line next to other sweaty Seattleites just to spend five more minutes bumping around for a place to eat (and then spending even more time in line for a beer).
So we walked around until we passed Honey Hole, a sandwich place that I was sure was a gay bar when I first moved here (because come on, Honey Hole). Josh had never been, so we stopped for sandwiches and beer, and while mowing down on a pile of fries and a sort of French dip sandwich called “The Gooch” that was so sneakily spicy it made my nose run, I told Josh that since starting our CSA, I felt remarkably healthier.
I really do. While my younger body could (did) survive on daily Slurpees and trail mix with M&M’s in it, my older body understands what vitamins are and makes me crave certain foods depending on its need for them. Getting a box (well, half a box after Courtney and I share) of local, organic produce every week forces me to not only use it but use it well, which means that most meals from Sunday to Thursday contain more than one item, which means more than one type of vitamin. And just like drinking more water every day makes you crave water instead of soda when you’re thirsty, eating more fruits and vegetables makes me crave them instead of pizza rolls. One of my favorite meals in the past month was two nectarcots (that’s a nectarine-apricot hybrid, so good), sliced and wrapped in prosciutto, with a small piece of bread dipped in olive oil and a glass of vinho verde. And I ate that at home.
To keep myself and our CSA food accountable, I’ve started making menus each week and posting them to Instagram. They change a little bit (I’ve already added “w/ chermoula?” to the chicken thighs on Tuesday of this week) and once last week I gave up on a meal and just had beer for dinner, but overall, I’ve done a pretty good job of using as much as I can while it’s still as fresh as can be and every week, I’m so happy that Courtney was willing to go in on this with me.
(Also I keeping posting these because people say they like my handwriting and the former Type A Catholic school student in me loves the shit out of that.)
Probably the only downside of having the CSA is that I hardly shop in the produce section of the grocery store anymore, so now I’m one of those people I judge in the checkout lines for having zero fruit or vegetables in their cart because apparently, it’s more important to buy frozen pizza and a box of store-brand chocolate donuts (can’t help it, also I think they contain coconut oil which tastes really fucking good). Well, I guess there is one other thing, although I’m afraid I’m about to jinx myself out of the most glorious season I’ve ever experienced in any city, ever.
I’m not foolish enough to bemoan the beauty of Seattle summer, but after boxes upon boxes of leafy greens, stone fruits, sugar-sweet root vegetables and crisp herbs, I’m starting to crave colder weather foods. I’m starting to crave the kinds of things you eat when it rains. I want to make shepherd’s pie, lentil soup, bolognese, braised hunks of meat, and, fuck it, we got beets and purple potatoes this week so I’m making a cheater borscht in August. I don’t give a fuck. Clearly I won’t have any trouble making rainy day foods in, oh, about a month and some change when I don’t see the sun for weeks at a time so I know I shouldn’t wish for it, but I am an indoor person at heart, and that person wants comfort foods that are uncomfortable to make in the summer in a city without air conditioning (not like we need it, but still).
So I guess I’ll slog my way through another month of perfectly juicy, perfectly fresh, perfectly healthy summer produce before maybe the field peas, flours, and other things that require heat, time, and a careful ratio of liquid-to-fat-to-starch come around, and I guess I’ll continue to act put-upon whenever I get a new bag of super fragrant field basil, and by the time the program ends in November, I’ll be so fucking satisfied to be left alone with my hoodies and my Netflix and whatever stew I could scrounge up now that I have to rely on the grocery store again.