Downloaded about three weeks worth of photos the other night and right at the beginning are the ones I took on the day we had our turn sorting for our organic fruit and vegetable collection. Some boxes are better than others, that was a pretty good one - the nashi pear were absolutely sensational, with more crisp crunchiness and taste than I've ever had in a nashi before. I must find out which variety it was so I can plant a tree. The strawbs were also rather good, even though we didn't get many. It was a box of much halving - half a punnet of strawberries, half a pumpkin, quarter of a cabbage. A bit hard for the families that get a half box, some of them got a slither of cabbage and four strawberries... or so it seemed.
These days we have a rhythm for doing the collection. G goes to Ceres and does the pick up (which I don't much enjoy - driving into Ceres makes me tense), we both bring it all into the kitchen and I do the sort. Which I do enjoy. But I'm glad we only have to do it every ten weeks or so. When it's not our turn to sort, the pick up is much easier and more pleasant than going to the supermarket. Drive or walk with the trolley (ok mostly we drive and so do others) to a neighbours house - have a chat (or not), pick up vegies, go home and make dinner.
The biggest challenge is actually getting through the box. It's $40 and given the quality most of the time, very good value for organic fruit and vegetables. But we have to be very disciplined and not buy extra fruit or vegetables until we eat what we have. Even if it's not exactly what we want to eat. Otherwise you end up with a fridge full of slime. It's definitely a different way of cooking and eating and we're getting better at it - although we have been known to fall for the fresh figs at Hassoons and it's hard to go without cucumbers or salad. I'm starting to see a pumpkin and go, OK, we could have pumpkin pie or cake, a pumpkin pizza or roast pumpkin with brown rice and almonds and then prepare the seeds. Or I look at a cabbage and think, yay coleslaw! And Japanese style cabbage pancake - which someone from the co-op suggested and is new on our rotation. Leeks, on the other hand I struggle with. I know lots of people love them but Grace won't eat them, even in pie and I can't say I blame her. Leeks seriously underwhelm me. At least we're having a break from them this week. The plums this week are very nice. Sweet yet tart, juicy and crunchy - they'll go quickly. Must plant a late season plum too. We also got bananas again and nobody seems to be eating them before they become too ripe. So I think tomorrow I'll make at least four loaves of can't be stuffed banana bread for the freezer. And perhaps try to give some away. People like to share their food around here - abundance is good like that.