Adventures in My Exploding Refrigerator

Fridge Goes Boom! (art by Randa Dubnick)

Tomorrow is the last day of the CSA share for the year, and I have to say, I’m relieved. I’ll miss all of the fresh vegetables (and even strawberries and watermelons), but after five months of participating in a CSA through the Food Project, not to mention harvesting tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies easily grown in containers from my own small garden, I am struggling to keep my fridge from bursting. And that’s not counting the 12 winter squashes sitting on my kitchen counter. I’ve tried freezing the peppers and drying the herbs, but I never can seem to keep up. I love to cook, so I rarely see it as a chore, but I do have to make sure I set aside many hours each week just to make sure I use everything up all of the food before it goes bad—and that’s after the 2 hours or more we spend going out to Long Hill to collect the share and pick our own green beans, herbs, cherry tomatoes, and chard.

I split the CSA share with my parents, but even so, it is an awful lot of food to keep up with. Every weekend, I have to go through all the food in my refrigerator and on my counter in an effort that I can only describe as triage. I use up whatever I can by making soups and sauces that can be frozen (I haven’t graduated to canning yet). And since many of the vegetables in the CSA share are unfamiliar to me, such as turnips, it can be quite challenging to figure out what to do with them. But even relatively simple foods such as radishes can be a challenge. How many radishes can one person possibly eat?

Beets are my favorite vegetable—or at least, my favorite vegetable from the CSA share. (In fact, my true favorite would either be artichokes or avocados––if you consider avocados to be vegetables, which technically they’re not––but so far I haven’t gotten that lucky, nor do I expect to. However, we’ve ended up with quite a surplus of shallots this season.) My least favorite vegetable, I’m sorry to say, is the turnip. I just can’t figure out what to do with it. I know, I know––they can be used to make faux mashed potatoes––but I already have plenty of potatoes, and I’m not a fan of faux foods, thank you very much.

Even though the season is just about over, I have a long way to go to use up all these squashes, turnips, potatoes, and shallots, so this section will feature ongoing posts about the CSA share experience, including pictures and recipes, so stay tuned!

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One Response to “Adventures in My Exploding Refrigerator”

  1. Mindy/Minka October 27, 2011 at 1:36 am #

    Congrats on yor new blog! Years ago, I had a surplus of radishes from my garden. In desperation, I discovered they can be added to stirfry. They lose their color but keep their flavor. Here’s my one and only turnip recipe… http://minkacooks.blogspot.com/search/label/turnip

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