October 7th, 2009


I have a confession to make:

Allandale, Boston's last  working farm is less than three miles from my home and work, is more or less on my way home, and until last Friday I had never set foot in it.  What the Hell is wrong with me?

I cook all the time.  I pay way too much buying organic produce at Harvest because I believe it's good for me.  I have even fantasized about planting my own garden despite the fact that I can't even keep a potted plant alive, because I love the idea of shortening the distance between field and table.  And yet, I never wandered into a farmer's market until a week ago.  Why?  I blame my obsessive compulsive order.

See, I don't browse.  I don't walk into a place and say Those are the prettiest eggplants ever!  I'll take 20.  I like to cook and I know how to make things come out the way I like them, but more importantly, I like to have a plan, and with the exception of eggs, pasta sauce, popcorn and salad, I exclusively follow recipes.  It soothes me. 

Since I can't do what normal people do and just, y'know, follow my vegetable bliss, I did what crazy people do: 1) I mapped out all the farmer's markets in the area by day so I'm not planning my life around the closest one.  2) I found an awesome list of what's available at one of these markets and more importantly *when* so I can actually plan according to the seasons.  3) I made a big ol' list - one item a day that I'm planning on cooking with.  Half these items come from my stuff-that's-available list, and half come from my foods-I-should-be-eating-more-of list, which I have adapted from my Healthy Food Directory, which is a book Susan gave me years ago that I really couldn't live without.  4) Every day a new recipe!  And if I miss a day, I have to cook two things, or else all this lovely produce will go to waste.

The most important part of this plan is that I not go bankrupt, so for the first time ever, I am actually making a plan for every morsel of food that I bring into the house.  The crabmeat and cheddar dip Rob's mom brought over has been cooked into my eggs every morning this week (yum!).  Next to the eggs, a salad I make every day with whatever vegetable odds & ends I have lying around.  For lunch today I had leftover bok choy & tofu stir fry, with a side of borsht.  Tonight I'm making vegetable soup and some hot chocolate with almond oil. 

So these are the things that make me feel like I'm acting my age: I'm cooking like a grown-up, my roommate got us a cat named Milo who follows me everywhere, and thanks to Rob I actually know where my iron is because he *uses* an iron.  It's mind blowing, really.  Luckily I am tempering this with karaoke - twice this week! - and my busy social calendar.   And there are the things that make me feel responsible but young and vital at the same time; teaching dance and having my weekly supper club.  Hooray for balance!