In your box:
–Tomatoes or beans
This week we finally welcome Sweet Corn, about two weeks behind its usual arrival. It looks like we will have three weeks of corn this year, lasting us into September. I know corn doesn’t have much to offer nutritionally, but it is a staple of summer for most red-blooded Americans.
Corn can actually be eaten raw, but only if it is consumed within a few minutes of harvest. Otherwise, the sugars in the kernels turn to starch and the experience is much too chewy. By the time you get them, they can be cooked, steamed, or grilled. To cook, you can follow either my mother-in-law’s method (place the shucked ears in a pot of water, bring to boil, turn off the heat, and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving) or my preferred way (bring a pot to boil, throw the ears in for 4-6 minutes, and serve), or whatever secret family tradition you’ve inherited. To roast it, leave the husks on and throw them in the oven or over a campfire for about 20 minutes. Corn should be kept in its husk while stored, and keeps for a few days in the fridge.
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself poking around the refrigerator of one of our members (by invitation, of course. I promise I won’t show up at your home and analyze your fridge’s contents). I will conceal the identity of this family, lest we judge them. For what did I find? A whole head of endive from the previous week’s box, uneaten after seven days. Endive that I had planted, weeded, watered, harvested, washed, packaged, driven 50 miles, and hand-delivered. Endive that I had specifically selected for this family. And for all this, my gift had not been received. I have consequently composed a poem to shame them.
“Oh endive, endive in the fridge,
We’re saving you for auntie Midge–
Our dear old aunt who likes things green,
She says they help to clear her spleen.
What’s that you say?
Her coming is six months away?
No matter that—we’ll shove you back
And out of sight, for you’re no snack
That we would want to sink our teeth in
(But still we’ll keep you in the kitchen)
Deep in the fridge and out of sight,
Lest someone actually take a bite.
I’m sure there are ways to cook and prepare you,
Just call Martha Stewart and see what she’d do.
But I will stick to food I like,
Placing you on my head when I bike
Or using you to shine my shoes
But eating you’d give me the blues
You simply do not tempt my palette
I’d rather hit you with a mallet.”
Then who should enter?–Farmer Red!
A hat of straw upon his head!
With a stack of CSA boxes and a sprig of chive,
“Behold, I bring some more endive!
Just one more head, to bring you cheer,
You’ll not get any more this year.”
Our villain, then, hides his chagrin,
For more endive would do him in!
He simply cannot use another
(Perhaps he’d give it to his mother?)
“Dear heavens” He cries, through gritted teeth,
“This endive will send me to grief!
There’s simply no room in the fridge,
No hope of a visit from Midge
I do not like the taste of greens
No hope of feeding it to teens
Please take this endive far away!
I will not eat it—this I say.”
Farmer Red cries, “Peace be with you!
You can use the leaves as a Kleenex tissue!
Or simply steam it and take a bite
There’s recipes on my website!
Try it as a pizza topping–
Just one bite will leave you hopping!
Try it in a pasta dish,
And it will then make you wish
You had not recoiled in fear
And stuffed it in the fridge’s rear.”
Our villain then tries just a bite
His smile then—oh what a sight!
“Goodness gracious sakes alive!
I love the taste of raw endive!
No more in the fridge I’ll hide it,
For now that I have finally tried it
The taste has gone right to my head.
Oh thank you, thank you, Farmer Red!
Your CSA has made me a better man,
Now I’ll get the kale from the garbage can
No more will our veggies go to waste
For now I see I like the taste!”