theboxexperiment

Attempting to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Farmer’s Market and Surprise Box June 15, 2011

Filed under: Box,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 8:16 pm
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We went to the farmer’s market again last Saturday. As we get further into summer there are more stands and more shoppers at the farmers market. There are big sellers (one stop produce shops with the longest lines), your small sellers (just a few items and no line), meat, cheese (run by an Amish family), bakeries, plants, and a lettuce speciality stand. I always want to buy things from everyone…and want to buy much more than we actually need. This past Sunday I kept myself in check and only grabbed 2 zucchini (forgetting we had 1 zucchini at home) and 2 lovely tomatoes for a very reasonable $4.92. I had to pull myself away from the strawberries and from the asparagus we had both at home already but fresh strawberries taste so much better and the asparagus at the farmers market was nice and thick (perfect for grilling) unlike the stringy asparagus we had from Teeter (which when cooked did not taste very good).

Tuesday we came home to a surprise box! I went onto WGG a while ago and like I told everyone, canceled several weeks of boxes, unbeknownst to us- we caught up and got a box.In the box: butter lettuce, green beans, eggplant, 2 more zucchini (we recently made Zucchini and Rice using 2 of them), a green bell pepper, bananas, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, and blackberries. I need to admit I ADORE peaches, nectarines, and plums so I was quite excited. I also love blueberries and blackberries so this box was very welcome. If it had apples, oranges, bananas, and mangos I’m not sure what we would’ve done. We definitely need a time out from those.

Apologies for the lack of recipes- we haven’t made much new stuff recently just revisited some old favorites. Monday we made the Zucchini w/Rice and tonight we reheated the leftovers. I was going to use it as the filling of stuffed red bell peppers but the peppers we not stuffable ( too skinny and would not have sat flat). So I halved the bells, drizzled them w/ evoo, salt and peppered and baked them at 350* for 15 mins then 400* for 5 mins until they were tender. The combination was fantastic!

Tomorrow we’ll be doing a new creamy pasta and eggplant dish that I will definitely post for you!

 

Taking a Break May 15, 2011

Filed under: Box — theboxexperiment @ 8:21 pm
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We will be taking a break from receiving the box for a while. The same issues have persisted:too much food for the two of us to go through, not enough variety, too much fruit, and veggies we don’t enjoy. We’ve tried all veggies sent to us, as long as we get to them in time, and have found ones we don’t particularly enjoy. So we’ll be taking a break and trying to find sources other than the grocery store.

In discussions we keep coming back to wanting to know where our food comes from. It not WGG’s fault that we signed up during the non-growing season in the area and that doesn’t change our desire to know who grows our food.

Yesterday was the first day of the Rockville Farmers Market. We went and walked around. There was a winery, meat venders, bread, a bakery, produce sellers, and florist/herbists.Everything looked fantastic but we didn’t pick anything up (mostly because we had a lot of  fresh food still in the house.)

The plan for the rest of the summer will be to take the $31.50 we use on the box to the farmers market. We’ll get to know one of the produce stands (or several of them) and get exactly the produce we want and need (among other things). Thus solving several issues: knowing where our food comes from and having just the right amount of fresh food.

I’ll continue to post, especially once we get our first batch of farmers market food. I’ll also keep posting recipes and such. Keep an eye out for  candy cookies coming soon. And  a post on oddly inexpensive foods.

 

Boxes April 3, 2011

Filed under: Box — theboxexperiment @ 8:30 pm

We’ve received several boxes since I last posted. We’ve definitely been eating more produce and in general living a healthier lifestyle since starting this adventure. It’s been pretty fantastic–more fruits and veggies. We’re slowly purging the house of food that’s not so great for us. Chips-gone, chocolate-brought to work for all my colleagues to eat, ice cream-gone.

With beach season coming I’ve also signed up for a new 10-miler. I did the Cherry Blossom a few times and it gets very boring during the last few miles around Haines Point. I’m excited to run the Baltimore 10-miler. But it means, I need to get my butt in gear and start training and eating right. I’ve done the past 2 10 miles in ~1:40/1:45. It would be nice if I could do it at 1:25/1:30.

I’ll get some recipes up this week. We’ll be doing a pasta w/ zucchini tomorrow, tonight we did a bok choy chicken stir fry. I’ll get that one up later tonight.

 

 

Box # 5 March 3, 2011

Filed under: Box — theboxexperiment @ 1:51 pm
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Same story as last week: we need to get better at actually eating the veggies and fruit that we have delivered. From last week we still have 3 onions (that are ENORMOUS, btw), 1 pear, some apples, broccoli, and the sweet potatoes. Perhaps we’ll take a break next week and get all caught up with the produce.

In this week’s box:

  • Red Potatoes (2) (CA)
  • Carrots (2) (PA)
  • Yellow Squash (1) (FL)
  • Ruby Red Grapefruit (1) (CA)
  • Mango (1) (SA)
  • Bananas (1) (SA)
  • Red Peppers (2) (MEX)
  • White Mushrooms (1) (PA)
  • Butter Lettuce (1) (CA)
  • What we swapped out: Broccoli (GA), Navel Oranges (CA), Gala Apples (CA)

I opened the box last night and there were 3 of the largest carrots I’ve ever seen: twice the length of my hand and ~2-3 inches in diameter. This comes after last week where we received monster onions. I’m placing a lot of trust that these veggies are coming from farms that grow food naturally…but it’s hard to believe when I look at the size of the carrots and onions. I’ve also talked about wanting to eat more locally grown food. If you look at where all the veggies come from, you’ll notice very few of them are local to the DC/MD/VA area. PA is pretty close so that’s 2 veggies. I acknowledge that growing season is definitely not here yet (but we’ll be soon). But I have a hard time believing there are zero farms in the area that don’t have red potatoes and squash. I understand that as long as I live in DC I can’t buy grapefruit, bananas, mangos, and oranges locally. I don’t mind buying citrus-y fruits (and really love them), but it would be awesome if they were somewhere closer than MEX and SA…perhaps stateside like FL or GA. The experiment will continue until we are firmly in the middle of the growing season, if the box items are still coming from far away places we might switch it up.

 

Box #4 February 24, 2011

Filed under: Box — theboxexperiment @ 9:37 pm
It’s finally time for a new box! It’s the perfect week for a produce delivery too, we just returned from a weekend out and neither of us feels like going grocery shopping for the week. We have most staples in the house already: chicken, pasta, rice, tomato sauce, etc. We will need to pick up milk and bread, but that’s about it.
  • Broccoli GA
  • Sweet Potatoes NC
  • Red Leaf Lettuce CA
  • Roma Tomatoes FL (2x)
  • Celery CA
  • Sweet Onions TX (2x)
  • Green Beans FL
  • Bosc Pear WA
  • Ruby Red Grapefruit FL
  • Bananas SA
  • Items We Swapped Out: Naval Oranges and Fuji Apples

This weeks menu is going to be winged. We’ll definitely do sweet potato fries again, maybe I’ll look into twice baked sweet potatoes. We’ll do soy ginger green beans probably with a simple rice and chicken entrée. Definitely do some salads. JEM won’t be home for dinner on Wednesday, and we’ll both be out at the Caps v Rangers game on Friday– so there will be no discovery recipes until next weekend, maybe some oldies but goodies though!

 

No Box This Week February 7, 2011

Filed under: Box,Fruit,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 8:09 pm
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Last week was a sick week in the JE/BLM household. This week isn’t shaping up to be better with hockey games and dinners out with families. That means we have plenty of left over veggies, a pretty stocked fridge, lots of fruit, and plenty of ideas of what to do with it all. So we decided to take a week off from the box. That’s one of the perfect things about Washington Green Grocer, we can pause and there’s no penalty for it.We have butternut squash soup left over from the last squash, tons of red potatoes from last weeks box, plenty of oranges, bananas, cantaloupe and apples. Neither of us is at all interested in cooking beets so they would have been swapped with something else. The only thing I am interested in are the green beans and the red leaf lettuce.

This week we would have received:

  • Butternut Squash NJ
  • White Mushrooms PA
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes FL
  • Green Beans FL
  • Red Leaf Lettuce CA
  • Red Peppers MEX
  • Red Beets CANADA
  • Fuji Apple WA
  • Bosc Pear WA
  • Navel Orange FL
  • Mango SA
  • Banana SA

Since it’s not the growing season the current selection of veggies is, more or less, the same from week to week. The only thing that is different on this list from other weeks are the beets, everything else we’ve seen before, even the mango. So we decided, in keeping with the spirit of the box, if there are any items on the list that we want we’ll get those and try to keep those to our produce content for the week. Well, I went to Giant today and picked up red peppers, white mushrooms, and mangos (which were on sale 4 for $5!!). But I cheated and picked up some avocados (10 for $10!!!). Clearly that idea went down the tubes pretty quick. Though I know no one who can pass up on sale avocados.

It was 50* out today and gave a beautiful glimmer of the coming growing season: Georgia first, then the Carolinas, and finally Virginia! We are definitely looking forward to different and more local vegetables.

Recipes to look forward to: homemade humus and salmon marinade.

 

 

Box #3 February 1, 2011

Filed under: Box — theboxexperiment @ 10:19 pm
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The next box arrives today and as always, I’m pretty pumped. There’s something about getting a box in the mail that gets me all excited…even if I know its coming. We know we need to plan our meals better around the produce we have, as opposed to planning meals seeing if what we have fits into that plan. We still have a bunch of bananas from last week (they may become another muffin/cookie/bread soon though). The amount of banana sweets I’ve made lately tells us that we haven’t been eating the bananas so this week we swapped them out for extra grape tomatoes. This weeks box was also supposed to have turnips, but JEM and I weren’t too into cooking turnips so we swapped them out for extra red potatoes.

So in the box this week we found:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Red Potatoes
  • Sweet Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Grapefruit
  • Gala Apples
  • Tangerines
  • Fennel
  • Green Leaf Lettuce

I am definitely excited about the melon, I adore it–it will probably be devoured in not many days. The only produce that gives me pause is the fennel. I’m going to have to be creative to cook it. These days, I’ve been the chef of the house so if there are any fennel recipes or ways to use it that are floating around out there, send them along!

Amendment: We asked for NO bananas, and yet they brought us 4. It had me changing the lyrics to “Yes, We Have No Bananas.” The JE/BLM version this evening “Yes, we want no bananas. We want no bananas today!” It caused much giggling which was energizing after a long work day. If anyone hasn’t heard that song it’s definitely worth a look up. Or better yet-watch the “old” “Sabrina” with Audrey Hepburn.