Saturday, January 24, 2009

January Vegetables

Well enough preaching, and with a notion of forcing me to post on more of regular basis I thought I would post just what is in season during each month of this year. I will add a post on how to get your hands on seasonal Veg in a future post but here is what you should be looking for at the moment.

Fruit &Vegetables

  • Chicory
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Parsnips (these tend to be sweeter after they have had some frosty nights)
  • Green Garlic (like large spring onions, surprisingly pungent)
  • Winter Greens, like Kale and Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi
  • Winter Radish
  • Navel Oranges
  • Cardoons (Quite hard to find, looks like large celery, normally cooked by braising)

Also this is the best time to find Dungeness crab. You can get this in the stores but I like to take a trip over to the coast and get them off the boat. I go to Pillar Point Harbor at half moon bay. There is normally a whiteboard outside the harbor masters office which lists the vessels that are selling. The most activity is on the weekends. You can expect to pay a little less that store prices and the crab is much fresher. If you go during the week, and/or nobody is selling try the Princeton Seafood Company, they are extremely helpful and will probably have some nice crab to sell you. Remember that off the boat is cash only and take a large cooler.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Human Eco-system

I am always seeing reports in newspapers, magazines, and online about how someone or something is destroying an ecosystem and how fragile an ecosystem is. Generally this is considered a bad thing and often leads to some kind of legislation and lots of protests.

As I was wondering my local super market I began to wonder about the human eco-system. There is a lot of concern about what we are doing to nature but not so much about what we are doing to ourselves. Not wanting to preach here, that isn't the intent, but it is something to think about the next time you pick up some kind of processed food or some produce that has been shipped in from another country halfway around the world.

Do you know what is in what you are eating or about to prepare for someone you care about? do you recognize the ingredients? Do you know where the food you are eating came from? the region, the area, the person. What is the real cost of the tomato in January in your basket on the human eco-system.

You either care about this or you don't, and for the most part I would assume that people won't even think about it and the questions above would not enter their mind. Convenience is king, cost trumps quality, and the recipe you are using has no concept of seasonality. But if you did consider the questions above, would it change the way you shop for food. Personally I think it would, and I think it would better support your community and what your community produces, as well as the human eco-system in general.

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