What’s for Dinner

This week in our box we got: a bag of walnuts in their shells, two butternut squashes (and just when I’d managed to cook the last one we had knocking around—I steamed it and mashed it up with some ginger last week), three leeks, a bunch of collard greens, a head of lettuce, one purple cabbage, six kiwis, two pounds of satsumas, and a bunch of carrots. I also have a bulb of fennel left over from last week.

The newsletter tucked into the box identifies the carrots particularly as Nantes carrots. I Googled that and learned: “Nantes Carrots are more popular in Europe than in North America. Though the flavour has been praised in North America, they are not grown commercially because they don’t store particularly well. They tend to split or crack when machine-harvested, and don’t survive shipping well.” So now I feel pleased with my unusual variety of carrots from our local farmers.

The newsletter also has this to say about purple cabbage: “During cultivation, purple cabbage changes its color according to the pH of the soil. On acidic soils, the leaves grow more reddish-purple while an alkaline soil will produce a greenish-yellow colored cabbage. This is because of pigment molecules called anthocyanins. On cooking, purple cabbage will normally turn blue. To retain the red/purple color it is necessary to add vinegar or acidic fruit to the pot.” So that’s interesting!

Tonight we’re having spaghetti carbonara with a salad of lettuce, fennel, and carrots. Tomorrow I’ll make black eyed peas with the leeks, collard greens, and some bacon, and probably some cornbread too. We’ll take the leftovers with us on Friday when we leave for Reno to spend the weekend with Nonna and Pappy and the anti-Sara, so that we can have the traditional Southern meal (which is really, according to Wikipedia, the traditional Jewish meal?) for good luck on New Year’s Day. We’ll be back Sunday night, so Monday we’ll have pork chops and sauteed purple cabbage (I’m going to watch closely to see if it turns blue!), and Tuesday butternut squash soup. The fruit as usual will be eaten straight, and as for the walnuts, I guess I’ll just put them into a bowl with a nutcracker and see what happens.

I hope everyone has a fun New Year’s Eve, and I wish you all good luck in the coming year!

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