Monday, June 20, 2011

You Don't Win Friends With Salad!

One of the nice things about moving back to Madison is its farmers' market.  Touted as the "largest producer-only farmers' market in the country," it stretches around the Capitol Square like this:
I SO have a future in cartography!

And this is a picture of me at the farmers' market.

Note the lack of cash, the invisible bag to carry produce home in, and, well, ME.

As much as I'd like to go to the farmers' market every week, I only manage to get there once or twice a month.  You see, unless you arrive around 6:30 in the morning, the place is packed with people dickering over the number of strawberries in a pint, interrogating the egg vendors as to whether their chickens have access to a grassy yard and possibly some sort of spa, and well-meaning mothers pushing their kids around in the WORLD'S LARGEST STROLLER.

All of these behaviors make my head explode, which is really messy but pays for my psychiatrist's kid's college fund.  So unless I can get my rear in gear in time to get to the farmers' market at the butt-crack of dawn, I don't go at all.  This makes me sad, as I love fresh, local produce.

So, in an unprecedented move of advance-planning I decided to join a CSA (community supported agriculture.)  You sign up with a CSA in the spring and pay them a few hundred dollars straight up.  Then throughout the summer and early autumn (June through October in my neck of the woods), you head over to your host's pick-up site to retrieve your box full of already-paid-for vegetables. It's like it was made for people who are too lazy and inept at obtaining quality fresh produce, just like me!

So for a couple of weeks now, I've gotten a large box full of fresh vegetables.  And thanks to the unusually cold spring, these boxes have been full of lettuce.  And lettuce.  And more lettuce.  There are a few radishes and white turnips thrown in for good measure.  And then more lettuce.

I like lettuce.  Everybody in my family will eat salad, even my kids.   But as of date, I am the proud owner of two LARGE bags of lettuce.  They are so large THAT I AM FORCED TO USE ALL CAPS TO DESCRIBE THEIR MAGNITUDE.  I also have a good-sized head of bibb lettuce, a humongous head of romaine lettuce, and two smaller bags of spinach.

The spinach, I can work with.  Spinach can be a side dish.

This is still healthy, right?

You can sneak spinach into a lasagna or a casserole


But I'm having a hard time dealing with all this lettuce.  Lettuce can turn into a salad.

Hello, there!

Or a salad.

Hello, again!

Or a salad.

Have we met?

Even though there are lots of different kinds of salads, in the end they are still salads and I am suffering from salad ennui. We have had salad at every dinner and most of my lunches, and we've only plowed through half of the lettuce.

So dear internets, please tell me: What do you do with 500 pounds of lettuce? More importantly, would you like some lettuce?  After all:


Lindsay Schultz @sayschu said...

Actual thought I had yesterday: "Why do I keep running out of lettuce?" So I went to Pick 'N Save and stocked up on some not-very-fresh-looking lettuce.

Did your head just explode?

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Lindsay - that sound you heard? Yes. That was my head. You're welcome!

Cake Betch said...

What about some tacos? Or lettuce on hamburger? I'm at a loss.

Anonymous said...

How about a pet rabbit? The kiddos would be happy. Your husband probably not so much

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Cake Betch - tacos & sandwiches help, but they've made a small dent. Now taco salad, THAT's something I haven't thought of yet! I heart you!

@Anonymous - I had a pet rabbit as a kid, and it turns out I'm allergic to rabbits. My bunny was kindly "released into the wild." That's a story for another post.

SarcasmInAction said...

lettuce can go on a sandwich. With cheese.
Lettuce can go on a burger.
With cheese.
Lettuce can be shredded onto tacos.
With cheese.
Take a seven layered lettuce salad to a gathering or potluck.
With cheese.

Pretty much, pair the lettuce with cheese.
The end.

Betty Fokker said...

Mmmwwwaahhh "Salad ennui" *snort*

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@SarcasmInAction - That's it! 7-layer salad for all!

@Betty Fokker - ennui is one of my ten-dollar words, along with repertoire. But don't ask me how to spell either of them. That's the dictionary's job.

SLR said...

The answer is SOUP! Before you go eee yew, try it. A Dutch friend made this for me - well, possibly not this exact recipe since I just did a web search for lettuce soup - and I was extremely reluctant to taste it, but it was delicious. She put it in the blender so there were no little bits at all, just green deliciousness.

Marianna Annadanna said...

Yes! Lettuce with cheese!

We never eat all our salad. even when we just buy a little bit at the store. I don't know what to suggest.

Also, I heart the Simpson familiy.

HA! Chicken spa.

And all CAPS!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@SLR - I LOVE soup, and will totally take a look at that recipe!

@Marianna - now I need to buy more cheese. All in all, not a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Lettuce is why I no longer belong to a CSA. Because on multiple occasions I ended up with a fridge stuffed full of lettuce, leaving me no room for real food. You know, the stuff I'm willing to eat.

Which does make you wonder why I felt the need to plant three different varieties of lettuce in my garden this year... (My only excuse is that the pictures on the seed packages were so pretty...)

@SLR - I've had lettuce soup! It was pretty good, but I've since lost the recipe. I'll have to give yours a try.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Woodenmonkey - Please tell me the lettuce ends sooner or later!!

jacqui said...

I really want to contribute a meaningful and helpful answer. Really, I do.

It's the thought that counts, right?