Food Fail, So We’ll Just Change the Subject… Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA and the Beautiful Things it Will Do for Our Lives

Lets start with our food fail.  We wanted to go to Craigie on Main for dinner last night, and thought that if we showed up about ten minutes after it opened, we would have no problem getting a table, or at least a bar table.  These strategies have worked for us before, and we rarely go out on a Friday, and even less so in Cambridge.  Hah, no.  We walked in about 5:45 to learn that the next available table was 10:30, and there was an hour-long wait for the bar.  :S After our little foodie hearts cried for a bit, we wandered down to Clear Concience Cafe, associated with Harvest Co-op.  Sandwiches and soup were not quite what we were expecting, but still good and satisfying.  The cafe is generally in line with the type of food we eat (the only bread they have is crunchy multigrain with seeds in it), and we got good hot drinks as well.  The next day was a continuing food fail, where we had a food melt down at home and ended up having lunch at Anna’s Taqueria before going to see the MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players Patience.  It was still a nice day, and the production was a lot of fun, but we have to get back on track now. We did think about it and calculate it out, that with this up coming week’s slots, and the reaming slots from last week, we have half a slot left for this week (we think…).  Either way, we are not going to stress ourselves out over it.  We are trying to be principled in our eating, but that does not mean we have to give ourselves a complex, and eating disorder or a OCD response to food.  Like any good diet, you can take a deep breath and say: “I made a few mistakes, lets learn from them and try to do better next time.” We learned a few things:

  1. Make a reservation.  No matter how dorky you feel, if the restaurant is in a hip, young, foodie-friendly area and easily walked to, and it is Friday or Saturday, make a reservation.
  2. Maybe there is a reason we like tucked away hole in the walls.  They are harder to find, and often don’t advertise as ferociously as some of the big guys.  While CoM is not big, per say, it does run lots of adverts in popular, hip magazines.
  3. If you have to be somewhere at a specific point of time, make a reservation so you don’t flip.
  4. If you are going to matinée performance, eat at home before you go, or pack a lunch if you are going to spend the morning running errands or studying at the library.
  5. Never count on anything being open when you want it to be open.

So, yeah, it was a fail of epic proportions.  We will try again in the future.

Moving on, Grain!  Lots of it! And more to come! One week ago we trekked out to Shutesbury to pick up what will probably be the majority of our grain for the next year or so.  I think we were both happy to be the ones to measure out our grain, and that we weren’t presented with pre-wrapped bags of our food.  It made the process much more fulfilling.

Waiting for our Grain

While we all waited, Ben gave us a demonstration of how to clean your grain to remove weed seeds, hulls and other impurities.  Adrie’s Blog Fields and Fire has a little run down of how to clean at her blog with the post Grain Cleaning, Posole & Some Gratitude.  When we reached the front of the line, we made a careful study of the process.

We took note of the farm, our gleeful little hearts totally romaticising farm life, as we took in compost piles, workshop space and the work horse a little ways above us.

All of the bean shells! So excited for our beans next week!

When it was our turn, we oohhed and ahhed over the food as we took our share.  We were excited to see which farm it came from, and we recognised a few places.

Lovely lovely lovely.  It was fresh, and sweet-smelling.  This CSA is hugely important to us, as this will be our flour, bread, and whole grains for a long time.  We could do our challenge without this CSA, and no doubt there are plenty of people in the country who don’t have this luxury.  Yet, we are doing so many good things for these farmers, and we get good food in the process. Can’t beat that. Alright, this is going on for a really long time.  Some grain glamor shots, and we’ll call it a day.

Zorro Wheat- hard white winter wheat good for baking

Winter Spelt- Excellent cooked whole, used in place of rice or pasta. It can also be milled for bread and pastries.

Rye- winter small grain, good for cooking and eating whole, or ground to be made into rye bread or pumpernickel bread

Mandan Bride Native American Corn- Originally from the Mandan tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota, this can be used as a flour corn for baking, cornmeal or for hominy.

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2 Responses to Food Fail, So We’ll Just Change the Subject… Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA and the Beautiful Things it Will Do for Our Lives

  1. jetdell says:

    Hey girls,

    My sister worked in the kitchen at Craigie Street for over a year before it moved to the bigger place. She can testify that everything is local. She loved working in the kitchen, and loved the food. She didn’t love the chef so much. They worked crazy hours and he paid them all mininum wage. As a result, we boycotted the place. Nevertheless, she insists we are missing an experience. You tell me!

    On another note, I have made cornbread twice with the dent corn. Delicious. I also made some english muffins with the wheat. They didn’t rise as much as I wanted to. I need to get another recipe. It needed regular all purpose flour, but I only used the zorro wheat. My sister read somewhere the flour is technically stale after 2 weeks of being ground. So, I try not to use all purpose flour too often.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend, ~Jetdell

  2. Eduarda says:

    This is a good blog message, I will keep the post in my mind. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. 🙂 thanks Eduarda.

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