Something I planned to do before I moved to Merseyside was order a weekly veg box from one of the many online suppliers of such things. But I'm lazy and I kept putting it off. Also, having a local greengrocer lets me buy my own choice of fresh, local produce without worrying about wastage.
However, I only need to look back at last winter's entries on this blog to be reminded that the random shortages at the greengrocer and at Morrisons supermarket to realise that I'm really, really not looking forward to doing that again at the end of this year.
Then Scott mentioned on Twitter that he'd also been thinking about it. Others replied to say that they'd only got good things to say about having a box delivered, so he signed up. His first box sounded very nice, and never one to let a bandwagon pass without jumping on it, I also signed up.
I got my first box on Friday, and I'm impressed. I got some lovely, crispy broadleaf spinach; some of the best looking tomatoes I've ever seen; crunchy, fresh celery; muddy potatoes; very very sweet onions - almost sweet enough to eat like an apple; earthy, fresh carrots and a beautiful Chinese cabbage.
There was an irresistible freshness to it all, making me realise how the supermarket food is picked, transported in a chilled van to a depot some miles away, stored for a day or so, transported in chilled lorry to a supermarket many many miles away, kept chilled out back of the supermarket for a day or so, then put on the shelves and sold as "fresh". The vegetables in this box had clearly been in the ground the day before. They still had mud on them, so hadn't been washed and chemically treated before undergoing a trek around the country. All-in-all, irresistible.
In fact, so much so that I made a quick salad of a tomato, some spinach leaves and a celery stick, with some salt and a dash of wine vinegar and crunched my way through it there and then - at 10 in the morning, no less.
So that was Saturday's meal decided: a big version of that little salad, while the veg is still alive and bright. I doubt there'll be any leftovers, but if there are, the cold weather brings notions of soup, so they'll go in a broth.
Next week it's chard, lettuce, more tomatoes, a gem squash (I've never cooked squash before - that'll be a fun challenge and this looks lovely) and more potatoes and onions. So it's another salad at the very least. I'm very happy.