Diaries from a lardeedaar #3

It’s Thursday afternoon, and there’s a knock at the door. Our pulses quicken and our mouths water. Mike races to the door and I follow so that I can peer round him.

The anticipation’s delicious – what have we got in our organic fruit and veg delivery this week? We take in two items – a brown paper bag, and a box.

The brown bag heightens the anticipation further; we can’t immediately see what’s inside. It’s all organic and all grown in the UK, but apart from that, we’re never sure what to expect.

I can see the delicate fronds of carrot leaves waving out of the top, and there are usually some potatoes in the bottom. Everything in between is a mystery. Sometimes we get strange things that we wouldn’t normally think of buying. It encourages us to try things again that we thought we didn’t like – last week, for example, I tried fennel for the first time in years. I thought I didn’t like fennel, but it was delicious.

Another unexpected consequence is that we’re eating less pasta, cous-cous, rice, etc and more potatoes because we get some every week. That means less imported food, less packaging and less factory production – great news.

We unpack the bag together, one item at a time, and lay everything out on our kitchen work surface. We start concocting recipes in our heads and talking about what we can make this week.

First out are the carrots. We can’t resist the temptation, so wash one and crunch our way through it while unpacking the rest of the bag. I see some leaves that I don’t recognise. Reaching in, I grab hold of them. They’re attached to purple stalks protruding from a single purple fleshy bulb, about the size of a turnip. We both look at it. Then we look at each other.

Mike’s the first to speak, “What is it?”

“I think it might be a kohlrabi,” I say.

“Oh, I always thought that was an animal. What do we do with it?”

We put the kohlrabi to one side and turn our attention to the box. The box always holds something interesting. This is all fruit or veg that’s past its best and would otherwise go to waste, and comes at a vastly reduced price. We think this is great – almost everything we get is edible, and it usually results in us cooking something new. What do you do with a glut of bananas, onions or red peppers? This week, the box is brimming with apricots – four pounds to be precise. Enough to make a large batch of jam – fantastic.

Now, I just need to find out what to do with that kohlrabi… time to phone a friend, I think!

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