Ordering the mixed produce box from a food co-op is a little like Christmas and a lot like Chopped, the television show where chefs have to create wonderful meals from a basket of random items. I think the Chopped chefs have an advantage in being able to identify the items in the box (and knowing how to cook…)

This week clearly featured a number of greens-like items. The collards were easy (the rubber band holding them together said, “organic collards”)…but the others were a little more challenging. I still don’t know what they are…kale? turnip greens? and some types of cabbage, I think! Any thoughts?

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The other exciting item is shown below. Thanks to internet I was able to tell my iPad “white root vegetable” and I was provided with photos of parsnips…and a few recipes I will experiment with later in the week.

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So, today’s big project was taming the greens. I personally have a textural issue with greens (ok, maybe a little taste issue too). I have tried to them cooked traditionally – boiled with ham seasonings…but it wasn’t a favorite. That batch of greens eventually ended up in a frittata. My most successful use for greens was as a filling for lasagna, but that begged the question, “why ruin a good lasagna?” So, what to do with this batch of collards and several unnamed greens, one of which might be more like cabbage?

I opted for Indian, with a recipe including three of the four sets of greens, sweet potatoes (an NC favorite also needing to be used), chick peas, tomatoes, onions, and curry spices. I cooked it in a crockpot, outside on the deck. The end result was a very large quanity of a mass of greens, sweet potatoes, chick peas, tomatoes and onions. It actually tasted fine, but I couldn’t see eating it…not a good plan and a poor start to the week….I experimented further….this time taking a small amount of it and making a soup – much better…same quite tolerable flavor, but not sight or texture of greens…we’ll be seeing a lot of it this week.

Dinner tonight – homemade fettucine (first batch ever)!

Other cooking projects today: pizza crusts for later in the week, French Herb Bread, an unsuccessful attempt at hush puppy muffins (don’t ask!), sweet potato muffins (much better), and ginger cookies…

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