I believe it was the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard who coined the term the "despair of infinity." My college roommate L., who was reading him for a class on faith and reason, introduced me to the concept of overabundant choice and the resulting paralysis and despair. I've no idea what the original context for the work was, but I have come to my own conclusions about what it means, and what it means is that those folks at Capay Fruits & Vegetables are tormenting me with too many vegetables and fruits!
I've mentioned my biweekly deliveries of fresh, local organic produce before. Essentially, Capay Fruits & Vegetables has created a service called Farm Fresh to You - plenty of other local farms do this, too - where you can sign up for weekly or biweekly deliveries of whichever organic, seasonal fruits and veggies they pull out of the ground or off their very own trees that week.
Mr. Food Musings and I have been meaning to sign up for years, but didn't get around to it until a few weeks ago when we were down at the Ferry Building for lunch and we grabbed a brochure from the Capay Organic store they've opened. For $21.50 per delivery we get 4 types of vegetables and 2 fruit selections, plus the occasional cooking item (onions and garlic, primarily) and a newsletter with a few recipes on the back.
Our two deliveries to date have been varied in content, and bursting with fresh goodies full of flavor - knobby, hairy carrots with green tops trailing behind, stubby fingerling potatoes, blood oranges and mini Satsuma mandarins, crisp Pink Lady apples, a huge bag of mixed baby lettuces, two tightly closed artichokes and sweet first-of-the-season snap peas.
(Okay, so stupid me - the first week our delivery came I forgot about it and kept walking by the unlabeled box in the corner of our apartment building foyer wondering why our annoying neighbor didn't pick up their package. Several days later, it occurred to me that our fresh veggies hadn't arrived, so I emailed Georgette at the farm to find out if there had been a delivery problem. As soon as I hit send - of course - it hit me. That box languishing in the corner was mine! (Duh!) I ran down the stairs as quick as my leopard slippered feet could carry me and dragged the box upstairs. Unfortunately, it was too late to save the lettuces, who'd turned brown and slimy after 3 days sitting in their own moisture in a plastic bag, but everything else was salvagable. And yummy!)
This week's delivery has occupied my brain all morning long; I've been spinning through recipe after recipe trying to find just the thing. It's kind of like those logic puzzles we had to do in elementary school: Which recipe uses the most ingredients to the best advantage, taking into account Mr. FM's and my desire to eat healthily as well as our schedule (dinner at Aqua on Friday, out with friends on Saturday and dinner with his folks on Sunday) without leaving anything to rot?
I've finally - I think - settled on using the potatoes, peas, carrots and some of the skinny leeks in a chicken pot pie tomorrow night, baking an apple pie (fittingly, using L.'s gradmother's recipe) to take down to Mr. FM's parents for dessert, and consulting Nigella for the blood oranges - something kicking around in the depths of my memory tells me she's gone on and on before about blood oranges from Seville.
Recipes I rejected:
Leeks au gratin
Roasted vegetables with tarragon
Pasta with roasted tomatoes, peas and fresh mint
I'll let you know how it goes.