The cupboards are bare of vegetables. Not even a bunch of wilty kale to be found – only a sad bundle of chard stems that started accumulating the day that I came across Alice Waters’ recipe for chard stem gratin. (I hate throwing those meaty stems away. One day, when it once again sounds appealing to pour heavy cream over vegetables and throw them into a hot oven to gratinee, the poor chard stems will make it onto the menu rather than into the compost.)
The vegetable drought is entirely my fault. I am the one who canceled our CSA box for last week, but I just didn’t feel like another round of romaine lettuce, winter carrots and sweet potatoes. And call me ungrateful, but the baby celery and navel oranges just weren’t going to cheer me up. This week I’m looking forward to mangoes and leeks and mushrooms, but I can’t help but feel a little cranky about the winter carrots again, and the potatoes – again. Even the Cameo apples, which are passably crisp and tasty considering how long they’ve been in cold storage, serve as a reminder that, even though we are wearing flip flops, and the bees are making rosemary honey, and the trees are making their canopy of fresh green, it’s going to be weeks and weeks before the only nightshade on our dinner table isn’t a potato.