Tuesday, 29 January 2008

The secret's in the soil

The more observant of you will have noticed that I am a confirmed carnivore. (And just what is a confirmed carnivore, anyway? Does it involve Catholic clergy with Worcester Sauce?)

It's true, though. I used to be that person who would only eat a meal if most of its constituent parts used to have a mother. Vegetables were to be classified more as garnish - really there as decoration but not to be taken that seriously.

I must have been a trial for my poor mother. Mealtime after mealtime, I'd sit there, my bottom lip quivering ever so slightly, refusing to eat anything green. Ingredients would be pushed around the plate, tantrums would be thrown, sulks endured.

I was 18 at the time. (Buddum tish! Ithankyew.)

But I have had a conversion. Katie not only has the patience of a saint, but also access to Abel & Cole's website. As a result, for the last three weeks a man called Doug* in a little biodiesel van has chugged his way to our front door and deposited boxes of gorgeousness on our step. Bang on 6.00am every Monday, with metronomic efficiency.

I'll be honest, I was a little cynical at first. It all seemed a little, well, worthy. And very much right on. But once Katie unpacked the first box my interest was piqued. Irregular apples. Oranges with pockmarks. And bendy carrots. In other words, fruit and veg that hadn't been mucked around with by some faceless corporation. And as a result, they tasted, well, tasty.

I know this might sound a little odd. But I have taken to saying things like, "That apple tasted apple-y, " with an expression that is rapidly approaching awe. And as a result of their approach to stock control (if it's not in season you're not getting it), I have experienced more new things in the last fortnight than a stag party in Amsterdam.

Kohlrabi. Looks like a turnip, tastes a bit like a herby potato. Radicchio. Bitter as buggery, but works well with a dash of balsamic. Ok, a lot of balsamic. Alfafa. Bless you. Katie made some caulifower dahl and I found it almost edible. This week we had sunflower sprouts. I know. Someone call my mother.

But they also do non-veggie things too. This evening we had the Thai fishcakes. Which, for the benefit of Rebecca, is not a Big Lebowski reference on this occasion. And I've noticed that they supply beer and wine, too. There could be carnage ahead.

If they have a fault, they do sometimes fall into the Too Much Information category. In the weekly newsletter they told us about Andrew, their potato farmer. Apparently he'd been distracted from packing his 'Arran Victory' potatoes this week because he'd had to deliver his own baby girl.

I'm all for going back to nature. But I sincerely hope he washed his hands afterwards.

*(I don't actually know the driver's name. But in our house, forever more, he shall be called Doug. And Verily It Is Decreed.)


Anonymous said...

Which postcode do you live in and I'll tell you your drivers name.

Rebecca said...

Isn't it amazing how much better real food--not industrially processed "food products"--tastes? Wait until you have your first fresh spring asparagus or summer-ripe garden tomato. You'll fall in love all over again.

fatboyfat said...

Thank you Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs/Reverend Anonymous. (Reverend Anonymous? That's rather cool). But I quite like the mystery of Doug.

Although my wife just told me he's actually called Alan. Bah! But he does have other-worldly standards of punctuality, and that's the main thing.

(PS - you're not in SE24 yourself by any chance, are you?)

Le laquet said...

I'd have to stay home all day Tuesday and spy on the little man through the nets* to find out if he's as punctual as Doug ... wait maybe he is Doug. Could you ask him what time he drops my MOB off?

* No, not really nets. Honest.

Tom said...

I, also, have been a vegetable hater most of my life. I learned, last summer, of the joys of vegetables. Where were these things when I was growing up?

If I remember correctly, vegetables were disgusting, horrible, inventions of parents that were "good for you".(The vegetables, not the parents) When did the scientists of the world begin putting flavor in these things?!

The thing that I have noticed , however, is that they seem to taste better when eaten with some form of MEAT. It doesn't much matter what kind. Just meat.

Anonymous said...

Do you like fishing

City Girl said...

Apples that taste like apples are amazing, aren't they?

Since we are approximately the same age I suspect that like me you grew up eating "convenience" vegetables either from a can (tin) or the freezer. By the time we learned better agricultural conglomerates had bred all the flavor out of veggies. :: sigh ::

Well, I am very happy for you and Katie! I have a fairly nice veg garden so I also know the joys of carroty carrots!

Tom: Not only accompanied by meat, but covered in sauce. Or butter. Mmmm... but-ter.


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