I feel exposed. The inside of a woman’s refrigerator can be a very private place. But in thinking about my next post, I realized that my fridge tells a story. See, it didn’t always look like this. Before being a mom, I used to be baffled by my aunt’s fridge. Hers was always packed. “How could her family possibly go through all of that food?”, I would wonder. Now I get it.
Sure, my son is only a toddler, but I’ve found myself stocking my fridge like this on a weekly, sometimes bi-weekly basis. Here’s why.
My husband and I recently got bored with what we were cooking. I would buy the same things every week, and every week we’d eat different versions of the same meals. Which led to us ordering out way too often. Which can get expensive. We realized we were spending upwards of $75 per week on Thai food or sushi or whatever other culinary delight arrived at our doorstep after 4 quick minutes on Seamless.com. And we weren’t ordering because we didn’t have food in the house–we were ordering because we didn’t like what we had waiting to be cooked.
So recently we ventured into CSA boxes. We found that Fresh Direct (which is the grocery service we and a lot of other New Yorkers use) offers different CSA box options through a local farm without the hassle of a membership. It’s changed our lives for the better.
Not only do we get a new box of organic, local and sustainable vegetables (and sometimes fruit, eggs and yogurt) every week, but it ends up saving us a lot of money. Now when our food is delivered, it’s like Christmas morning. We unpack all of our other groceries first, leaving the CSA box and its mysterious contents for last. Then we open it to find what beautiful produce is waiting for us. From there, we search for recipes that work with the food that was delivered to us. Sometimes it’s easy: fresh corn? No problem. Onions and grape tomatoes? Looks like pasta pomodoro tonight. But sometimes we get ingredients we’ve never seen before, like Fairy Tale eggplant, or Kabocha squash. That’s where the fun comes in. Instead of ordering out, we cook something we would have never thought to make before.
When our son was being introduced to new foods, we would puree a lot of the vegetables that arrived in the box. Now that he’s older, he’s enjoying the same fresh, healthy meals that we’re eating. While it may seem crazy to spend $30 on a box of vegetables, we no longer order out like we used to. And we’re eating better – it’s turned out to be a win-win for our family.
Occasionally we get a bit more than we know what to do with (I currently have 20 jalapenos in my vegetable crisper…) but that’s not a bad problem to have. Good thing my husband and I like spicy food.