Pimp my veggies

I would totally pay someone to wash and chop my CSA share.

Various things spurred this idea. My recent decision to buy a share from the Harvest Kitchen next summer. Thinking about why I wouldn’t bother buying pre-made entrees from Making Thyme Kitchen, even though the concept is very similar the the prepared food CSA I am buying. Reading this NYT article on the degree to which Americans don’t eat vegetables.

It all comes down to the perception that dealing with whole vegetables is a pain. I want the summer share and not the winter entrees because I can make a meatloaf and stick it in the freezer with very little effort. But chopping a dozen servings of vegetables…meh. And frozen really is not the same for fresh, for so many things.

So…there’s my million-dollar (well, maybe that’s a bit optimistic) idea. You offer to pick up, wash, chop, and maybe deliver my CSA share. Less expensive than having someone also then plan a menu and cook it, and I do get to have the fun of poking things with a spoon, but it saves me the bit of effort that is the real sticking point in my mind. And all veg could be packaged in Mason jars, probably quarts and half-gallons, which I’d return like milk bottles each week.

You start such a service, and I’ll advertise it here. And in the meantime, if anyone wants to help me process my garden for winter storage in return for a large cut of the produce, let me know…

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6 Comments

  1. El said,

    September 30, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Well, the cheaper solution might be to find a really wonderful knife, Emily. I have a fabulous handmade carbon steel cleaver/chopper; I adore the thing so much and it makes everything so very much more easy than doing it with some weeny paring knife and/or small lightweight regular knife.

    Washed, chopped and stored veggies lose their nutrients a lot more quickly too.

    Maybe I am in the weird 5% or so of the population but I love prepping veg. LOVE it.

    here’s a pic of the knife:
    http://fastgrowtheweeds.com/2009/10/16/on-tomatoes-a-mini-confession/

    • Emily said,

      September 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      I do have a wonderful knife, and yet, it makes an immense difference. And yet it matters not one whit when I’m exhausted and crabby and hungry and know that between me and dinner stands harvesting, washing, chopping AND cooking. I may well have a different take on it when I’m not exhausted and crabby and hungry, though. 🙂

  2. October 1, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Unfortunately, at least here in Ohio, even something that simple means you’d have to have a licensed commercial kitchen and food prep license in order to do it legally — not a cheap proposition. Another case of “one size doesn’t really fit all, even if some fashion-blind folks think the baggy look is still in”…

    • Emily said,

      October 2, 2010 at 2:05 pm

      I wished you lived up here…there are lots of commercial kitchens to work out of, and they are not all outrageously expensive, either.

  3. October 3, 2010 at 6:32 am

    If I were in your area, I’d totally take you up on that offer. I don’t mind prepping veg. But no, I wouldn’t even think about starting it as a business for exactly the reasons Jennifer mentions. And if it were me, I wouldn’t want *my* cut up ingredients sitting around losing the freshness that I value in homegrown veg. El recommended a good knife. Have you considered a good mandoline? The good ones (Bron-Couke) are not cheap, and you do need to respect the incredible sharpness of the slicing blades – no joke. But man can they turn cleaned veg into pan-ready ingredients in a snap. The Bron-Couke is stainless steel, so it can go through a dishwasher if you still use one. Indestructible, and much better than any food processor when it comes to cutting vegetables. I went to culinary school and coveted one for decades, but only got mine as a birthday present a few years ago. It really come in handy for kim chi and stir-fries.

    • Emily said,

      October 3, 2010 at 8:51 pm

      I really think it’s not so much about how much time it actually takes to prep and cook stuff; it’s more about being required to do one more thing when I’m already tired. That fancy mandoline? Just one more thing to wash, really.

      I wrote this several days ago (I can set the blog to auto-post, so I often write a bunch at once and spread the posts out over a week or two). Even just having a few days’ distance and rest, I am much less inclined to think the idea of pre-chopped veggies is sublime. But this perception of cooking being a drag is real…why else would the washed, chopped stuff sell so well at the store? It would be nice if that ease came in a CSA-flavored variety instead of a soaked-in-chemicals-and-shipped-from-Timbuktu variety.


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