Thursday, 3 December 2009

Thinking inside the box


Oh, sweet, sweet internet. Ah. The bliss of sitting at my own kitchen table with a cup of tea and a soon to be delivered vast takeaway and playing on the internets is indescribable. You have NO idea. After 2 months, 1 nervous breakdown, innumerable bored friends and acquaintances tolerating my whining, 1 pneumatic drill, all manner of cabling problems and THREE Belgabastard operatives, I finally have the sweet, beautiful balm of the internet, not to mention tv and a phone. It's like Christmas came early. I need never go out again, and can sit here, ordering things online and becoming vastly fat and agoraphobic and losing the power of speech. It will be JUST GREAT.

Tonight I am wondering why I am such a fuckwit. Nothing new there. This is vegetable fuckwittage. I have been observing the small organic cafe down the road with interest. I retain some atavistic interest in healthy fruity, juicey type things from my Boring Bastard Twenties, when nothing that was not hand picked from a sublimely happy chemical free tree would pass my lips. Now it's more of a nostalgia trip, obviously, but after yet another lunch of pizza and Wispa Gold, I was galvanised to go in. It's called Biobar and outside there is a metal tree with real fruit spiked on its branches. Modish. Wait, it might even have a website, hang on... Oh yes! It does!

Anyway. The people who run it are the most ethereally happy and healthy looking couple I have ever seen. They are all glowing and shiny and when you step in they hand you a small sample of the juice of the day with beatific smiles. "It has kiwi in it!" said the shiny man. "We couldn't use kiwis before, but now we've found an organic stockist in Spain!". The woman smiled in serene contentment. Bach cello suites played in the background. I tell you, they GLOW. This comes as something of a shock, given my previous experience of organic and healthfood shop employees, all of whom in the UK look like they are smackheads. Seriously, check it out. They are pallid and covered in blemishes and malnourished. IT IS TRUE. Go to your local Fresh and Wild or whatever and you will see that I am right.

Whereas Biobar was like walking into an advert for health, or something. Inspiring. So I did a stupid thing. It's not the first time I have done this particular stupid thing; I did it before a few times in London, but clearly I have still not learnt the error of my ways.

Reader, I signed up for a vegetable box scheme.

Fuck.

You know how I don't really cook? How I just can't be arsed, barely want to stir my stumps to put something in the microwave, simply don't give a shit? Yeah. Well. Try doing that with a "courge patisson jaune" (whatever that might be).

Thus, I find myself this week with:

A bunch of CHERVIL (Belgians have a thing for chervil. Not quite such a big thing as for chicory, but it's close)

Six turnips, most small, one gigantic and slightly scary.

A celeriac

2 aubergines

6 potatoes

6 shallots

1 head of fennel

(I have a photo on my magic eye phone but I don't know how to get it OUT of there and ONTO here. Why yes, I am an idiot, thank you for noticing). UPDATE: I DID IT.

This totally serves me right for trying to buy into a shiny, organic lifestyle I cannot possibly sustain. But I thought we could turn the veg box of hell into something fun and interactive for this weblog, which has lately been a never ending catalogue of my boring whiny life.

Suggestions, please for what I could do with the veg in the veg box. Obviously, this does not have to be anything as boring as actual FOOD, though if you suggest something, I commit myself to trying to make it and sharing the hideous consequences with you, and possibly even with the spawn. You can also suggest interesting vegetable animal ideas. The aubergine makes an excellent penguin, or mole, I know for a fact. Or anything else that takes your fancy. I'll put my three or four favourites in a poll on the sidebar and you can vote for how you would like to torment me.

37 comments:

Layla said...

'Challenge Waffle'?

So then you have to be photographed with the organic vegetables, before and after said challenge, waering a genuine Anneka Rice-style jumpsuit, yes?

tee hee

Excellent.

Gooooooooooooo Waffle!

wv = sinarize, which means turning Chinese, obviously.

Helena said...

Ooooh, we had a veg box. we used it to make the house smell of rotting vegetables and feed a very expensive compost heap. (The compost heap was not used for anything except feeding big London rats, which the cat liked to maim and bring in for us to dispatch).
Ah, the circle of life.

emily said...

you could make nourishing things i suppose (i say i suppose as am not fab at the cooking thing either) you could put the turnip and potatoes together and boil them and make mash, as a relatively healthy side accompaniment to chicken dippers or something equally bad for health.... You could roast the aubergines.... chickory could be made into some kind of ornament? I dont know!! good luck!

Layla said...

Another thought - it might also be appropriate to wear an authentic Anneka-style long blonde wig for the photos.

Liking this whole project more and more...


wv= tyingrog, and I don't know how they hell they found out about that.

Jaywalker said...

I would rather wear an Anneka Rice wig than eat MASHED TURNIP (it is not neeps in the Scottish sense. It is those purply things that taste like crap) but the public will decide....

mountainear said...

Sculpture I think. Definitely.

wv is imyradis - Islamic raddish?

Liberty London Girl said...

Boil the fuck out of the celeriac, shove in food processor, add cream butter, salt. Turns healthy into not healthy delish puree. Perfect.

Keep the turnips by yr bed for throwing to repel burglars. There is no real use for the bloody things. LLGxx

Layla said...

LLG, loving your culinary approach!

Any recipe which starts 'boil the fuck out of...' has won my heart immediately.

You should definitely write The LLG Unhealthy Cookbook.

Mya said...

Liquidise the courge and put it in a tin for emergency cover-up jobs on the paintwork of the SP - when landlord visits are imminent.Could you persuade the weepette to eat the turnip? Tell him it's a newborn leveret.
So ACE that the FCs came and plugged you in again! Yay!

Mya x

Anonymous said...

I second LLG with the celeriac, or add more water/cream for soup and with the rest, why! it's almost a ratatouille. The fennel can partly be used in a curry, but beware is strong. Stuffed aubergines are fab.
O, I love veggie boxes but haven't bothered here because wouldn't they be full of chicory and those ugly long lumpy sinister things that I don't recognise at all.

Laughed all the way through this post. Yes, so true. Glue sniffers work at all places selling anything organic, vegetarian, supplemental, herbal and frightfully expensively healthy.

Fran

Jaywalker said...

A new born leveret! I love it. I am going to VIDEO myself trying to tell Oscar that.

(Wafflechild, you're on call for that. Imagine the handholding that will be needed to upload it)

(Salsify, Fran. Freaking Belgium)

Also turnips as projectiles. And squash paint. There are some excellent ideas here. Excellent.

kcm said...

Oooo! Fennel. Yummy. Crunchy raw in salad. Big succulent pieces in casserole.
Celeriac. Also yummy in big pieces in casserole. Or as mash.
Turnips. Are best roasted like potatoes.
Enjoy!

Kate said...

vegetable clothing. no more black dresses with bows for you. it will be aubergine and chervil miniskirts (unless you have lots of it)

Layla said...

FENNEL = Kryptonite

you could try pointing it at the Weepette when you want him to leave you alone...

Mrs Trefusis... said...

Paint them all bright, primary colours -except for the aubergine which is shiny all by itself- and create a miniature version of the Beauborg sculpture park in your garden.
Or, teach Oscar to fetch with the turnips and shallots
or, chuck them belligerently over next door's fence when they start playing the saxophone

(otherwise put them all in a pot and make soup. Exceptthe aubergine which is a pointless if ornamental vegetable)

Oval Epicure said...

Celeriac, potato and fennel dauphinoise - slice thinly, lots of garlic, layer in dish, pour cream over, top with butter, bake. Yummy cold too.

Iheartfashion said...

I couldn't identify any of those vegetables on sight, so I'm impressed.

teddy said...

paint different faces on them and then talk to them every day so a) you retain the power of speech and b) don't have to leave the house to facilitate a..

Jaywalker said...

But Teddy, what about when they ROT? How will I feel when my friends start to decompose? I don't think you have thought this one through properly.

Completely Alienne said...

cut them all into chunks, put in a pot, cover with water/tinned tomatoes/wine, season and boil till they are disintegrating. Blend/mash add whatever else you fancy (worcester sauce, ketchup, more wine, cayenne pepper) for added flavour et voila - soup. I soup up all left over, soggy or unloved (eg fennel) vegetables. So handy when you need a quick meal, and relatively guilt free.

curlywurlyfi said...

Thread the shallots onto some string for an unusual yet alluringly fragranced necklace. The fennel can be the centrepiece - turn it upsidedown so the frondy bits waggle peacockfeatherstylee near your thorax.

Anonymous said...

For the eye phone... you have to email yourself the photo, and then download the photo to your computer from your email. Fun, huh?

CureForCrazy said...

Eggplant Parmesan! You should try eggplant parmesan. I didn't know eggplant had other names, but I found aubergine on wikipedia. Try
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Eggplant-Parmesan-II/Detail.aspx

Kathy said...

For the eye phone, it is really hugely easy. Two ways:

Your phone came with a charging cable. Its end is a USB that plugs into a plug end to charge from the mains, or into your Mac to charge from the computer, yes? If yes (I am positive the answer is yes since Apple doesn't vary hardware by region, so yours should be like mine), plug cable into phone & Mac and it will pop up your iPhoto software when you connect. Select the photos you want to download, and bingo, they are on computer.

Or, enable Bluetooth on both Mac and eye phone and transmit.

I like Teddy's idea. It will be like the lemon in the BBQ.

Sonya said...

Yes - LLG's suggestion is great. You can also add the potatoes.

I would grill (with olive oil) the aubergine in slices together with portobello mushrooms, drop some chevre and a leaf of basil on top and sprinkle a bit of balsamic over. Really really fast and quite tasty.

I do not think you can do anything with the turnips. Every version of stew or soup my mother made used to include turnips, so that was all you could taste (she wouldn't add an herb or spice on a bet). Consequently the taste of turnips makes me retch. Sorry that's not especially helpful, is it?

Good luck!

dragondays said...

Glad you have got your life back ...
As to the veg box - shit! I can cook but there is nothing you can do with that crap apart from the fennel (eat raw, thinly sliced with olive oil and lemon - easy).
Apart from animal sculptures which will rot and smell very soon and will die all over the SP, I suggest you go back to the super shiny bio shop and cancel your order. I mean tell them you can't continue buying their stuff as they sell organic kiwis from Spain - carbon footprints and all that crap transporting kiwis from Spain to Belgium.
And, let's face it, we all know that eating an organic turnip is not going to make you look all healthy and rosey-cheeked, is it?

WV = undessad, this is what the veg will look like soon ...

tooooooo-shy said...

I was just watching old episodes of Kingdom recently & rather liked the idea of the rude vegetable competition. Following along on that theme, how about a rude vegetable art ensemble?! And you could always auction off said piece for charity (or chocolate). Am never in the kitchen myself for much more than making the tea to dip the chocolate in - so am sorry, no wise Epicurean adventuresome suggestions from this quarter. Best of muck, I mean luck!

@eloh said...

Build a flower bed outside and toss it all in there to rot...once you have finished playing with it and or eating anything worth eating.

Start a Veggie Box Cookbook from hints sent in after posting the contents each time... then throw the left overs/failures into the flower rot/box.

Leona said...

I am probably being very ignorant, but wtf is that THING that looks like a rancid dumpling with worms growing out of it? I suggest you bury it back in the earth from whence it came, with a stake through its heart. It looks like it might rise up, worms all a-bristle, and eat your face off in the night. Yucksters!

Jaywalker said...

Leona, you are totally right, and I am going to add that suggestion to the poll.

Jaywalker said...

Oh. I can't, because people have already voted. Oh well, I'll do it anyway. And maybe dramatise a scene in which I get my face eaten by celeriac worms.

Ben said...

Surely only a Belgian veg box could contain that many random and incombinable items. Is the wormy thing celeriac or fennel? Next stupid question - My family are Irish and therefore call something else a turnip (a swede? this may not be an irish thing, just a mad thing), do you mean the little things? I don't think I've ever had one.
If you chop a shallot with some cherry tomatoes and mint and then drizzle olive oil on top then that's quite a nice little salad. It would involve a trip out to buy tomatoes though.

Ben & Laura said...

Ugh. Ben is Laura by the way. Stupid bloody complicated google. Rant.

Iheartfashion said...

That veg(?) on the left looks like something out of Hieronymous Bosch! Terrifying.

Nina said...

Turnips - I have no idea, except as a prop to illustrate BlackAdder skits.

Aubergines -slice off the top and then slice them lengthwise into thin strips. Sprinkle them with salt and leave for 15 minutes. Put in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil, some garlic and chopped parsley. Add enough water to reach aubergines but not cover them. Put in a pre-heated oven (180C) for about 20-30 minutes.

Celeriac is one of my very favourite vegetables. Peel, chop and shallow fry some shallots with curry powder and bay leaves (if you can be arsed with that sort of thing), otherwise proceed straight to b) peel, chop and boil the celeriac and the potatoes for about half an hour (reduce hob to medium heat once the water has boiled) until they are soft if stabbed with a fork. Then whizz the whole thing in the blender to make a disguisting looking but delicious tasting winter soup. Garnish with chevril because I see no other possible purpose for that vegetable. Unless it is to weave into a lovely organic wig.

Fennel is brilliant with fish - just chop up, shallow fry with the shallots in a bit of butter and then just add some double cream if you like to show your arteries what's what.

I realise most of this is moot since you don't cook, but those are the best of my lazy-ass recipes.

the polish chick said...

ahem...i like turnips raw. you know, like in julienne sticks. that you put in your mouth. and crunch. with your teeth-like. is that okay? i get the feeling you won't play with me now...hello? anyone? anyone?

aaaah, fuck it.


WV - sokix - soccer shaped marshmallow cereal that would make small children keel over in a sugar coma

Sadako said...

As a fellow non cooker, I gotta say I'm impressed!