Madam signed, us up for our annual CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program). We love those brimming boxes of garden surprises that show up in Mrs. Anderson’s garage. My job is to trot next door to take delivery of this box of gastronomic delights. Yet, lately I’ve been mystified by the contents.
According to the Hennepin County Extension website, CSAs offer Madam and me a mutually beneficial relationship with Sven Adolfson of Adolfson Acres. I don’t question the value of this friendly partnership, but a guy does wonder how many ways he can prepare kohlrabi. By the by, Madam goes for the high fiber, healthy stuff, I prefer sweets.
Last year just when I was craving a fresh rhubarb crisp, Sven delivered a bushel of kale. Yes, kale is a lovely shade of green. Incidentally, green kale combined with blueberries and a shot of apple juice, makes another color—brown. Hence, the term Poo Smoothies made its way into our food lexicon.
Anyhoo, bumper crops of kale and the like soon became the norm. Each time I showed up at the Andersons, I met with something less than sweet. Basil, broccoli, cilantro, cucumber, garlic – holy cow, not even a Jersey bovine would touch the stuff. What happened to the strawberries and cherries?
I kept waiting for a measly cantaloupe. Meanwhile Madam kept dropping off chard frittatas and dill potato salad for me to sample. Yuk! What self-respecting horse would befriend a bucket of radishes, or a bag of arugula? I was beginning to think someone confiscated the good stuff from our CSA container.
So, the next week I decided to arrive early and observe CSA delivery. But instead of trotting directly to Mrs. Anderson’s garage, I waited and watched from behind her lilac hedge. Soon enough Sven showed up with a pickup truck full of fresh produce. Just as he unloaded a box with my name on it, someone else arrived –Gabe and Spruce from my poker club. Gabe started rifling through the container pulling out all the carrots, berries, and Bing cherries, while Spruce stood watch. Incidentally, Gabe is a card shark who miraculously never loses a game. He must have recruited old Spruce to carry the loot.
After a few minutes observing the produce pickpockets I stepped from behind the lilacs and inquired smoothly, “Need a bit of help delivering this to its owner?”
Spruce looked confused. Gabe, on the other hand, grinned not too sheepishly and asked if I’d care to sample a piece of watermelon.
“Why yes, thank you,” I replied. “And after that I’ll be happy to help you drop this off at Madam’s kitchen door.”
That’s when it occurred to me that Gabe’s winning streak at cribbage might not be a miracle after all.