When I was a teenager, I used to babysit for a cool hippie family. They were composting and everything in their pantry was organic. That was back in the 90s — now, that’s just normal. During the summer, they’d bring me back home every Tuesday and stop by a drop-off point to pick up a humongous vegetable basket that a farmer had prepared for them. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world.
When I left the family nest to fly on my own, I took it upon myself to find that generous farmer so that I could also benefit from abundance-Tuesdays. I did a little research and I discovered the organism that coordinates Community Sustained Agriculture in our neck of the woods. Since that day, every early Spring, we (or Santa — best gift ever!) pay a certain amount of money to our farm and in return, every Friday of the Summer and Fall we get a huge basket of goodness.
Not only are we eating local and organic, but we help the farm to buffer economically against the vagaries of the weather. If it’s a great year for celery, we get a lot of that. If it’s a bad year for it, not only does it usually still end up costing less than the equivalent at the supermarket, but our farm didn’t have to lose their shirt in the making. On top of that, by paying our dues before harvest season, it gives them the necessary operating capital when it is required. Thus, they don’t have to go to the banks to get loans with big interest rates.
Another one of the multiple perks of the CSA baskets is that you never know what you’re going to get so you’re pushed to get creative. Plus sometimes the harvest is very bountiful so you get a loooooot of something. By way of illustration, last Fall, we received 3 heads of napa cabbage within 3 weeks. We transformed the first one into delicious, spicy, fizzy kimchi. We sautéed the second one. We pondered about the third one. What to do? And then I remembered my aunt bringing a funky ramen + napa slaw to our family potluck a few years back. So we shredded the cabbage, crushed the ramen and whiped up a little peanut sauce. It was so delicious that we started to hope we’d get another head of napa the following week.
CSA season started again a few weeks back, and I can’t wait to get napa. Now I know just what to do with it. And I hope I get mounds of it!
Napa Slaw with Peanut Sauce + Ramen
- 1 head of napa cabbage, quartered lenghtwise and thinly sliced;
- 1 carrot, grated;
- 2 green oinion, thinly sliced;
- 1 package of instant ramen noodles, crushed;
- 1/4C toasted sesame seeds (or sub sunflower seeds)
- 1/4C peanut butter;
- 1 flavouring packet from instant ramen;
- 2TBSP lime juice (juice of 1 lime);
- 1TBSP soy sauce;
- 1tsp sesame oil
- 1TBSP sriracha;
- 1TBSP sugar;
- 1TBSP grated ginger;
- 1/4C hot water
- In a very big bowl, combine the napa, carrot and green onion;
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce;
- Pour the peanut sauce over the vegetables and mix thoroughly;
- Top with the toasted sesame seeds and crushed ramen noodles;