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WND – Birthday Season 2008 – Part 1

September 18, 2008

Fundamentally I’m a fairly lazy person.  I’ll buy the organic, local food that’s grown without pesticides that minimizes my carbon footprint and comes from humanely treated animals, but only if it’s convenient.  I’ll walk up to the farmer’s market at Government Center and I’ll lug home a dozen ears of corn, but I won’t drive out of my way to go buy it.  The trick to getting me to do the socially responsible thing is to make it really really easy.

It does not get easier than having it delivered to your doorstep before you go to work.

And!  The milk comes in glass bottles.  I find this wildly enchanting and will cheerfully pay the bottle deposit to have my milk delivered to me in glass bottles.  This is what happens when you let your children watch too much BBC at an impressionable age.  They yearn for milkmen and the life of a small village filled with quirky personalities.

Up until a few years ago my godparents lived just outside of London and still had their milk delivered a couple of times a week in glass bottles.  I was deeply envious.  Quirky village life was not specifically a part of the service, but I’m taking it on faith that it existed anyway.  Recently they traded that house for an old farm in France where if you really want to you can walk down to the local dairy and get your milk still warm from the cow.  This is a little closer to the source than I’m really interested in being, but as long as I don’t have to drink warm milk I’m still envious of the possibility.  What’s more exciting is the idea that you can walk down the road, brave the scary dog, and get freshly made goat cheese from a local farm.

For those of us who don’t have a dairy farm down the street, there’s a new company called In Season that caters to Bostonians who want the organic socially responsible food, but don’t want to drive all over creation on the weekends to get it.  It’s also proof that reading the local paper is useful for more things than finding out what the latest crazy scheme for expanding City Hall is, why Finneran hates Patrick this week, and what the newest problem is with the Big Dig.  With In Season you put in an order online by Friday at midnight, they collect produce, dairy, and a few assorted other things from local farms (for definitions of local that include Maine) and deliver it to your doorstep between 5:00-7:30am on Tuesday morning.

Supposedly they ring your doorbell when they make the delivery to let you know it’s there.  Our doorbell only works every 3rd Saturday following a full moon and only then when an owl has flown backwards across the sky at noon the day before.  Which is to say, it’s highly erratic and nobody who comes by regularly expects it to work.  Usually people call to say they’re standing outside and could someone let them in, or more excitingly sometimes they’ll come around the side of the house and jump up and down outside the kitchen windows in the hopes that I’ll look up and notice them (okay, this has only actually happened once, but it was memorable).  I figured this meant the doorbell was guaranteed to work at 5:30am when I was sound asleep.  Surprisingly this was not true, and tasty treats were left outside while I slept soundly.

They have a wide selection of freshly made cheeses, dairy products and home made pastas, but they’re a little thin on produce.  I tried a little bit of everything as a test and got a quart of milk, fresh mozzarella, cheese curds, mushroom filled ravioli, purple heirloom tomatoes and peaches.  I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do with cheese curds other than eat them out of the container as a quasi-healthy late night snack – they taste kind of like cheddar before it becomes cheddar – but they’re tasty.  If anyone has other suggestions – that don’t involve sitting on a tuffet – I’d love to hear them.

I’ll have to try it a few more times before I really commit to it, but first impressions are that the dairy products are amazing.  I’m in heaven over the mozzarella that actually has flavor, and I love fresh cheese.  I haven’t tried the pasta yet – that’s for dinner tomorrow night – but it looks tasty.  The produce I’m less impressed by.  The tomatoes and peaches I ordered, while orders of magnitude better than anything you can get in a grocery store, aren’t as good as what you can get at the farmer’s market.  I didn’t try any of the meat products that they have on offer this time, but sometime soon I’ll order something and see what I think.  Since I can get farmer’s market vegetables without much effort (at least until Thanksgiving), but butchers and cheese makers are mythological creatures in my neck of the woods, I am cautiously intrigued by the service and will experiment further.

Chicken Fingers
Corn Pudding
Broccoli
Salad

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Corn Pudding
Sadly none of the beautiful dairy products made it in to Dinner this week.  Well a 1/3 cup of the milk made it into the dessert, but that doesn’t really count.  This week is a birthday dinner request and as with most requests it started with the high fat content starch dish and expanded outwards to include proteins and vegetables.  Although, in fairness to my roommate she requested two vegetables and I think they got named second after the corn pudding and before the chicken fingers.

Recipe previously given: Corn Pudding & Other Gateway Drugs

Chocolate Pudding Cake
Chocolate Pudding Cake remains the most mysterious dessert I’ve ever made.  I don’t get how it work, and I’m always a little afraid that this time it won’t, but it always does and it’s always good.

Recipe previously given:  Birthday Related Baking

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