Growing up on a farm in South Australia, I always found the seasonal gluts of different fruits and vegetables quite funny. Buckets of apples, quinces, nectarines and tomatoes at various times of the year would create their own drama with a race against time to eat, stew or preserve them before they went squishy. Quince jelly was particularly theatrical with Mum pouring big pulpy stewed quinces through old stockings to distill the clear liquid that makes the jelly.
As an adult living in inner Sydney, I have enjoyed reconnecting with my inner farm-kid. Being one fifth of a vegie co-op, every ten weeks my partner and I wake up early and go to the markets. Just like in my childhood the fruit and vegetables create their own drama – the sellers calling, people shuffling along with their trolleys and the occasional haggle. I love the different personalities of the stall holders and trying to make the grumpy ones smile. Cheeky discounts, trickster strategies to hide bad produce under good and the rush for the last good box of plums are all part of the fun. After packing two trolley loads of boxes into the car and stuffing ourselves with croissants we drive home to divide up our finds into tubs for our fellow co-op members to collect. Sharing the shopping with the rest of the co-op means that each fortnight we have a big tub of fruit and vegetables to get through.
Hence Sarah versus the vegetables – it is a friendly fight but I set out each fortnight to chop and cook those vegetables into submission. There is something very satisfying about kicking off with a jam packed fridge and ending the fortnight with an empty crisper. A bit of a strange obsession I guess but I figure life is all about celebrating small victories !