Wednesday, August 6, 2008

CSA Week 8

CSA Week 8 Haul. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.
CSA Week 8 Haul. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.

Not Entirely About Food this Week, but Certainly Food is Part of It

Hello all. Jen here, and as always, it's past my bedtime, I'm exhausted, and I'm writing to you all ANYWAY because I LOVE talking about all this shit. :) Seriously, thanks for reading.

Right now, I just got done cleaning up from dinner, but ya have to wait until NEXT week to find out what I cooked. After I send this missive out to Jesse I'll pack my lunch for tomorrow. In the meantime, onward I go. I used tonight as an opportunity to pull out yet more of the perhaps 75+ free sample CDs that I got at South by Southwest this past March, and listen to them for the first time. More on that later.

First up, before I get to the food part, let's just say that this week has had its highs and lows so far. I'm going to get to that in a second, because I don't want to hold out on you-all and make you read through the rest of my shit before we get to the foodie part. Having said that, DO grok the one but very good pic of last week's haulage and read da list:

  • 1lb. Roma Beans (picture a string bean run over by a steamroller; same length and color but …flatter)
  • 1.25 lbs. Summer Squash (see pic—I got four little guys of diverse colors, sizes, and textures…get your mind out of the gutter, folks!)
  • 1 bunch fathead scallions
  • 1 medium bunch Oakleaf Lettuce
  • Yellow-stem Swiss Chard
  • 7 Peaches
  • 6 Plums
  • 1 bag of green plums (about 2 lbs)
Now here's what I did:

Right off the bat I cut up the wonderful chard and flash-fried it in a teeny bit of peanut oil. No salt, no nothing. I figured it would be cold as an add-in to salads and I was right.

I also steamed the Roma Beans which I will go through THIS week as last week I mostly ate up the wax beans from last week. Made headway into the bread and cheese also.

I've almost used up all my greens, and (sneak preview) NO lettucey things this week, so it's cold shredded veggies this week for the most part and fruit fruit fruit. On top of all this fruitage, I walked past one of my local greengrocers and saw that he was practically giving away entire FLATS of black figs for $10 for 36 count medium-sized, which for here is amazing. Now I actually need to buy more wine to go with all of this fruit, bread, and cheese.

This weekend I hope to get around to consuming those thin shoulder pork cutlets and more of my eggs for brekky. Speaking of which, I used up two of the tiny squashes to make an amazing two-egg frittata. All I did was saute' the sliced squash with salt and pepper, and poured the eggs over to set when it was almost transparent. Amazing, especially with the parm bread from last week and (yes) still more fresh fruit.

I have a recipe from the 1940's for greengage plum marmalade; may make a batch of that before they turn to mush. Pretty simple really—cook cut-up plums in sugar and a splash of water or wine and spice of your choice until clear. I figure it will go well with bland cooked proteins in winter.

Other than that I've just mostly been exploring my salad options this week. Lots and lots and lots of fruit with cheese for dins, and big salads with tuna or eggs for lunch. Been gradually using down my herb vinegars and winter sage oil. I even have a smidgen of lemon thyme vodka left to my amazement.

And now, dear readers, I'm pretty much done for this week's food part of this post (don't fret; took a HUGE delivery today and will have much more to say next week). Now on to the kind of not food part of this post. You can stop reading now if you want, but if you feel charitable, read on.

The Good:

First of all, and biggest: Despite everything else, due to a totally fucked-up accounting system at my place of (current, tenuous) employment, I VESTED. As in my PENSION is VESTED. As in if I walk in tomorrow and two burly guys from security are standing behind me as I swipe-and-reswipe my key card in vain, and all my shit gets packed badly into a box and sent back to Queens after me, I still am guaranteed a smallish but still difference-making sum once I hit 65. If I'm living on an island retirement community in rural Estonia it may even make a major difference. Still, holding out this long feels like a moral victory if nothing else. It also gets re-assessed every 6 months so that if we get invaded by space aliens/the Messiah comes/Enterprise gets reissued for less than $100 a set new and I get a raise, my pension goes UP.

Next good thing: I said FUCK worrying about my job and health (see below); I'm not going to constantly fear the wolf at the door. I booked for THIS year's SXSW as I had such a blast last year, and it was actually a pretty cost-controlled vacation. BIG SHOUT TO ANYONE PLANNING TO GO AND/OR LIVING IN AUSTIN: Email me and we'll try to get together. A guy who I work with is actually having his band play, and having a record release party. We can all go to Curras' and watch me get totally fucking full/hammered on Mexican breakfast food/avocado margaritas. And bribe people to fill the spare space in their luggage with more of their amazing in-house-roasted Oxacan coffee for me. I'm all set; paid up for my badge, hotel room, etc. and getting my flight tomorrow. Wish me luck all! You know what they say: Man plans, G-d laughs.

Which leads me to The Bad:

Work could be much better. I still feel the knife on my neck every time I go into the office, and my other prospects for staying in the company (which is really what I want to do) are thinning out to nil in the near future.. I also keep getting more worked dumped on me—I know I'm getting set up to fail. I refuse to just quit though. On paper I have only slightly more active projects than everyone else in my group but I turn them over faster and have MUCH higher volume, something which does NOT come out in our metrics that would be seen by anyone inclined to try to help me out. Ouch.

I also got my all-time highest ConEd bill EVER. As in even when my fuckhead landlord was siphoning my line for the month before I moved in, my bill was STILL lower. As in…wait for it…$160. Yes, folks, $160 fucking dollars and I am not running the stove or the A/C more or less than I ever did in my prior 7 summers here. YAY! WOOT! LOVE YA GEORGE BUSH!! I may have them re-check the meter but as my gas cost has gone up also I know it's the price of energy, period.

Speaking of periods, we now move on to…The Ugly.

I always had a tumultuous relationship with my girly bits. Not the front-of-house stuff but the back plumbing. Always had terrible cramps. Over the years, it was discovered that I have both ovarian and uterine cysts. The latter seem to be acting up again. As in I've been bleeding badly, heavily, nonstop, for about a week out-of-cycle. Worst of all, my ob-gyn seems completely unconcerned. Upon my complaints she half-heartedly is sending me for an ultrasound (she's also doing this because at the age of 40 I am now apparently old enough to decide to NOT be a parent and finally talked her into that tubal ligation, which she won't do without the ultrasound). The last time this happened, I bled for 6 weeks and lost enough blood to feel weak, and I can't deal with that now. On top of that, when I'm not bleeding, my breasts are tender for no reason—this is something new. Yes, going for my mammogram soon as well. Yes I'm on the Pill to regulate all this shit but want to go off all together and just see what happens if I let things reset. I'm a mess right now, despite eating healthier and having lost some weight.

To add insult to injury, my ob-gyn is reluctant to explore various fibroid treatment options like ultrasound and infrared "because they generally don't give it to you if you didn't have kids yet." Um, FUCKFACE, I AM IN THE PROCESS OF SCHEDULING A TUBAL LIGATION WITH YOU. DO THE MATH. PS—she's also TOTALLY into the idea of giving me an IUD instead of a tubal, which is SO NOT WHAT TO DO for people in non-monogamous situations. As in it's right on the websites and in all the literature. Because if you get a bacterial social disease, it acts like a wick and can KILL you. A relative of mine actually had this happen; she barely made it out alive, sans uterus, tubes, and ovaries.

My well-meaning Mom has been (alas) rather unsupportive of the situation—her whole line is "well, I bled a lot before menopause, just deal with it." And I say NO. NO, I will NOT live with this when there may be a medical solution. I'm not running to my ob-gyn demanding a hysterectomy (which I actually DON'T want), but to have my symptoms pooh-poohed is just…annoying. I think that part of this is that my (female) ob-gyn just had a baby. Now, I had seen her at various Jewish singles things over the years (fuck me sideways, talk about awkward—you're talking to some dude and you're like, shit, there's my ob-gyn) and I knew that she was really into the idea of getting married before her eggs mutated into the things from Alien or Bad Gremlins or whatever the fuck happens to your ovum the second you start to use Oil of Olay or whatever. Apparently, when I went to schedule my annual exam this year, I had to wait two months "until Dr. X is back from maternity leave." Yeah, she skipped the Getting Married Part and went straight to Baby Part, which I'm usually 1,000,000% OK with …except that I ALWAYS got these "pro-baby/your life is empty if you don't breed/oh yeah a VD test whatever why do you need one why are you fucking if you don't want babies" vibes off of her.

Changing ob-gyns in NYC is a tough thing—most female ones who are part of a larger practice (which is what you want, for coverage and hospital/diagnostics affiliation) have a waiting list. I had to wait to get my current gal. I swear once I get my tubes tied (providing I go through with it), she is GONE.

Sigh. Anyway, I need to go turn off my rice machine and pack lunch for tomorrow. I'm exhausted. I'm looking at a 12-hour workday tomorrow on not enough sleep at this point.

As always, good eating and thanks for listening. HUGS and please keep good vibes and recipes coming!


UPDATE FROM JEN: My ob-gyn finally called me back. She's still pushing the fucking IUD on me, but at least now she's talking about doing more than a "wait and see/up my pill strength" solution. I'm specifically posting this update because I would like to hear from any women out there who have had any of the NEWER treatments for uterine fibroids. Specifically, has anyone here had ExAblate or other MRI-based fibroid treatment? How about Uterine Artery Embolization? I also know that there's some sort of infrared treatment in clinical trials right now. Any shared experiences would be very greatly appreciated. In the meantime, I now have to call the ultrasound lab for the 80,000th time and try to get a receptionist who can find my file so that I can get a fleeping appointment.

Thanks all! --Jen