Veg Box Newsletter 28th September: Recipe Roundup

The Online Veg Box Shop is Open!

The Online Veg Box Shop is open for deliveries next week! Have you tried the products of the Locavore Kitchen yet? With their hummus, delicious seasonal pesto, and granola you can enjoy all the delight of popping into the cafe from the comfort of your own kitchen. Really good pesto pasta is the best dinner I can think of- maybe with peas or pine nuts (or, for maximum comfort food points, melty medium cheddar)- but pesto’s pleasures begin, not end, there. Top a fillet of salmon with pesto, a handful of breadcrumbs, and some parmesan, and bake to impress everyone at your next Zoom dinner party. Or for an easy way to make just about any veg super tasty, toss it (steamed or boiled or roasted) with a good dollop of pesto.

Similarly, hummus tends to be thought of only as a snack, with crudite or pitta bread. Well, again, what could be better? But it’s not the end of the story. Making falafel is a pleasant way to spend a cool afternoon, and when you serve them with flatbread, pickles, tztaiki and hummus you and those eating with you will be over the moon. The crunch of fresh, homemade falafel, the fluffiness in the middle: very little compares. An easier route to a dinner nearly as good is a mezze-dinner, with tzatziki, roasted aubergine and courgettes, dolmades, flatbread, halloumi, pickles again; really anything you fancy. And hummus, always hummus.

As always, we have our selection of garlic, ginger, tinned goods, lemons, pastas, flour, treats, juices… And, if you didn’t have chance to make chutney last week but still fancy having a go, you’re in luck as there are a few green tomatoes left. We expect these to sell out this week so I would recommend snapping them up!

Remember the deadline to get your orders in is now 11pm Monday for everyone!

Headlines

Covid 19

Cases of Covid-19 are, sadly, on the rise in Scotland. As such we will continue to do out part to keep all our wonderful staff and customers safe. This means we’ll be continuing to practise contactless deliveries, so please keep half an ear out for your veg box on your delivery day. Remember that if you’re worried about the box being left on your doorstep, you can always leave a large plastic box for veg, milk, eggs, and whatnot to be left in to keep it sheltered and hidden. 

We’re also sorry to say we won’t be able to reintroduce our opt-out lists any time soon. We know you’re missing them- we are too. Unfortunately, they require a full staff in our packing shed, which would make socially distanced working for our packers impossible. We’re looking at ways to adapt for the future, but for the next month or two at least I’m afraid opt-out lists will still be suspended. 

All that said, it’s important to note that we don’t expect to see any issues with supply lines over the next months, so please don’t worry. We usually have boxes full to the brim with tasty local root veg and squash over the autumn and winter months, and while the pandemic may continue to have an impact on veg prices we think this is unlikely to matter much to our veg boxes. We thank you for your patience with us as we’ve learned how to deliver veg boxes through a pandemic. 

You can read about changes made to our service due to the pandemic here

Chilled Items for Collections

If you collect your veg box from our Victoria Road shop, please be sure to grab the chilled items from our fridge. There will be posters up in the shop to let you know what to look for, and you can always ask the staff in the shop to help if you’re having trouble finding something.

In the Veg Boxes This Week

Subject to last minute changes

Check out storage guidance for helpful tips and tricks on how to prolong the life of your fresh produce. If you’re wondering where your veg comes from, have a look at these maps. You can also join your fellow subscribers over in the Facebook group for lots of tips, tricks, and recipe ideas!

To contact us, ring 0141 378 1672 or email us at subscribers@glasgowlocavore.org

Click here for Veg Box Contents

The Nice Bit

I can’t pretend it isn’t a difficult time for most of us right now, with bad news in the headlines and a sense that we’ll need to keep pulling-together-at-a-distance for a while longer. I can’t pretend, either, that carrots (even rainbow carrots) and cabbages are going to make things all that much better. But I do believe, very sincerely, that cooking and eating are important, and that they are ways by which we care for each other and ourselves, and that caring, in that very simple bodily way, is important. This is a veg box newsletter, so you aren’t here for profound thoughts. Maybe you’re here for the simple comfort of something to eat.

If you’re looking forward to an XL veg box this week, you may be a little apprehensive when you read that it features marrow this week. Don’t be! This much-maligned vegetable has as much to offer as any other. I found this Nigel Slater marrow-meditation, from way back in 2000, to be full of gold. He’s not the vegetable’s biggest fan, but finds joy in it all the same. More recently, he seems to have come round to it a little more, and suggests ricotta or sausages as bedfellows for the big, green monster.

If you’re not expecting a marrow this week, perhaps you’re thinking more about your savoy cabbage. I love cabbage, and could eat it every day quite happily. Roast it in thick wedges with, well, whatever you like. Meera Sodha tosses cabbage and carrots in gochujang, with a little cumin, garlic, ginger, oil and vinegar to help things along before roasting. Or keep it simple with just lemon and cumin- and maybe drizzle with a tahini and lemon juice sauce when it’s done?

Cabbage can be shredded for coleslaw, of course, or fried with onions and potatoes, and bacon if you eat meat, for the perfect brunch or a quick, cosy dinner. Leftover mash can be transformed into bubble and squeak. You can roll it, make pancakes with it, turn it into soup.

We’re at that pleasing part of the year when we still have some green, leafy things- like the perpetual spinach from our farm, or the satellite courgettes from Caldwell’s Veg. But we also have the beginnings of squash and root veg that will keep us warm all winter. It’s a great time for cooking, as you can really make anything you can think of with the versatile and delicious local veg we’ve got for you.

Flowers

The Locavore-grown flowers are still going, but they won’t be for that much longer, so now is the time to snap them up! They’re as gorgeous as always, full of rudbekia and sunflowers, and will brighten up your home to no end. These Glasgow-grown, bee-friendly delights are always a treat, so email now to subscribe or grab a bouquet on the Online Veg Box Shop.

Good Food Fund

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the Locavore Facebook page this week, you might have spotted this information sheet about the results of our survey exploring the impact of COVID on our customers. Tucked away within it was the detail that during the early months of lockdown we received a huge surge in customer donations to the New Initiatives Fund, which ordinarily supports activities such as Grow the Growers and the Good Food Fund, but during the Pandemic has focussed on the GFF.  Partly this was due to the increase in subscribers, but the figures indicate that generally everyone donated more – on behalf of our partner agencies, we’d like to offer heartfelt thanks for this generosity. 

The survey also found that a substantial number of our customers expressed concerns about their own financial security, and so as a result we’re cautious about asking this, but here goes… The vast majority of our customer donations come through the veg box scheme, both from the ongoing amounts added when you subscribe, and from additional donations added at the OFN orders. These donations currently support the provision of over £700 worth of produce each week to ten partner agencies around Glasgow, providing practical, tangible support to the most vulnerable members of our communities.  

We’ve always been upfront in our belief that just as our mission is to change to food system to make it more equitable, a reliance on charitable donations is far from ideal as a way of ensuring dignified food security for people – we recently added our support to this open letter to the First Minister from the group Food Workers for Food Justice calling for a review of the way this support is provided. 

The message we see from our partners is that as lockdown eases slightly, they have been able to reopen parts of their services, and demand is surging – this can be seen as part of a national trend, as seen in coverage of survey findings released by the Independent Food Aid Network this week- unfortunately many of our partners are bracing themselves for ongoing increases in demand. If there’s anything you can do to help us continue with the current level of support, we and they will be very grateful. 

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