Strawberries, Rhubarb, & Evil Plastic Bags

Strawberries! Rhubarb! Yippee!!!

I’ll get back to that.

First, an apology. A friend of mine emailed that while he enjoyed the Kitchen Caravan video of me shopping at the greenmarket, he winced when he saw me take a new plastic bag. Me, too! I always carry extra bags with me, and wouldn’t you know it, when they filmed me buying potatoes at a farmer’s stall I realized I’d run out. And of course the shot of me grabbing the bag ended up in the video. Mea culpa! But rest assured that bag will be used multiple times and when it finally has holes in it I’ll take it to the Park Slope Food Coop for recycling (hint for NYC residents: besides plastic bags, they recycle other things the city doesn’t, like yogurt containers, and you don’t have to be a member to drop stuff off. You can get a complete list of what they accept for recycling here, along with the schedule of drop off days.)

Now back to those strawberries. Any CSA member or farmers’ market shopper gets excited when a new crop appears. But in the ninth month of The 250, I get ecstatic. Today’s strawberries from South Jersey are the first fresh fruit I’ve had since November that isn’t an apple!

The rhubarb got turned into a rhubarb-red currant compote using up the red currants from last year that were in my freezer. The currant shrub in my garden is loaded with unripe fruit, so I know there will be more tart, ruby-bright currants in my near future.

As for what to do with the strawberries, do they really need a recipe? Straight into my mouth.

I also harvested some pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) today. It’s part of my selective weeding campaign in the garden. If a weed is neither edible nor medicinal I pull it without mercy. But if it is a delicious spring delicacy like poke shoots, then I let it grow and use harvesting rather than weeding out to keep it from taking over.

On a different note, my book Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes will be published by Heliotrope in July. If you’d like to get an email notification when it’s available, send an email to with “book” in the subject line. I won’t share your email address, nor will it be used for anything else.

I’m going back into the kitchen. Must…have…more…strawberries…

Not sure what this is about? Read Getting Ready for the 250-Mile Diet and The Rules


3 responses to “Strawberries, Rhubarb, & Evil Plastic Bags”

  1. kmp says:

    Strawberries!?! I’m envious – we haven’t seen those yet north of the City, but I’m waiting with bated breath.

    Rhubarb we have had for a couple of weeks – in fact, I’m just about to take the organic rhubarb-ginger jam out of the canner. I know, I know, crystallized ginger is hardly local… but I cut myself some slack since it’s a once-a-year indulgence.

  2. Miriam says:

    Oh those first strawberries are divine… I can imagine the rush you felt on eating one after the long, fruit-less winter. I wish you a long, happy, fruitful summer.

    The Kitchen Caravan video was excellent, Leda. Really well done. Apart from the market and the home garden sequences, and the skordalia recipe, it was nice seeing you and your kitchen.

    The Evil Plastic Bag recalled a similar incident I had in the supermarket – after lecturing one of the cashiers on the long, toxic lifespan of plastic bags, I realized that I had nowhere to put the things I’d bought – and had to rip a few off the stand myself. Blush! Supermarkets here, by the way, are offering cheap, large, natural-fiber “green” shopping bags now, as an alternative. I hear that next they’ll be charging for plastic bags. Good. I really think that making non-biodegradable products expensive will make folks reject them if the natural alternatives are less so.


  3. acmeplant says:

    It all looks delicious! I hope my poke will be ready soon; out in PA we’re about 2 weeks behind you.

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