Gluten Free For Good


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I warned you.

You can’t see me, but I’m dressed in black from head to toe.

Like some veiled matriarch whose sullen soul wanders the night, I too, drift in despair. My FINAL Grant Family Farms CSA box, the sine qua non of my existence, was delivered last night. I feel abandoned and filled with dread.

Now I’m left with 2 sugar pumpkins, a delicata squash, a bag of potatoes and a faint will to live. It’s only been 24 hours and already the simple pleasure of farm-fresh kale is but a bittersweet memory. Entwined garlic scapes a thing of the past. And my downfall, an earthy ménage a roots, all but gone with the freshly fallen snow.

What am I to do?

Troll the aisles at Whole Foods?

It’s not the same. I want to know where my food came from. Who took the time, care, and love to grow it. I want to be surprised each week when I open my big red box.

(And contrary to what you might think, it often costs more to buy your food from a grocery store. Not to mention the cost to the environment. Oops, that was out of character. I’m in mourning, black tights and all. Filled with angst.)

Back to my woebegone produce eulogy.

On second thought, I should probably get a grip. I’m sounding a bit nutbar-ish. I don’t want my own personal CSA farmers to contemplate a restraining order. Anyway, I’m hungry and now that I think of it, I do have some dark chocolate with almonds and cherries hidden away in my half-empty veggie drawer.

Veggies? What veggies?

Check in with me in a day or so, I’ll have something more uplifting for you.

Go forth and — and — eat dark chocolate.

In mourning,
P.S. Support your local CSA.

9 Responses to “it was a dark and stormy night”

  1. Kay says:

    Don’t dispair! Your garden mentor is here!

    Seed catalogs are already arriving in my mailbox and I’m dreaming of next year’s crops. You can, too! Make a plan. Figure out how much space you have to plant. I’ll help you make the most of it. You can run twine to your downspouts and have pole beans growing clear to your roof. You can plant seed potatoes in a bag of potting soil and enjoy an easy harvest. You can plant asparagus in the flower beds and leave some grow into ornamental ferns. I’ll send you some seeds for the ridiculous squash that tried to take over the world from my back yard. Talk about bumper crops! This time next year you’ll feel like a farm girl.

    My rainbow Swiss chard froze, grew back, and is now frozen again. I’ve picked (and used!) my frozen Italian parsley.

    Not to rub salt in your fresh wounds, but I’m still eating tomatoes that I picked when they were really green, just before the first frost. Dream of harvests to come! Treat yourself to some of those potatoes!

  2. Melissa says:

    Kay — wow! You’ve pulled me from the depths of despair with your offer to be my gardening mentor. I will absolutely take you up on it. Yeah! I don’t have much space, but I’ll make the best of it. Of course, there’s a couple inches of snow on the ground right now and more expected over the next 3 days, but I’ll at least start thinking about what I want to grow and where. Plus, I want to start composting. Can I do that in the winter in Colorado?

    I’ll be in touch, but I won’t bug you. Too much, anyway.


  3. Shirley says:

    LOL Melissa … sounds like you have a plan for getting through the winter now with Kay’s help. 🙂

    I baked my last sugar pumpkin this evening. It’s in the fridge, but tomorrow I am going to try what a reader of Elana’s blog suggested … you run the pieces with the skin on through the food processor so you get the dark rich color and all the nutrients of the skin.

    I’ve had enough dark chocolate today in the form of chocolate chips in cookies. I participated in a GF cookie exchange this morning. Didn’t eat that many, but enough to know I am glad I only do cookie exchanges about every 4 years. 😉

  4. naomi says:

    Thanks for your lovely comment – you too are a lovely wordsmith. I’m not sure why you are no longer receiving a veg box – but I feel your pain. I luckily have a fantastic grocer supplied by all the local producers, so I get my cavolo nero as often as I like (if you know what I mean).

    I’m intrigued by sugar pumpkins – they sound like something out of cinderella….

    x x x

  5. Melissa says:


    Yes, I’m going to hit Kay up for all kinds of information. She has no idea what she’s in for.


    Interesting about blitzing the whole pumpkin, skin and all. Hmmm?

    Was the cookie exchange okay? I’ve heard people say they’ve gotten sick from them (sick like they’ve been dosed with gluten). I’ve never participated in those things as I don’t do well with dairy either and I’m so picky that I just don’t want to deal with it. It’s always fun to get together with other people who are in the same GF boat though.


    That’s what I love about you and your blogging vocabulary. It’s rather erudite, to say the least. Cavolo nero? That’s a new one. Off to consult with my friend, Mr. Google.

    Cheers all!

  6. Kay says:

    Sure, you can start composting now! If you have a snow-free moment, gather some leaves and small yard debris. They make a good base. It’s best to layer leaves with grass clippings (they feed off each other,) but grass clippings are scarce this time of year. So go with what you’ve got. If you don’t have varmints you can start a compost pile with leaves and add kitchen scraps. I have varmints, so I hold off on the kitchen scraps.

    Can’t wait till I have chickens that will eat all the apple peelings from my cobbler-of-the-week!

    You can also start your composting science fair project in an outdoor trash can with secure lid. You need to add the leaves, stir it up occasionally, sit it in a sunny spot.

    And here’s a good use for that liquid sugar: You can pour some soda over your compost to speed up its decomposition. It had to be good for something, right?

    You can request catalogs from some of my favorite seed companies at these websites:

    To save shipping costs, I usually look for a company that has most of the weird varieties I want and place one big order.

    And find natural and organic garden solutions at They have some great discounts if you order early. I use their Vegetables Alive! natural fertilizer. I’ll try Root Crops Alive! on my potato patch next year.

    You can also start saving containers for seed-starting. Yogurt cups are a good size. Egg cartons work, too.

    Since you’re new to farming, you may want to buy your plants and seeds locally. That saves some mess and trouble. I really like to try oddball varieties. So I search the catalogs and start mine from seed. I discovered Sungold orange cherry tomatoes about 15 years ago. None of the greenhouses had plants available at the time. They are my favorite cherry tomato – ever!

  7. Melissa says:

    This could be a gardening post! Actually, it is. You should put this information on your blog next spring. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s minus thirteen right now (yes, that’s 13 below zero) and there’s about 6 to 8 inches of snow on the ground, but you’ve got me excited about next year’s growing season. I’ll start with figuring out composting. Interesting about the soda. It’s not only good for cleaning toilets and car batteries, but for helping things decompost! Great tip. And wow, what a great list of resources. I’m saving my containers.

    Thanks again, Kay. Hopefully I can return the favor some way.

  8. Liz says:

    This entire post, and the replies on the post made me completely crack up!

    Melissa, I hope your mourning has turned into yearning for your new garden.

    Kay — you’re awesome! Great tips!

  9. Melissa says:

    Lizzie, Thanks for the comments. You have to look at things from a humorous perspective, otherwise you’ll drive yourself nuts (maybe I’ve already done that). And YES, KAY is awesome. Check out her blog. Good, good gardening and food tips. Plus, she’s just got a good thing going! A good and spirited attitude. I like that.

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