Our five-a-day

One of the things I love about living in the rural part of England is the milk fairy. Three times a week, milk magically shows up on our doorstep in quaint little pint bottles. And once a week, we place our empty bottles outside our door in a little basket, along with some shiny coins, and the milk fairy is happy, and keeps delivering the milk.

I assume it's a magical fairy delivering it. Someone told me it's an actual guy that drives around putting out the bottles, but as early as I wake up, I've never actually seen that guy. Seriously. Leave the house before 5am? Milk's already there.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, we went to a charity show at the Critter's school. Because she attends the Queen's School for Girls, this was no ordinary bake sale. This was a "cooking demonstration", where the chef made such items as 'baked cod with soy-mint roux' and 'fatty rabbit liver with balsamic-capsicum reduction'. Or something. Actually, I can only vaguely remember what she was cooking, other than it was the type of thing I've never seen anyone actually make outside of Julia Childs. (If the school I went to in Georgia had put on a cooking demonstration it would have featured items such as "Twelve things you can make with McDonald's ketchup and cream of mushroom soup," and "Roadkill Jerky.") And even though my Bride assured me that there would be plenty of other parents I knew there to talk to, I was one of only two Y chromosones to be present, which made it an especial joy, let me tell you.

After the show, however, they let us loose in the gymnasium, where they had set up a number of booths of People Selling Things Vaguely Cooking Related. And two people wandering around with wine & snacks. Which made wandering around looking at chocolate fountains (who actually buys those things?) and organic-chocolate-with-orange-rind stands tolerable, at least. But then I ran into the guy with the vegetables.

One of the oddities about moving to England that no one warned us about was the fact that most people's refrigerators fit underneath their kitchen counters. Seriously. Most dorm fridges are bigger than what we, a family of three, use. While we've gotten used to it, it means we're constantly running to the store to buy food. The astronauts on the Apollo missions had more storage space than we do.

But there was this guy, with vegetables in a box. And he'll deliver them once a week, right to your doorstep, and then you have fresh veg in a box, all locally grown and organic and such. All for just £11 a week. What a fanstastic idea! Something that cuts down on the number of trips I have to make to the store is a huge hit. We signed up immediately, and before long our first box showed up.


We signed up for the 6 vegetable/3 fruit deal. And we had vegetables running out our ears. Now, the fruit isn't guaranteed to be all locally sourced, unlike the vegetables. Because, you know, there's a reason you haven't heard of the English kiwi orchards. But just having the vegetables ensures we'll eat more of them. If it shows up at your door, you're much more likely to eat the dang things. And I certainly wouldn't have picked up some of the things at the store. But just look at everything that was included!


Kiwis! Potatoes! Onions! Purple Flowering Broccoli!

Hang on.. what? Purple broccoli? When did they start making broccoli in purple? Who knew. An hour later I had found a recipe for purple broccoli in a chile and sesame dressing. Which turned out to be fantastic. And I don't even like broccoli!

We added the eggs for an extra £1 or so as well. If I can get them to start delivering our meat, a sack of flour and the occasional six pack of Diet Coke (or eleven), I may never have to leave the house again!