I've had a bit of a revelation. Last week, in my attempt to make the perfect fennel salad, I used a mandolin for the first time. To be clear, I am not talking about the little guitar-like instrument popular with bluegrass pickin' folks, I am talking about a little kitchen tool which amounts to a razor-sharp handheld meat slicer- but for veggies. I can go into more details later- but suffice to say THIS TOOL IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and MY LIFE IS FOREVER CHANGED!
Let me back up and say that if you live in the Bloomington area you don't have to go out and buy a mandolin. You have the ability to give it a test run, or borrow it when you have a drawer full of produce to utilize. How is that? The Mother Hubbard's Cupboard Tool Share, silly billy! Most of you know Mother Hubbard's Cupboard (MHC) as the amazing Bloomington based non-profit who works to remediate food insecurity and build social cohesion among families in South Central Indiana. But you may not know that MHC is so much more; a food and community resource center for good folks who want to do right with foodz (I am available for all of your organization vision statement writing needs, btw) Case in point: MHC has a tool share program where you pay a minute membership fee and make use of a repertoire of tools for food preparation and general cooking (mandolin, spiralizer), food preservation (vacuum sealer, water bath canner, food dehydrator), yard work (wheelbarrow, shovels), and garden/ orchard care (sprayer, broadfork). I love that there is a place in Bloomington that you can go to use a gadget instead of buying something which would sit idle in a cabinet outside of once or twice a year. It's like the most neighborliest thing ever.
I had been wary of using a mandolin ever since I saw that Top Chef episode where one of the contestants sliced the shit out of their hand with one. And yes, it is entirely possible that you will slice the shit out of your hand if you use it. There are ways that you can prevent this from happening. My method for digit preservation includes a multiple phased process where I spend 50ish seconds looking at the blade on the mandolin and recite the following mantra:
Mallory... the opposite of safety isn't risk, risk and the unknown an important part of all growth. The opposite of risk is complacency. You deserve to be safe, you deserve to be happy, you deserve to be healthy- please take your time and be patient. and use the hand guard/cowboy-hat looking thing...
But.. I digress...
If you are interseted in checking out the MHC toolshare to pickle up some produce that you've been meaning to get to you can access the MHC and their amazing resources 12-6 Monday - Friday.
Now.. Let's taco-bout what is in your shares this week, shall we?
What's in the CSA Share this Week
- Jalapeno peppers
- Fennel (This is the last week for fennel)
- Kohlrabi (This is the last week for kohlrabi)
- Yellow Squash
- Sweet Valencia Onions
Recipes For The week
- Pounded Flank Steak with Zucchini Salsa
- Tempeh Tacos with Quick Pickled Jalapenos, Pickled Onions and Freshly Grated Radishes
- Curry Roasted Fennel Salad with Rosemary Tahini Dressing
- Bacon Cheddar Chive Scones
- Dustin's Grandma's Recipe --Thunder and Lightning: Slice thick chunks of cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, radishes, and onions and add a brine of 1:1 parts water/white wine or rice vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste and let sit overnight in the fridge for a refreshing snack. Add tomatoes when in season.