Everytime I open the fridge, the pumpkin is staring back at me. It’s hugeness takes up the whole of the middle shelf. The guilt vegetable. If only it wasn’t so labour-intensive: all that hacking, and peeling, and chopping, and scooping, then maybe it wouldn’t be the last veg standing at the end of the week. I can hardly face it today. You’re supposed to let yourself off the hook on a Friday, not be tackling your kitchen nemesis.
Except that the fridge is pretty bare. And we need something to go with the sausages I found in the freezer.
The veg-box man’s words are ringing in my ears: ‘Just cut it like a melon and roast it.’ I take a deep breath, a swig of tea and a sharp knife. Right, let’s do this.
It’s done in under five minutes. I chuck the sausages on the same oven tray, plus a sliced onion for the gravy, and finally a handful of cherry tomatoes. Everything roasts away for half an hour at 200 degrees. It’s a surprisingly easy dinner, and the sweet, caramelised pumpkin tastes so good with the richness of the Toulouse sausages.
Having a veg-box delivered has many benefits. There are the obvious things: it’s organic and seasonal; it makes you eat a greater variety of vegetables; but there are also the hidden benefits. In the early years of getting a delivery I had a new-born and a three year-old and things were, er, a struggle. The veg box arriving also equalled A CONVERSATION WITH SOMEONE. The brain cogs would start turning, I’d speak, sometimes laugh, and at the end of those few minutes, I’d feel a little bit more human again.
Over the years there’s been other benefits: great advice – what to do with a pumpkin, how to grow asparagus, what manure to put where; and reassurance: yes it is ok to the type of person who follows three recipes for marmalade-making; and knowledge: The Bridge is better than The Killing, you need to watch it now.
So next time you consider getting a box ( I know a few of you are thinking about it), remember there’s so much more to it than JUST vegetables.