So my friend Melissa (aka Hack Mommy) tagged me for the Real Moms meme. (I know, I know, I don't really know what that means, either, but it's all technofancy and such and I'm honored and etcetera). I gather that this means I post something witty/profound about what real moms do. I link to the Real Moms site (not once, but twice! what can I say? I'm an overachiever) Then I get (hopefully) included in a cool list of other things moms do.
So. Real moms wash lettuce.
In my case it was two large heads of green leaf, and one head of romaine. This is the second week in a row I have washed lettuce. Growing up, washing lettuce was one of my least favorite chores, along with cleaning the cat litter, so now I'm more of the 'buy it pre-washed and bagged at Trader Joe's' type of girl.
So why am I washing it now? I've joined a CSA.
A CSA is a Community Supported Agriculture group, which means I get a box full of produce from Be Wise Ranch farm in San Diego. They include what is in season, and what they are picking that week. They apparently have several acres of lettuce, because we have a lot of lettuce. Last week I gave away half of our lettuce to my salad-friendly parents, and we still had a half a head of green leaf and half a head of romaine left to finish when I went to pick up our box this week.
So imagine my delight when I opened up our box and found three more heads of lettuce!
I'm a reasonably inventive cook, and I like vegetables, and I am willing to make a variety of dishes from one vegetable (mashed, roasted, scalloped turnips! Roasted, sauteed, chopped chard!), but see, there isn't much to do with lettuce except make salads. A lot of salads. Salads when we already have a lot of other vegetables to eat!
Now don't get me wrong, I think the CSA is the way to go for us right now. I like that we're supporting local farmers, and not buying packaging-heavy, pesticide-laden produce that has been picked six months ago and shipped from China. I hope my daughter inherits a world where you might actually meet the farmer that grew your lettuce, rather than finding out on the news that the arugula you just ate might be infected with e coli because all greens move through a central plant in Nitpick, Idaho for washing in central, bacteria-friendly tubs.
But this idealism means a lot of lettuce leaves. I filled one side of our sink with cold water, and floated each head of lettuce inside. Cut the cores and watched the milky juice ooze out. Observed the lovely roseate pattern of the core. Swished off the bugs (one of which was still alive--a good sign, I think), threw the wet leaves into my salad spinner, and spun off the excess water. Placed the leaves onto paper towels, wrapped up the bundle, and put it lovingly into a plastic bag.
Well, that was for the first head of lettuce. I got a lot less loving on heads 2 and 3.
Ah, good intentions. Sometimes the attractiveness of idealism goes down the drain with the lettuce bugs and the sandy soil from my local farmer.
So real moms wash that damned lettuce. Even if real moms resent the lettuce while they're doing it.