Autumn’s last fruits

The best thing about getting a weekly delivery of fruit and vegetables is the feeling that someone has just brought you a present. I came out the house to be greeted with a stack of boxes up to waist height, delivered by Aarstiderne in the wee small hours. Every Tuesday come rain, snow or sun they deliver to us a box of veg, a box of mixed fruit and a box of bananas, to which I sometimes add extras like cheese, nuts, oranges and other specialities in season, today it was different squashes.

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Like a tower of gifts, I usually can’t wait to unpack them all…

We subscribe to the “dogme” vegetable box, 100% guaranteed Danish grown organic vegetables. This does mean that you have to be creative with cabbage, carrots and potatoes, especially in winter.

On the other hand, a vegetarian diet lends itself rather wonderfully to these ingredients and we’ve never been bored. Eating seasonally means you really appreciate the flavours and colours of vegetables, often just for a short time before something else comes along that is appealing. Today the box included this little box of beauties:

Cherry tomatoes, grown in Denmark – the last of the summer’s crop?

They are probably outrageously expensive to produce (hence the small amount), but they are also oh so tasty, a last lingering taste of summer, with not a hint of the waterbomb Dutch ones grown on Groningnen gas

I usually do one big cooking session a week and then it’s easy for whoever has brought home the children to just heat up and serve at dinnertime. So after working way too late tonight, I was happy to complement my Danish tomatoes with the last of the seasons mixed salad leaves and a feta cheese and leek tart I made yesterday for a quick supper.

Leek and Feta Cheese tart (a completely made up recipe) with salad. Perfect late night supper…

The fruits in the background (mostly not Danish, though the apples are Danish, and extremely tasty too) also arrived today. We seem to eat a vast quantity of fresh fruit and vegetables, all of this will be gone in a week, which is no bad thing. The peelings and apple cores will go to our compost heap there to help make new compost for our garden.

The primary reason I order from Aarstiderne is actually convenience. I am no unquestioning fan of organically produced food per se, I cannot believe we will feed the world organically, and some forms of organic production also have environmental downsides (watch this TED talk for example which explains the issues based on sound science).

However, I do like eating seasonally and locally and healthily. Both I and my husband have pretty intensive jobs, there is not much time for shopping and I prefer to spend my out of office time with my children rather than on chores. Having brilliant, fresh, good quality veg delivered to our door is a luxury I consider well worth paying for. As an additional advantage Aarstiderne have a rather good app too so in a quiet moment this afternoon I was able to order all the food for our Christmas dinner to be delivered the Monday before.

A Vegetarian Christmas Dinner

We’re having Nigel Slater’s rather wonderful mushroom Bourguignon with kale and creamy mashed potatoes, and of course sprouts. For dessert it will probably be home made Ris a la Mande – in my opinion the best part of the Danish Christmas Dinner, plus of course a proper British Christmas cake (my preferred recipe is a good old Delia Smith one), nicely maturing in the cupboard at the moment with the assistance of some Strathisla single malt whisky.

Christmas cake, this is the second one we’ve made this year,the first one was eaten within 2 days. I think it’s fair to say the family likes it!

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