The thundershowers we've had of late have resulted in lush surroundings, but the cooler weather and lack of sunshine have slowed the crops down. The sugar snap peas have just lay there all week, as if the rain has placed them in a deep sleep. Though dripping from their plants, the pods seem content in taking their time growing plump and heavy with sweetness. So we shall wait. We do have strawberries to look forward to in this week's delivery, as well as the first of the tender, young turnips. Expect more radishes, cilantro, garlic scapes, rhubarb, salad mix and spinach. Those who purchased the Extra-greens share will receive an additional 1/2 lb. of salad mix this week.
I was thinking about my culinary love affair with cilantro in the garden today as I cut bunches for tomorrow's share. I remembered a time long ago in Zambia, four months into my year-long stay there, when I was sitting down to a lovely dinner provided by a Persian family. The hosts inquired about foods I missed from home, and I lamented the fact that I had not tasted cilantro since leaving home. They had not heard of cilantro. We sat down to the dinner table, visiting as we passed around platter after bowl after platter of one of the most beautiful meals I have seen to this very day. In my experience, Persians love to feed you. And feed you.
The table soon became quiet as we began enjoying the meal in earnest, that is, until I let out an exclamation of pure and utter joy. "CILANTRO!" I all but yelled after I swallowedthe bite of green salad. Noting their confused expression, I held up a piece of my favorite herb, to which the lady of the house proclaimed, "Why, joonam, why didn't you tell me you were talking about Chinese parsley?". I have not since forgotten cilantro's other name. It turns out, however, that not all share my love of this aromatically perfect leaf. I was delighted to hear a report on NPR several months ago that delves into why there seems to be two camps - those that love it and those that hate it. It turns out that I am a super-smeller. If you love cilantro as I do, you, too, are a super-smeller. Check out the link to the full article at the bottom of this blog page for a fun read.