Tuesdays are lovely days: they're the not-quite-Mondays of the week, the you're-already-on-your-way-to-the-weekend day, and, in our house: Veg Box Day.
Veg Box Day causes quite a stir at Bakercourt. We order a mixed fruit and vegetable medium-sized box from Abel & Cole which arrives promptly on a Tuesday morning at around 7am. I'm up at 6.30 to put last week's empty box out for collection, and to wait patiently for the new one.
Each week we get a selection of fruit and veg which ranges from the norm to the uncanny. As I was recommended by a friend, we got a selection of free goodies in our boxes which, of course, makes it even better. At first we got the rather beautiful Abel & Cole Cookbook, and then olive oil, eggs, garlic and a lemon. Today we got free organic yoghurt. You get freebies for signing up through a friend, for getting your first box, for just generally being a wonderful customer, etc.
While we're talking about it, I love the Abel & Cole website which is simple, neat and attractive. I've used it as an inspiration when designing other websites for clients and I keep coming back to it as a go-to guide for simple-yet-attractive digital hand-drawn specs.
But I digress.
I get really excited every week that the veg box is actually a giant brown cardboard box that is quite literally tied up with string (think: Maria, and The Sound of Music). You open it up, carefully, to reveal a brightly coloured array of organic fruit and veg, each of which is destined to become something delicious.
Quite possibly the most exciting thing about the veg box is that you never know exactly what you're going to get. Each week they send us potatoes, carrots and broccoli. The rest is a wild card (which, admittedly, you can check online in case you feel like planning ahead) and inspires a whole lot of creative kitchenry as you try to decide what you're going to cook using your fennel, or your purple-sprouting broccoli.
I've made all sorts of wonderful things using our organic produce: mushroom and onion quiches, red pepper and aubergine pie quiches, vegetable and chicken pie, butternut, chicken and almond burritos, beetroot and spinach tart, pizza with red peppers and beetroot, and just general steamed vegetable accompaniments.
Needless to say, we've also had a lot of banana bread lately, as well as fruit salad, mini pavlovas and next on my list: beetroot cake. I'm holding out for the rhubarb which, according to my account online, is going to arrive next Tuesday.
I don't think I've ever been this delighted by vegetables! Each week holds a new challenge for my culinary skills and provides a much healthier aspect to our daily meals. I thought it would cost quite a lot (at £18 per week, including delivery - it certainly has a hefty price tag) but surprisingly our grocery bills have dropped since forking out the extra for the delivered veg box. I suppose it means we visit the shops less frequently and we get to experience more interesting food.
This weekend is the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Fun Day, and I'm joining the WI ladies in the Dickens-themed festival to bake some interesting Victorian treats. The photo above is a look at this week's veg box so perhaps my Dickensian baking will include some courgette cake, or beetroot and chocolate gateau? Ho hum - off to find the Mrs Beeton, methinks.