Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bountiful Baskets food co-op in Peoria grows by word of mouth

Bountiful Baskets food co-op in Peoria grows by word of mouth

I always get asked about my addiction to Bountiful baskets. Here is an article about it (above) And can I say today the truck was an hour late and the coordinator Jan had everything ready to go. When the truck got there anyone who had volunteered to help before jumped in to help load the baskets. The truck landed at 6:55 a.m. and there were only three baskets left at 7:30 a.m. when my guys and I decided to leave. It is a real sense of community when you have 12- 15 people jump in to help. I know I have heard other pick up sites are difficult to volunteer at and those who try don't feel welcome to try. But this site really breeds that positive community environment.

What did we get in our haul today?
Welll... for my $15.00 .....

1bunch of Swiss Chard, 1 head of Lettuce, 2 bunches of Celery, 8 Bananas, 1 Cantaloupe, 1 carton of Strawberries, 8 Apples, 12 Plum, 3 Tomatoes, 1 red onion, 2 bags of Mini-Carrots, a bag of red grapes. And because we helped we got an extra carton of Strawberries. (man I hope I didn't forget anything I am sure I did)

I freeze anything I can after the first few days. We can't make it through the bananas all at once so after they get fully ripe from the green stage. I slice them up and put them in little individual baggies in the freezer. These are great for smoothies. The strawberries will be gone, but one time I bought the "strawberry extra" for 7.00 we got 8 containers of them (around that) we ate some and I sliced and froze a bunch of those. we are still throwing them in smoothies or over the top of ice cream. Today when I got home I went through last weeks and froze the green beans, and a bit of broccoli and rearranged the lettuce. So the older stuff was on top. Sliced up all the celery so they are easy to grab for the kiddo and put cream cheese or peanut butter in them. then sliced open the cantaloupe and used the melon baller to prepare them for quick eating. The first week I did Bountiful baskets. I knew it wouldn't fit in my drawers in the fridge so I bought some tupperware and they are deep and long. This helps my romaine lettuce stay crisp for about 3 weeks. and/or swiss chard. I break down the fruits and the veggies into two more narrow containers.

Tonight we make Swiss Chard pizzas. (Swiss Chard, Bacon bits & Provoline Cheese on gluten free pizza crusts) Can't all be healthy all the time, but we wouldn't have tried swiss chard before we got it in a basket. and today at the site my Hubby was telling all the other volunteers the recipe. And my son was woohooing because he gets pizza tonight.

When I went to freeze the green beans. I had a nostalgia moment of sitting with my sister at my Grandma's when we were little and snapping green beans with them. I had to call my sister and have a "remember when" moment.

I can't say enough about Jan the site coordinator and her willingness to take anyones help. The site time moved from 11 am. to 7 a.m. and helps us all get out of the heat. I know some folks seem to be unhappy about this, but I am relieved. my veggies have an advantage to not sit in a basket in 110 weather. as do I. Also, it gets my pickup out of the way so we can run the rest of our day.

Thank you to the coordinators for Bountiful Baskets for taking such a phenomenal idea and expanding it. Our family appreciates it and our eating habits have changed tremendously. In fact, my hubby grabbed some cantaloupe to go with his sandwich today when their is a big of chips under the counter. woohoo!! Made my heart just smile. It is hard to not eat a piece of fruit when their such variety in the fridge.

Yeah Bountiful Baskets!

Well more on BB later this week as I have purchased the 25 lbs of peaches. I plan to let them sit and ripin' just a bit more before I try my hand at canning (or I might just freeze). I am soo nervous. Canning is something I have never done before, a new adventure to try!

Enjoy your weekend!

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