Saturday, July 28, 2012

Organics, delivered. And a recipe for you, too.

I've been devoting my Saturday blog posts to reviews, which usually means there's no recipe. But this week it's a two-fer. Review AND recipe. Lucky you, right?

Door to Door Organics is a local company, in more ways than one. For one thing, the company itself is home-grown. For another, it delivers a lot of local products including fresh product and some prepared foods.

But it's a growing company, so not only is it delivering to Colorado, the company has locations in Kansas City, Chicago, and the east coast including Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

But what does the company do?

It's like this. Suppose you like the idea of fresh, local, organic produce, but it's not convenient to get to the farmer's market. A CSA subscription is a possibility, but maybe that's not a good fit for family size or scheduling. Or maybe you want better control over exactly what you get.

Okay, you can buy produce at the grocery store, but then you might not get anything from the local farms.

Door to Door Organics fills that niche. When local produce is available in your area, you can get it from Door to Door. And you don't have to pick it up - they deliver right to your door. During the off-season, you can still get fresh organic produce, but it won't be quite as local. And of course, "local" depends on which of the Door to Door regions you live in.

And, well, you can also get non-local produce whenever you want it.

So how does this work?

To give me a customer's-eye view of the service, Door to Door gave me a gift certificate to go shopping. I started with the local box, then started swapping items. I didn't have a use for local rhubarb, but I knew I could use some obviously non-local avocados.

I actually had a lot of fun doing some swapping while trying to figure out what I'd make when the box arrived. But wait! What if you need help figuring out what to make? Door to Door has a recipe collection that you can use to figure out what to make with your purchases. Or you can start with a recipe, then buy the ingredients.

Besides produce, Door to Door also carries pantry items. Since I put the smallest local box in my shopping cart, I had cash left to spend, so I bought some more produce and then started wandering through the pantry items.

If I was a regular purchaser, I might have shopped a little differently, but since this was my first foray, I looked for brands and items that were a more unusual. It was a little more fun than it needed to be.

When I was shopping, I was thinking that I'd make a recipe right away from my box 'o goodies. I ordered avocados, tomatoes, and cilantro, thinking I might make a guacamole. But of course no one ships avocados that are completely ripe, so I had to change my plans a bit.

Of course if I was a regular buyer, I would have known that.

Instead of a guacamole, I decided to make a summer-y salad. It included a few things from outside the box, because I didn't buy items I already had.

Overall, the shopping experience was fun, and the delivery was easy. You can specify special instructions if you want your box placed in a special location, and you can ask that the driver does or doesn't ring the doorbell. And you're not locked into a contract. You can cancel or pause the deliveries at any time.

And now for a recipe. This is a pretty darned healthy creation. All vegetables and not even any oil.

If you want something spicier, you could use a serrano pepper - or even a hotter variety - or you could use more jalapenos.

Cucumber Salad

1 ear of corn
5 pickling cucumbers
1/4 of a red onion
1 tomato
1 jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons cilantro
Pinch of salt
Juice of 1/2 lime

Cook the corn as you normally do, then let it cool and cut the kernels off the cob and put them in a medium bowl. Peel the cucumbers and cut them into a medium dice and add them to the bowl.

Dice the onion and tomato to a similar size, and add them to the bowl. Remove the stem and core from the jalepeno. If you prefer it spicy, remove the seeds and ribs. If you want it milder, remove the seeds and ribs. Dice the jalapeno finely and add it to the bowl.

Chop the cilantro, and add it to the bowl. Add the salt and they lime juice. Stir and serve. You can make this in advance and refrigerate until needed. The flavors will mingle and the onions will mellow if you let it stand for at least several hours before serving.
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