I used to dread seeing the innocent-looking USPS van parked on the street, knowing that it would bring me only hours of misery, anguish and worry. But a few months ago, I bid farewell to that life and moved on, not even once looking back to the past. I chat with my mailman now without fear, as the worst part of his usual daily delivery is a bunch of useless ads. There are no boogie-men hidden in the mail box waiting to ambush me and the sight of the van parked in front of the neighbors’ house makes me feel comfortable and secure, rather than afraid.
A few days ago, the mailman delivered a $10.00 of card for Victoria’s Secret, a free trial-size bottle of Tide, a takeout menu for a new Thai place, and a brown box from Melissa’s Produce. This being my birthday week, I was elated, and could not run fast enough inside to see what was hidden within the carboard walls. Yes, recieving food and food-related stuff in the mail makes me ecstatic! And this humble-looking package delivered a genuine treasure: several pounds of fresh, organic, seasonal produce, cleaned and ready to use.
When I was in third grade, we went on a field trip to a near-by chocolate and candy factory. I still remember the excitement, or rather frenzy, I felt upon entering room after spacious room with conveyor belts carrying a never-ending river of my favorite snacks. That’s pretty much how I felt as I emptied the produce box in my kitchen: rainbow chard, kale, green leaf lettuce, parsley, celery, collard greens, beets with greens attached, a head of garlic, a ginger root, apples – I thought I was in heaven.
As I later learned, my Organic Green Juice Box is just one of several different types available from Melissa’s Produce. Each box contains seven to eleven pounds of straight-from-the-farm, fresh, organic, nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables in varying combinations. and quantities. You can subscribe to have the boxes delivered right at your doorstep weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or as needed for only $25.00 per box.
I am not the only geek who gets excited over food, and I know how much joy these boxes would elicit as gifts, even though I would have to exclude all my friends who do not live between Santa Barbara and San Diego, as the produce is perishable and therefore not available for shipping outside Southern California.
I have to admit that I have not used a single item I received in the box to make a juice; I don’t own a juicer, and even though I slave for about thirty minutes every day to extract the essence of Valencia oranges that grow in our back yard, I cannot imagine grinding the greens in my mortar or subjecting them to the ignominy of being chewed up by a blender. I am closely monitoring Craigslist posts for a nice, used juicer that might induce me to start my day with a glass full of green froth, but in the meantime, Melissa’s organic greens were put to good use:
I made a cream soup with celery, and a phyllo dough strudel with chard and beet greens; I stuffed collard greens with ground beef and onions, turned parsley and kale into pesto, roasted beets for a simple garlicky side dish, and packed the apples into the girls’ lunch sacks. I am toying with the idea of making my own pickled ginger as my daughters love eating it when we go out for sushi. And besides using the crispy lettuce leaves for BLTs, I just might make a lettuce soup with leftovers.
My mailman is pretty busy delivering a smile to my face a few times a week. And one of the Organic Boxes from Melissa’s Produce will bring a smile to many faces, even if they are not obsessed with food as much as I am. As for me, I am relieved that I don ‘t have to hide in the corner and imagine the horrors that lurk inside the mail box. Instead of dreading it, I look forward to raising the flap and browsing, announcing that all is good with the world.Disclosure: I received a beautiful box packed with organic greens from Melissa’s Produce; I have not been otherwise compensated for this post and the opinions are all mine.