Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bountiful Baskets.

Those of you I speak with on a regular basis know that I have serious issues with the grocery store in my town. And yes, there is only one. It's M.O. is to charge people about twice what we'd pay anywhere else. Back in September, a four-pack of Tillamook butter was six dollars. For reals. Redneck bacon is around $14 and sweet potatoes have even been near $2/pound. It is out of hand. Also, they have no sparkling water which just pisses me right off. I have to import from Costco. I can't be the only person up here who digs San Pellegrino. I was told by somebody up here last year that he only ever saw me in produce section and it's true. Everything else I buy in Whitefish or Missoula when I visit.

However, it was only true until a few weeks ago when Bountiful Baskets decided to have a site in Cut Bank. I'll explain what BB is in a few minutes, but just know that every week, the program has sold out in about 15 minutes. That's how starved this town is for fresh, affordable produce. Now I've done CSA shares before, where you get produce delivered every week and it was always amazing. The people I had the share with had this incredible cookbook all about vegetables and we would reference it every week in order to figure out how to cook some of the produce we got. So when I heard about the BB program up here, I knew I had to jump on board.

The BB program is unique in that there is no required time commitment. There are a limited number of shares each week and when they are gone, they're gone. I like that if I know I'm going to be out of town, I don't have to send someone to pick up my share or worry about produce going to waste, I can just not buy a share that week.

There's a basic basket that you get for $15 ($10 more if you prefer organic). There are also a variety of add-ons you can do every week. This week the options were honey, 9-grain bread, a citrus box, and an Asian vegetable pack. I opted for the regular basket and added the Asian pack. Why? Because the only bean sprouts I can find on the Hi-Line come in a can. That is all.

Basically, the bottom line is that you should all check out this program if you live somewhere that you might not have access to the best produce year round. The above picture is my haul from just this week. My roommate and I have so many veggies we don't know how we are going to eat them all. We got mangoes, apples, oranges, a whole pineapple, bananas (14 of them!), celery, carrots, kale, onions, garlic, cukes, lettuce, bok choy, ginger, green onions, napa cabbage, water chestnuts, snap peas, anaheim chilies, mini peppers, and who knows what else. My mind seriously went into overload with all the different things I was thinking about making.

So check out Bountiful Baskets. You can thank me later. You know, with some produce. Or bacon. I'll always accept bacon in place of cash or veggies.

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