I have a definite love-hate relationship with the CSA box. I'm really thankful that with this one I get some choice in vegetables, which makes me feel a little less helpless. When I saw that carrots, onion, and cabbage were not optional but zucchini was, my heart leapt a little. There are only two ways I like zucchini, and one of them involves carrots, onion, and cabbage, too:
One of the reasons I started canning was to make my own convenience foods. Yes, I love to cook, but not every night. Also, I'm a fan of being able to pronounce most of what I put in my mouth. That, combined with the frugality of making one's own canned soup, has had me plotting to make minestrone for several months now.
The only problem with minestrone is the chopping. Oh, lordy-lordy, is there chopping! Chop the cabbage. Chop the carrots. Chop the onion small. Chop the potatoes bigger. Buy a can of chopped tomatoes to save a teensy bit of time.
I've actually come to the point where I don't mind chopping too much. When I was little, I was pretty sure that I would go over to my parents' house once a month, have my mom chop up a big pile of onions, and then I'd store it in the freezer.
But now I've come to see it as an inevitable part of life, one that is not necessarily an evil. Sure, I save big chopping jobs for when I know I'll have a good chunk of time to not be rushed into amputating a digit, but I like the process, too. Chopping vegetables is a nice time to think. There's a little bit of distraction from real life as you plot how to get a tapered carrot into even pieces. But there's also that time where you just get to chill. You can tell your kid that you're busy, not because you need to check Facebook, but because you are making something delicious for him to eat. There's no guilt in chopping, just the sound of knife through vegetable on wood.