[Originally posted on Trimmings, my now-abandoned Tumblr blog]
Last time I went to the market, I found a dollar bag containing two fist-sized green squashes that look like muppet faces, as if a Kermit the frog puppet had his mouth pursed in a :} shape.
“Excuse me,” said an older woman shopping nearby. “What are those?”
I had to think a minute before I answered “chayote.” I know them as mirlitons, which is an old French word for some kind of pear-shaped instrument. I first ate them in Louisiana and I’ve only ever had them sliced in half, stuffed with shrimp and rice, and baked until tender. I had no shrimp and no plan either, but bought the chayotes for nostalgia.
I was not particularly inspired by them, however, and they remained in my fridge until I’d cooked and eaten the artichokes, green beans, broccoli, and some random odds and ends from my friend’s uncooked Blue Apron meals. All that remained veggie-wise were the chayotes, a wedge of red cabbage, and some carrots. Fortunately, chayote is mild and soft enough to eat raw, like a summer squash.
I peeled the chayote and chopped it and some carrots into matchsticks. I sliced the red cabbage very fine, and salted everything and left it to drain. I had one ugly orange left from my discount oranges, so I zested and squeezed it, blending its orangey bits with some miso and ginger in accordance with this weird but tasty recipe. Mixed into the rinsed and drained veggies, it made something salty and sweet and crunchy to add to my lunch. I heaped some on top of the chicken casserole I made for dinner.
I also made: ginger beer (since I had a bunch of raw ginger from last week), bread (easy, cheap, good for breakfast), brownies and orange cake (to use up some old yogurt), and preserved lemons (because Meyer lemons were on sale at Trader Joe’s for some reason). Today was my only day off this week–just came off of 5 days on, and have three more days coming up–so I wanted to enjoy making and taking care of things.