Wednesday 29 February 2012

What's in the boxes, Nanna?

What's in the boxes, Nanna?

Nanna Nielsen was baking bread rolls when I called by to ask her about Aarstiderne. I had seen the crates stacked up outside her front door and this was how I first came to know about the farm in Humblebæk and the home delivery service of fresh organic fruit and vegetables.

Nanna is a film maker and she lives in Østerbro with her partner, Jakob, and their 3½ year old twin boys. For medical reasons, Nanna can only eat organic food and has struggled to find what she needs in the local supermarkets.

Early every Wednesday morning, Aarstiderne delivers a mixed fruit and vegetable box outside Nanna's front door. Every week, all the food gets eaten and nothing gets thrown away. Even with a freelancer's schedule, food shopping is a challenge and when the twins arrived this left even less time to find good quality organic produce. Two years ago, Nanna started her mixed box subscription as the home delivery concept appealed purely from a convenience point of view. Now she says she is not only pleased with the good quality of the food she receives and the fact that the delivery is always on time, but the boxes have changed the way she goes about preparing meals.

Recently back from holiday in Thailand, Nanna and her young family are well travelled and she hardly ever cooks Danish meals. She prefers to cook Middle Eastern and Asian food. Before she began using the boxes she had a repertoire of recipes but she says that it was a hassle to think of new dishes and then source the ingredients. Tucked away in her weekly box of organic fruit and vegetables, there is a booklet of recipes developed by the chefs at the Aarstiderne kitchen: Thomas Hess, Sanne Venlov, Søren Ejlersen and Louisa Lorang. Nanna sometimes uses these but she also now looks to the food (particularly the vegetables) that she has delivered as a starting point for finding new meals. When she first started her subscription, Nanna was excited about discovering new recipes and far from being a hassle, she now enjoys finding and experimenting with new dishes.

With most of the fruit and vegetable shopping taken care of, this leaves more time for other things and with this new approach to her meal planning, Nanna manages to spend little more than 30 mins cooking a healthy organic meal for her family every evening.

[Katherine Ball]

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