After I sorted my produce and filled my refrigerator bins on Friday, I made an inventory list for each drawer and taped it to the front. The drawers were packed pretty tight and I knew that I didn’t want to rummage around looking for things and damage the contents so I made a list, and it’s already come in very handy. ~ Chris Bonney
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Christine “Chris” Bonney from our new Arlington pickup location. She was referred to us by her co-worker and UA member, Brigitte Meeks. We’re so glad to have you, Chris!
Chris, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a cardiac sonographer – this means I performs ultrasounds of the heart – and I work for a large cardiology practice in the North Arlington area.
I started a food website last fall dedicated to the memory of my mother who passed away in 2001. She was what is considered today to be an “old fashioned” cook in that she made very few recipes with processed ingredients, she had a huge garden in the summer and was big on canning fruits and vegetables to carry us through the winter months. I grew up on simple, uncomplicated food and it’s the kind of food that I cooked for my own children. They are all grown now and I’m cooking for two most of the time but still love to spend time in my kitchen.
My husband and I were on an airplane last November when he suggested that I start compiling my mother’s recipes on a website for my kids. David is pretty handy with the computer, one thing led to another and a few weeks later I found myself with a site that allowed me to blog about my mom, my kids and just about anything and everything to do with food. The website is mymothersdaughter.net and it has steadily been gathering subscribers from all over the U.S. and even a few from other countries.
What inspired you to become a part of Urban Acres?
I was inspired to become a member of Urban Acres because my husband loves to garden and has been maintaining an organic garden for us for the past several years. This spring we have had our hands full preparing to build a home in East Texas where we will eventually be spending our weekends. We’ve just been too busy to get the gardens going! We have 4 large, raised beds and I knew that I was going to miss all the fresh produce. Urban Acres was the perfect solution.
When and why did you decide to start eating real, wholesome food?
We had been eating “real” food for quite some time but became more serious about it a few years ago when we found ourselves with more time to read and do the research. It also helped that my husband had always loved to garden, he just expanded his hobby from flowers to produce.
What is your favorite part about the “co-op style” produce?
I like the variety and the fact that it encourages me to think up recipes that I might not otherwise explore. I made a roasted pork loin tonight with fennel, carrots and new potatoes that was out of this world. If I hadn’t brought home fennel in my bin on Friday that never would have occurred to me today.
What’s your favorite produce tip/trick?
After I sorted my produce and filled my refrigerator bins on Friday, I made an inventory list for each drawer and taped it to the front. The drawers were packed pretty tight and I knew that I didn’t want to rummage around looking for things and damage the contents so I made a list, and it’s already come in very handy. I know what is in each drawer with a quick glance at my my notes.
If/when you do eat out, what is one of your favorite restaurants in Dallas?
I still love Houston’s, although they’re calling it Millstone’s now at the Preston Center location. I always love Del Frisco’s for a steak dinner…yum!
Do you grow any food at home? If so, what’s growing in your garden right now?
Nothing in our garden at present other than flowers. We have grown some pretty amazing Holly Hocks this spring though.
What is your favorite fruit? Favorite veggie? Why?
Favorite fruit? Probably bananas because they’re so versatile and I love the flavor. Favorite vegetable? Peas! I know that sounds crazy but it’s true! I just love them, always have…I think they remind me of my childhood. My mom made creamed new potatoes and summer peas a lot – basically a béchamel sauce with cooked potatoes and fresh peas stirred into the white sauce. She had to fill up a lot of kids and it was a hearty side dish that stuck to your ribs. She was still making it for me when I came home for visits in the summertime before she passed away.
What is your favorite site to get recipes from?
I’ve gotten to know a lot of other food bloggers and I surf their websites all the time. Right now I love a girl with a website called Texana’s Kitchen. Her name is Christine, she is a hoot, and she can cook like nobody’s business!
What would you say to inspire other members who are still trying to figure out this “co-op style produce” thing?
I say give it a shot, what do you have to lose? It’s totally affordable if you compare what you’re spending for organic products at the grocery stores. And there’s simply no comparison to the quality you’re getting with fresh produce that’s coming straight from the farm to your table.
Please share your current favorite “real food recipe” with us.
I’d like to share one of my favorite side dish recipes from the collard greens that I had in my bin this past Friday. I love collard greens. You can make them the way my mother did with “real” bacon (pork) or stick to a more healthy version and opt for turkey bacon.
Chris Bonney’s Braised Collard Greens
1 lb. collard greens, spines removed and sliced into 1/2 inch strips (roll them like a cigar before slicing)
1 TBSP. water
2 slices turkey bacon
1 TBSP. olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 TBSP. apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP. maple syrup
1/8 TSP. red pepper flakes
3/4 cup chicken broth
After the greens are washed and slices (with spines removed) put them in a large microwave safe dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cook on high 5 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat a large heavy dutch oven and cook the bacon for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and reserve.
Add the olive oil and the onion to the dutch oven and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the greens and stir in the vinegar, syrup, pepper flakes and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes.
Add the bacon back to the pan and then taste before adding any salt.