KP Co-opsOk, sorry for the title.  It’s from a show at Epcot a long time ago and I couldn’t resist.  Anyway, a few weeks ago, I read about KP Co-ops in the Hattiesburg American and was intrigued.  It’s a service that provides a large bag of produce to members every two weeks for $20.  The produce is bought from local farmers or produce wholesalers.  I joined a couple of weeks ago and got my first bag last week.  Produce varies each week.  When you join you fill out a form about your preferences, and those are considered when ordering for the co-op.  Last week’s bag included tomatoes, corn, yellow squash, potatoes, spinach, cauliflower, apples, pluots, oranges, grapes, and bananas.  The quality was good, and it was fun to mix up my sometimes stale meal planning routine.  For instance, I haven’t made Cauliflower Au Gratin in about ten years, but made it the day after picking up my bag.  I was a little disappointed that more of the bounty was not local, but I understand that would limit variety.  I will certainly not be giving up my trips to the Pinebelt Farmers Market any time soon, but it will be nice to have this when the market is closed for the season.  This would be a good match for you if you like a variety of veggies and fruits.  This would probably not be a great match for you if you want all organic produce or have some hopelessly picky eaters in your crew. Contact 329-986 or e-mail to find out more.

Cauliflower Au GratinCauliflower

1 head cauliflower cut into 2-3 inch florets

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup butter (half a stick)

2 cups milk (preferably whole)

Pinch of nutmeg

1 cup plus 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Steam cauliflower until just fork tender and layer in 8×8 in baking dish.  Melt butter in medium saucepan and whisk in flour.  Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Slowly whisk in milk and cook until thickened, continuing to stir.  Grate in a tiny bit of whole nutmeg or add a pinch of already ground.  Once thickened, reduce heat to low and add 1 cup of cheese.  When cheese is melted, season with salt and pepper to taste, take off heat, and pour over cauliflower.  If you are really hungry, like I was, you can eat it now. Or, for a more presentable dish, you can top with remaining cheese and bake about 20 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.