Now that I have a car, I can visit the pantry every week if possible. I couldn’t visit before because I’d have to walk some pretty good distances with heavy groceries and I don’t have a cart. It was crowded when I got there today. I also noticed they are now open four days a week instead of three. If that’s a harbinger of how our economy has weakened, that’s not a good sign. I’ve belonged to the pantry for about six years. In that time I’ve received food I normally wouldn’t buy, like sandwich wraps from Trader Joe’s or vegetables I’d typically ignore in supermarkets. These would include asparagus, eggplants, artichokes, squash, parsnips and turnips. With all the unfamiliar vegetables I’ve had to look online for recipes. Cooking all of them has been a breeze because boiling seemed to be the preparation of choice. It’s the same thing when I get my hands on Asian vegetables like pak choy, daikon or lotus root. Boiling is the way to go.