June 28, 2011
Summer has finally arrived in the form of food grown and picked nearby. I brought home the first share from the CSA where I work on Friday: swiss chard, bok choi, green onions and green garlic. On Sunday I decided that since I had a day off, I should go strawberry picking. A bit of a bus man's holiday, but I wasn't sure of another day when I would have time to gather up that juicy red bounty. I ended up picking 20 pounds of berries! Our freezer is stocked with strawberries to last the rest of the year, with plenty left over for eating now.
When it comes to food that is local and in season, I get pretty greedy. I'm often surprised that people don't snatch up as much of it as they can find, whether at a farmers' market, CSA share, or picking their own. The abundance that is available at a grocery store any time we need it means that we often forget about using and preserving as much as we can when its growing nearby. I've been thinking about, and obsessing over, this a lot lately. Eating locally and in season brings me such joy and preserving some of this goodness for the rest of this year is so satisfying.
I know that not everyone cares as deeply about this as I do, but I really hope that this summer I can share lots of ideas for cooking and preserving a variety of fresh vegetables. I am afraid I won't have time to delve as deeply into this as I would like, but I am determined to do as much as I can to share recipes for most of the vegetables that I bring home.
If you are ready to jump into cooking with as many foods as you can find at the farmers' market, I'd like to recommend the book Local Flavors, by Deborah Madison. It is a whirlwind tour of farmer's markets around the United States and a wealth of ideas for using the foods you will find there.
Here's to eating well and enjoying the abundance this summer!