I’m having a love affair with #summer. It’s always a slow dance through June and July, but come August, I’m smitten by the sun. The miracle of food appearing on vines, stalks, and branches makes me giddy.
When I had my first ear of corn this past week, I paused between nibbles to smile.
I love a great market as much as the next foodie. But I grew up with a huge backyard garden and orchard. We would feast on the best of the crop, sometimes extravagantly so. When the green beans were at their peak, my mother would serve a platter of beans, sometimes with a bit of bacon, sometimes just naked. That was it. Beans. When the corn came in, dinner would be a platter of corn. Strawberries…we would feast on buttery shortcake, whipped sweet cream and ladles of strawberries. By the end of summer it all balanced out. But overall, I think I ate a lot more vegetables, all of them fresh from garden to table.
The garden fed our large family; the cost of seeds was minimal, labor was free. The kids were required to weed rows every day. If I wanted to duplicate that life style, I’d need to give up my day job, so instead I stop regularly at the local farm stands. My husband has planted a row of fruit trees–peach, apple, pear. We also have an old cherry tree but it’s so tall that we can’t reach the berries. The birds eat well in the summer at our house. My mother kept an over-sized chest freezer in the garage that she filled with beans, peas, corn. In the basement, a root cellar held potatoes, onions, squash. Some fruit was frozen, but most turned into jam and jelly.
I inherited jam and jelly making from my mother. I don’t eat enough toast to use it all, so many of the jars become holiday gifts. So far, currant jelly is done, garnet red, tasting like jewels, really that’s the only way I can think of describing it. A huge colander of currants boiled down to two very precious jars. I made, Rhuberry–a joyful jumble of rhubarb, strawberries and blueberries. Peaches are ripening; Concord grapes blushing purple. My favorite farm stands just announced that tomatoes are in.
wishing you the best of the season