Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eating in Season

seasonal-produce

 

There are very good reasons to buy fresh, natural, organic, locally grown and sustainable food. It's sound nutritionally, environmentally and economically.
By purchasing local foods in-season, you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles, your food dollar goes directly to the farmer, and your family will be able to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Buying seasonal produce also provides an exciting opportunity to try new foods and to experiment with seasonal recipes. And it simply tastes better!

It's also a stretch when one is accustomed to cook with foods grown anywhere in the world year round.

So I'm dusting off recipes from a childhood enriched by my daddy's green thumb and energy to fill a city lot with fresh fruit and vegetables every summer.

This wasn't trendy; it was frugal. And frankly, it was before the advent and dominance of industrialized, mechanized, picked before its time, cold-stored, trucked nationwide and shrink-wrapped agriculture.

(Yes, I am that old.)

So get ready for it.

I foresee a summer of regional favorites in our Fresh Kitchen: Maque Choux, a stew of corn, garlic, onion, green pepper, tomatoes and bacon; stewed okra, tomatoes sliced, stewed and sauced; cucumber salads and salsas. And beans. Oh yeah green beans, butter beans, snap peas. Zucchini, summer squash, eggplant stews and pasta dishes. Potatoes baked, oven-fried and in salad. Then melons - cantaloupe, watermelon. For dessert: fruit alone in all its farm-fresh glory, fruit with cheese, fruit cobblers.

Oh it's going to be a great summer eating in season!

These are the vegetables and fruit you can expect to see on Central Texas farm tables.

Garlic
Onions
Potatoes
Cucumber
Squash
Zucchini
Eggplant
Peppers
Green beans
Butter beans
Corn
Okra

Fruit that ripens in hot weather

Tomatoes
Melons
Cantaloupe
Figs
Peaches
Pears

Herbs that love Texas heat

Mint
Basil
Dill
Thyme
Lavender
Sage

 
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