The first day of fall is exactly one month from today. Autumn is my favorite season of the year, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to give up all the wonderful summer produce that's been showing up in my CSA box. This week I'm totally into grilled peaches.
If you've been following my CSA posts this year, you may be thinking: Hey! The last box you posted was from Week 5, and now it's Week 8! What gives? Well, my friends, I was out of town over two pickup days, so I gave my share away on those days. But a lot can change in two weeks, I now see: my share this week was the biggest one yet! Arugula, peppers, eggplant, peaches — and the cucumbers. I fear I may drown in cucumbers.
I'm five weeks into my CSA this year, and my weekly haul is gradually picking up. This week I got a few more tomatoes, a handful of potatoes, more blueberries, corn, and the first eggplant. So what to do with all this produce? Here's what I'm thinking:
I spent yesterday morning tramping around a tart cherry farm in northern Michigan, and I wanted to give you a sneak peek at one of the most interesting moments. Did you know that cherries are literally shaken off the tree?
Bagged lettuce is a lot of things. It's convenient, it's usually affordable, and it can make a quick lunch or dinner side salad in a cinch. But recent health scares and extensive media coverage have people chatting about the other not-so-great side of bagged lettuce.
Donut peaches from the Albany Farmers' Market in Albany, CA.
Back in the day, when my mom and I went to the grocery store we would buy strawberries and peaches and apricots. It never occurred to us that strawberries and peaches and apricots came in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and flavor profiles, and that each of these varieties had its own name. We weren't aware that we could be purchasing a Sun Crest Peach or that the Albion strawberries were in season but the Chandlers were coming soon.
But things are a little different these days, at least where I shop.
While I'm a big fan of the many books written by David Mas Masumoto about life on his farm (Epitaph for a Peach, Four Seasons in Five Senses), as well as the peaches and nectarines that are grown on the Masumoto Family Farm near Fresno, CA, I wasn't sure about his latest release: a cookbook he co-authored with his wife and daughter. An entire cookbook devoted just to peaches? Are there really enough peach recipes to make up a whole cookbook? Of course there are!
July is just around the corner and for me that means just one thing: it's the time when the local tomato production starts to get serious and the farmers' markets starting running red (and yellow, and pink, and chocolate, and green stripe). Sure, there's the occasional basket of cherry tomatoes the last few weeks of June and I guess they're pretty good. But when the dry-farmed Early Girls start showing up, that's when then I know all is right in the world. Except, apparently, when it's not.
Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for our health, right? We've all heard that for years, and it is true. But according to Jo Robinson, author of the forthcoming book Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, what really matters is choosing the right varieties of those fruits and vegetables.