I love summer, but not for the same reasons as most people. I do like the warm weather, long evenings, and cool mornings. I like the thunderstorms, flowers and green trees. But my favorite part about summer is the food. I love going to the farmers's market every Saturday morning and marvelling at the abundance and variety. I love having bags of fresh produce lined up on the kitchen counter just waiting for me to turn them into something yummy (or begging me to eat them fresh). I love the little "pop" sound from canning jars cooling next to the stove. Or warm peach crisp. Or fresh Michigan cherries. Plums. Blueberries. Corn. Cucumbers. Little orange peppers the size of my thumb. Mmmm, summer....!
Today's trip to the market yielded a cucumber the size of my forearm, a "candy apple" sweet white onion, bell peppers, 3 little zuchinni, broccoli, sweet cherries, a bunch of fresh basil, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 lbs of green beans, and 3 little stalks of asparagus.
Today is definitely going to be a day spent in the kitchen. I few years ago I would have cringed at the thought, but now I'm as happy as a little kid at Christmas. I've already baked a tray of granola and pitted 1.5 quarts of cherries for the dehydrator (if there are any left... I keep eating them!). I'll toss in the last of last weeks blueberries too. I'm going to mix up a batch of basil pesto, some of which I'll use for dinner (creamy basil pesto pasta with veggies and chicken). The beans need to be cut up and blanched for freezing. Shayne's going to make up a batch of salsa later this afternoon with the peppers and onion and fresh cilantro from last week.
Out in the garden, my broccoli has sprouted heads, and I have little dime-sized peppers on each plant. My romas are growing quickly and are about the size of silver dollars.
On Thursday evening, a friend brought over some black raspberries he picked and invited me to his property to pick more. My mom and I picked what was left (a week ago would have been perfect, but they were starting to dry out), then came home and made jam. I had just enough for 4 half-pints.
I really don't think there is anything more satisfying to me than making my own food. It's more fun when it's not from store-bought items, but something I've gone out and harvested myself, but I still love going to the market or local farms. I'm not a very creative person when it comes to crafts or sewing or things like that, and I used to feel bad about it. Maybe food is my thing. I'm not going to ever be a gourmet chef or master gardener, but in spite of all my high school feminist rants, I'm finding out that I'm happiest when I'm playing in the garden or barefoot in the kitchen.