Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summer Foods: Fresh and Preserved

Summer, admittedly is not my favorite time of year. The heat and humidity make me irritable and tired. The bugs, especially the mosquitoes, are not my favorite creatures.

One saving grace of summer has to be the fresh abundance of fruit and veggies. Tomatoes and peppers picked in the morning make an unforgettable salsa in the afternoon. Berries, melon, and mint make a delicious salad that only summer can offer.

Ahhhhh, yes this is why I tolerate the heat and mosquitoes.

Fresh foods along with canning and preserving are things I vividly remember from childhood. Growing up in CA we had our choice of farmer markets packet with inexpensive fruits and veggies. The variety and abundance was amazing. I remember picking up flats of strawberries so my mother could make her own special fruit "leather". Or making fruit tarts with pineapple, berries, and fresh cheese. To this day my most favorite lunch is one prepares with fresh fruits, crisp raw veggies, sliced lean meats, olives, and crusty bread.

Today I am continuing the tradition of fresh and minimally processed foods for my family. I hope to share interest with my kids when they are ready. In my own little world I envision my kids in the kitchen with me stirring, slicing, and preparing on some really wonderful creations.

Yesterday, I canned some Pepper Jelly made from the peppers out of my yard. I also found myself with a huge bounty of Basil. So, today I made Pesto and canned it for gifts and pasta later this year. One a number of occasions I found my daughter checking out my products with an intense curiosity. Maybe she will be at my side next week when I make something new.  Ohhh! Just think I should have some really great tomatoes by that time!!!

As I tend my garden in the company of hoovering hungry mosquitoes, and as the sweat drips down my forehead, I will remember the delicious treats of fresh whole foods that will award my time, patience, and hard work.

Brightest Summer Blessings!!