I love food and I’m pretty sure it’s got a thing for me too.
I grew up in Kansas where cheese came in the form of a thin orange square wrapped in plastic. Dinner often came out of a box and I thought Miracle Whip and mayonnaise were the same thing. I lived blissfully unaware as I continued into my college years thinking the vegetable garden blend of cream cheese was healthy because it contained vegetables. You can’t fault a Kansas girl for trying.
It wasn’t until I started a full-time yoga practice that I started to change my ways. The interesting part was that no one pushed their yogic eating principles on me. It was simple — the more I practiced, the more my desire for good, healthy fuel grew.
Photo by Wendy Worrall Redal
Is there anything that says “spring” more effusively than a tulip? As soon as colorful bunches start popping up in the grocery store in February, I quit thinking about wet snow, gray skies and winter’s lingering grip. However pretty a bright bouquet of cut blooms is, there’s nothing like surveying row upon rainbow-striped row of these spring floral icons in full, growing glory.
This weekend we made our annual pilgrimage to the country to visit an apple house and a pumpkin patch. Our car was a good 40 pounds heavier on the way home, loaded down with an enormous bag of apples and a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins and squash. Ordinarily, I’d feel overwhelmed with having such a bounty in my kitchen (it’s always a challenge just to use up all of my Community Supported Agriculture share for the week before it goes bad), but the beauty of many fall vegetables is that they last for awhile — Mother Nature’s way of helping us stretch that last harvest through the cold winter months, I suppose.
As much as I love wintry comfort foods like pot pies and stew, I can’t help but be happy in the warmer months when I see watermelon, zucchini, tomatoes (organic, non-tainted ones, natch) and other summer produce come into season.
If I only bought organic produce for my family to eat, I’d be broke. I always compare prices of organic and conventional, and sometimes I just can’t bear to pay, say, $4.99 for a pint of organic blueberries when the regular berries are half that price.
Soft-skinned summer squash have an edible rind and a sweet, mild taste that is perfectly accentuated with a little butter. Look for them at your local farmers’ market. If you can’t find summer squash, substitute green or yellow zucchini.
1 tablespoon butter, plus more to taste
3 small summer squash, such as yellow crookneck, diced
Kernels from 2 ears of corn
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
As you can probably imagine, I’m a sucker for farmers’ markets. Even (or, perhaps, especially) when I’m in another country, miles from my kitchen, I love wandering through the rows of stalls, admiring the ripe, colorful produce and imagining what dishes I’d concoct with them.