It's about this time every year I get really excited about food.

I know that statement might look a little odd, since I eat year-round and all, but in early June our CSA starts its weekly deliveries, my herb garden has enough herbs to harvest (bits of parsley and basil, loads of thyme, sage and chives), and the farmers market is practically exploding with fresh produce, dairy, eggs, honey, meat and other good stuff.

We are pretty hardcore about eating locally, especially during growing season. (Unless you like parsnips and burdock root, it's difficult to eat local produce through the winter). We are lucky to live in a place where regional foods are extremely popular; if one wants local yogurt, for example, one has the choice between going to the farmers' market, the co-op, Whole Paycheck (what we call Whole Foods), or even the supermarket by the mall. I know the local food movement has grown nation-wide in the last 10 or 15 years, and I think that's a wonderful thing. It's good for small farmers, it's good for local business, it helps stretch out our diminishing oil supply a bit longer, and it's good for public health.

But you guys know how I feel about this. I have a tendency to go on and on about this kind of thing. I am an unapologetic food snob. And a bit of a dork. When I found the season's first strawberries at the market this morning, I did a little happy dance. We brought them home, and Daniel stood next to me by the sink as I cleaned and sliced the strawberries, snitching several before they went into the bowl with sugar to have on shortcake for lunch...with whipped cream also purchased at this morning's market and I must say, it was some of the best I've ever had.

One thing I'm excited about this year is that we now have a small chest freezer, so there is more storage space for food to carry us through the winter. We bought the freezer when we bought a quarter steer from a small organic beef operation in the fall. (By the way, a quarter steer is about 100 lbs of meat; we split it with a friend.) This summer I plan to buy as many strawberries as I can stand to clean, as many raspberries as we can afford (raspberries are expensive, and if you've ever picked your own, you'd understand why). I've already got about a gallon of chopped rhubarb in there.

What's funny is that Daniel and Anya are very picky eaters. Daniel's short list of acceptable foods is expanding a little, but it's still a short list. Anya is doing better than Daniel was at her age, but she's still awfully finicky. I, on the other hand, never met a vegetable I didn't like except for eggplant, which I think is vile. Stuart only dislikes a few vegetables - sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips - but except for the latter, he'll eat anything without complaining if it's roasted with enough olive oil.

Ah, well. Some folks need to grow up a little before they appreciate good food, and my hope is that my kids will come around eventually. In the meantime, it means more asparagus for me, and that's just fine.


Mrs. Allroro said…
Your mom introduced me to asparagus. I don't remember if I actually got to eat it, but I do remember she said you guys were having it for dinner and I was amazed.

As for the eggplant, I'm sure you're doing this, but just to let you know, I never liked eggplant either until I tried it at a friend's apartment. they were Chinese and I don't know what they did to it but it was great. I still don't love eggplant other ways, but I always try it and sometimes like it other ways. So my advice is to keep trying it whenever you get a chance at a restaurant or somebody's house. (Like I said, I'm sure you already do this, especially if someone's serving it to you.) Hope that gives you hope.

The best cauliflower I ever had was also in China, now that I think of it. I need to learn how they prepare veggies in Eastern China. The cauliflower was by far the best thing I ate there.

(And I'm with fruit like you are with vegetables--the only one I didn't like was Jack fruit. The first time I tried papaya I didn't like it at all, but the next time I had it it was awesome and I could eat it every day. I'll have to try jack fruit again to improve my record.)
Steph said…
Remember how picky-wicky I was when I was little? I came around. They will to.
Anonymous said…
You are lucky to be eating so good. I am stuck at summer camp, and so far the food has been less then stellar.

Animal said…
Mmmm, this all sounds GREAT!

How do you keep freezer-burn off of your stuff for months & months???

We're lucky: The Rozzle isn't finicky at ALL, willing to put pretty much anything into her mouth that we give her as food. She'll TRY pretty much anything…and then goes back to her staples of spinach, asparagus, carrots, green beans, peas, beets…
Jessi said…
Your mom was great at introducing things. She introduced me to avacado, which is now one of my all-time favorites.
Anonymous said…
Yes, I'm good with those "a" vegetables. Artichokes, anyone?

Suze's mom
Becca said…
Mmm...I like marinated artichokes with pasta--with lemon, tomatoes, basil, and olive oil.

I barely cook asparagus when I eat it. A bit of butter or oil for it to sit in, kill the heat, cover the pan, done in five minutes.

I used to love avocado until I ate too much and it gave me a huge stomachache. Now, anytime I eat avocado, I have horrible pain.

There are several CSAs around here, and one in particular that I'd like to join, but I have to wait till September for the planting to begin. Out here, the season just ended (usually ends in May) and harvests start again in November. We have very few year-round farmers' markets; most are open only during the winter and spring. It takes a bit to get used to. This time of year, I get my produce at Sprouts--some is still from AZ, but more is coming from California, which is local enough for the desert.

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