Is it the taste or color of that red raspberry freshly picked and still hot from the sun - the flavor exploding in your mouth. Is it the sun tea freshly brewed out on the patio by the hot sun? Is it the first time you bite into that piece of chilled watermelon, sweet and crunchy? Is it the first nibble of the -bright as the sun- yellow ear of corn slathered in butter and covered in salt?
All these things make me think of the 4th of July and Summer!
Summer is a "hands on" time of year - meaning eating with your hands is ok - a brat from the grill, sweet buttery corn on the cob, apples freshly picked from the tree. I dont know how many times I sat in my garden and just ate - tomatoes and peas and carrots that still had a tiny bit of dirt still on them so they were sweet and earthy all at once. And there wasnt a day that went by when the pole beans were flourishing that I didnt see someone standing by it and picking from bush to mouth......green beens taste the best warmed by the sun and right from the bush. Those of you that have gardens understand how it feels to know you grew something and then incorporate it into your meals. Every time I would see a tiny green plant pushing out of a seed or a flower turn into fruit, my excitement would boil over like a kettle of hot water. I had a big basket that I would fill with my daily reward and I would walk around and show everyone like it was a trophy that I had just won. Trying new recipes (my version of a recipe seems to be one I made up that second) and all the while, using your hands. Planting, picking, weeding, watering, eating.....hands on. I tear the lettuce and herbs, snap the beans and asparagus, squeeze through my hands the tomatoes for salsa and sauce - a knife never seeming to be important?!
Farmers Markets are a great place to get lost at and you can find some amazing new finds you may have never seen. I had a red velvet apricot in Seattle at the farmers market- first time. Also an orange watermelon from Portland, and right here in Appleton, purple cauliflower. Try these new items - see what you think!
Some of my favs of the summer - BEETS - staining my lips and fingertips - Peaches, Sweet Corn, Cilantro, Sugar Snap Peas, Raspberries and cherries