With seedlings maturing in the garden, my strawberries turning red, the first CSA pick up complete, and the farmer’s market officially open, the summer season has obviously begun. An abundance of local and fresh produce creates endless culinary opportunities, making summer the ideal time to cook with others.
While over at Kathe’s house, she showed me her cute little tomato plant, one that she hopes will produce the perfect fruit for our summertime sauce. Her petit tomato plants are a delightful reminder of the soon-to-be savored summer moments with friends and family in the kitchen.
Soon, I will be standing next to my Dad, grilling shrimp and meat kebabs over an artesenal charcoal grill, the sea in the background, scents of rosemary and oak swirling around us; I’ll also happily be chopping an assortment of colorful vegetables with my Mom in the early morning hours, sea breezes wafting in the kitchen window, for a soon-to-be simmering Portuguese vegetable soup.
After our vacation, the tomato press will be taken out, cleaned and prepped for my sauce making tradition with Debbie. The kids will turn the crank, watching in amazement how easily the seeds and skins separate, forming a smooth puree. And Debbie and I will stand beneath her whirling kitchen fan seasoning our summer sauce.
In mid August, the huge pots will be taken out, jars sterilized and readied for a “Three Berry Jam” making session with Jenn and Jackie. We’ll preserve the summer-fresh blueberries, strawberries and blackberries as a sweet and sensational jam for the months to come.
Throughout the summer, my sink will be filled with beets, radishes, snap peas and garlic scapes, ready to be cleaned and cooked. Liz and I will stand side by side, with our CSA bounty, creating farm fresh meals together while sharing summer stories.
I look forward to all things culinary in the summer, from the simple moments throwing impromptu meals together with friends to the more labor intensive times like shucking and blanching corn for hearty corn chowder. In my summer, there will be many adventurous moments enjoying, preparing and savoring food with friends and family.
I can’t wait to get started!