Saturday, July 21, 2007

Love hurts

It seems that the cherry season this year has been terribly short; it seems like only a week or two ago I was enjoying my first summertime cherries, and now they're already obviously on the wane. Strawberries disappeared all at once, but cherries are slowly fading - fewer USG vendors this week than last, and fewer next week, and soon they'll be totally gone, along with sugar snap peas, which are also past their prime. I feel winter creeping into my bones already!...and yet, it's mid-July.

Today's nevertheless-lovely harvest:

1 lb. cherries
1/2 lb. apricots
1/2 lb. plums (little purple ones, not sure what variety)
4 peaches
1 lb. sugar snap peas
1 1/2 lbs. green and yellow beans
1 lb. shell peas
1 bunch rainbow chard
3 zucchini
2 cousa squash
5 ears bicolor corn
1 pint orange heirloom cherry tomatoes
Total spent: $42

The tomatoes are delicious - as my photo assistant said while enjoying them with goat cheese, salt, and pepper, they're "outrageous" - and the little cherry tomato size is somehow less intimidating than the big ones, which I'm afraid will go bad before I can use them. The tinies are easy to snack on during every trip to the kitchen, which is good since I won't refrigerate them and they'll only last a couple of days in our hot lair.

Corn on the cob is quite a good consolation for the loss of earlier-summer crops - it's getting sweeter every week. There are already two husked ears in the steamer for dinner tonight, along with my favorite cherry tomato preparation, named above, and some squash and tofu sauteed together with garlic and spices, over rice.

I couldn't resist the green and yellow beans; I bought them from the same organic vendor I got them from last week, and they were delicious, and so versatile. They'll be blanched and served cold and salted in lunches, chopped into 1" pieces and added to pasta salads, stir-fried, and probably other ways I haven't imagined yet.

My fingers are crossed that the peaches will turn out better than the last ones I had; these are from the orchard I bought most of my peaches from last year, so I'm hoping they'll be as flavorful. I've already tasted a few of the plums and I'm experiencing my usual "blah" feeling about them; perhaps the Shiro and green gage varieties will be more to my liking, as they were last year.

I also bought some non-produce: goat cheese from Lynnhaven Farm (wonderful!), and fantastic basil pesto from an herb vendor. It's the second time I've bought the pesto - you get about 1 cup for $5, which lasts through lots of pasta salad servings - and it's really wonderful. I haven't made my own because I don't have a food processor... and I'm happy to buy it from the cute young couple who run the herb stand.

This morning I went to the USG about half an hour earlier than usual, as I had to get home early to go to the Sunburn Siren Festival, and it seemed more crowded than when I'm normally there. I wonder if there are more people who show up for the market's 8 a.m. opening than are there at around 9:30 or 10...before it gets crazily-crowded with regular folks around 11 or noon. I'm thinking of trying to get there when it opens one of these Saturdays, to see if I can get it on any extremely special, sells-out-immediately, produce...or perhaps that's a myth?

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