Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Delights

Yay! Happy Summer to the northern hemisphere! Of course I love the days filled with many hours of sunlight.. enough that I can wake up in the morning to the sunrise (instead of waking up hours before, as what happens in the winter, even here in Los Angeles) and still have a couple of hours of sunlight to do things in the evening. And the warmth and activities like swimming that become infinitely more enjoyable. But of course I can't help but to feel excited about the bounty of summer foods, especially when I start out my first official day of summer by biking to the farmers market and selecting some delicious foods for the week. A little hint of some of the great things I've been getting this year and this week.

So many delicious organic stone fruits!!! I feel silly in that I've been going to this one particular family owned farm stand at the Studio City farmers market for years getting their stone fruits, but I don't recall the name (need to try to note it next week), but they have such a wide and constantly changing variety of stone fruits, especially at this time of the year.

I wander around the stand and pick up anything that looks good (although I always love the donut peaches & yellow nectarines.) I also try to get some ripe, ready to eat immediately fruits as well as fruits that need a few more days so I have them to eat all week long (don't store peaches in the fridge!!!!) This week I picked up apricots (normal & black), a few types of plums, donut and regular yellow nectarines and regular white nectarines... and there were still many varieties of things I didn't get. I love that they're organic as well since peaches and other stone fruits are generally at the top of the EWG dirty dozen list (product with high levels of pesticides.)

I much prefer non-red varieties of tomatoes and so I really enjoy these little ones from the farmers market. The stand I picked these up at has bins of rainbow colored baby tomatoes that vary throughout the summer with reds, oranges, yellows, greens, purple and multi-colored in one, all ready for you to scoop and combine and make your own yummylicious tomato mix to snack on or add to salads. So sweet, tart, juicy and generally flavorful, these are the kind of tomatoes that have never been in a fridge and will never go in one so that they might be fully appreciated! I also love the smell of the fresh green tops on the tomatoes (I can't be the only one!!) The next best thing to having my own tomato plants!

A bit of a cheat when it comes to technical summer (although the weather here in LA has been weird this year.... supposedly we had a reverse spring where the avg temp in March was greater than April, which was greater than May, which has only happened a few times before, which has made plants go a little nuts), but yesterday I found fresh organic strawberries super on sale, so I picked up 3lbs and made some strawberry jam! I didn't process the jars, but I'm giving some away and might also stick a jar in the freezer for later. Yummmmm! I used a low-sugar, no pectin recipe with a bit of extra vanilla because I love vanilla.

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