Saturday, August 18, 2012

Eating with the Seasons: Summertime!

I know this post is LONG overdue as we are nearing the end of summer, but I thought since we are FINALLY starting to get regular production of tomatoes it would be fitting!

Back in the spring I posted on eating with the seasons based on a springtime harvest in your garden or your local farmer's market. You can view the post by clicking here. Now that we are in the heat of summer, seasonal meal plans feature produce such as (LOTS OF) tomatoes, beans, squash, okra, cucumbers,  corn, eggplant, and peppers.

Here is a look at a one of our recent weekly harvest baskets:

"rattlesnake" beans, brandywine yellow tomato, "white wonder" heirloom cucumber, and okra
We have also been getting handfuls of golden tomatoes ("Amy's Apricot" variety) every week and I've stopped by local produce stands to purchase tomatoes for super cheap that were going bad to make sauces for canning. I've harvested small amounts beans and peppers and we honestly haven't had too much squash lately. We still are enjoying garlic from our garlic harvest, and we have replanted lettuce, beets, and several other things for a late summer/early fall harvest (hopefully).

An example of a weekly meal plan during the summer months using seasonal produce might look something like this:

- Tomato and fresh mozzarella caprice salad with fresh basil and homemade balsamic vinaigrette, with fresh garlic bread

-lemon chicken with sauteed green beans and garlic mashed potatoes

-Pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, peppers, cheese, olives, salami, and vinaigrette dressing

-Grilled or smoked salmon (or other type of fish) with yellow squash, zucchini, and tomato au gratin with fresh bread

-BLT's with three bean salad (green beans, southern peas, red onion, and kidney beans)

-BBQ pulled pork or ribs, with baked beans, squash casserole, corn on the cob, and cornbread

-homemade pizzas with fresh tomato sauce or garlic and olive oil, with choice of toppings including peppers, onions, tomato, fresh garlic, fresh basil, peppers, etc. 

-peach ice cream

-blackberry cobbler


On the flip side, I will just be totally honest with you, our garden hasn't done nearly as well as we had hoped. So many of the things we planted were damaged or eaten by critters or just didn't produce well. A lot of our colder-weather crops we planted in the early spring didn't do well we think because we had such an usually warm spring. It also could be that our entire garden is not getting enough sun :(

A nice surprise we had in our garden are two GIANT pumpkin plants we had randomly pop up- one in our compost pin and one on the side of our patio. We have no idea how these came about but they are sprawling across the entire yard and have tiny pumpkins on them!

Are you eating with the summer season right now? What do your meals look like?

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