Welcome to my favorite month. It’s my favorite for many reasons, the least of which, June just happens to be my birthday month!
But it’s also a month of misty mornings on the coast, sunsets happening late into the evenings, and camping bins beckoning for a summer full of road trips. It’s a month of the garden coming alive with sunshiney blooms and rosy tomatoes, and farmers’ markets bursting with bell peppers, snap beans, strawberries, squash blossoms, and other beauties of summer produce.
It’s an inspiring time to play in the kitchen with this unending array of fresh fruits and vegetables. I actually didn’t start cooking with the seasons until six years ago, and only after my first harvest from my first garden. Up to that point, I was strictly a supermarket shopper, where everything was “in season,” and it didn’t register that most of the recipes I clipped called for mixed-season ingredients.
But as I soon found out, cooking in season meant bolder and fresher flavors, and food that didn’t need to be doctored up to taste good. It meant less work in the kitchen and more time to enjoy my meals. And there was an economic component, too — food that was in season was simply cheaper. It didn’t have to be coaxed to grow in an incompatible climate, or hauled hundreds or thousands of miles to market. As a result, it could be harvested closer to ripeness or even at the peak of ripeness.
So, here’s to June and the beautiful bounties that come from our own backyards or the small farms in our communities. Here’s to good, whole foods, prepared simply.
If you need some culinary inspiration, The CSA Cookbook is Amazon’s pick for its Kindle Monthly Deal. The e-book version is on sale for $2.99 all month long, a savings of 88 percent off the list price.
Count that as another reason June is my favorite month! Happy cooking!