Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer is finally here

Looks like summer has finally come to the Pacific Northwest, and with it, our local produce choices seem to increase almost daily. Over the past couple of week I've gone to the Lake Forest Park Farmers' Market on Sunday afternoons, and it's just getting bigger and bigger.

A couple of weeks ago the big thing was peas, a big spring crop in the Northwest. For the first time in my life, I bought English peas and shucked them so I could make a lovely braised pea and mushroom dish. Served it alongside Salmon caught just two days before I bought it from the Washington fisherman and his family at the same market.

And finally, fruit! Cherries are big right now. I bought a pound of those, and a pound of apriums (apricot + plum) this past weekend. Delicious! Definitely going back for more.

This week the big deal is local strawberries. They had been delayed by our freakishly cold spring, but they finally made it. Over at Yakima Fruit Market, they sold out within hours the first day they got them in. We have been waiting for these luscious beauties. Today, my own balcony strawberry pot yielded the above tiny bowlful of the sweetest strawberries I have ever tasted. And there's lots more fruit waiting to ripen. Not bad for a container garden.

Tomorrow is the Strawberry Festival at the market. Can't wait!

I think I'm going to have to make jam this year…

…if I can stop eating them. :)


Hayden said...

oh yum, really fresh salmon with peas and mushrooms! Life doesn't get much better. Forgive me if you already know this - but - if the pods are clean and clear (no mold) toss them in a pot w/ a little water and steam until they've given up their flavor. The pea stock will adds barrels of extra flavor when you cook the peas. Also, ask the pea farmers if they do/will bring pea shoots to market. Pinching out the top 4-7 inches makes the pea plant branch and bear harder - the shoots, roughly cut and steamed, are DELICIOUS. One of my favorite greens, and they stay fresh and sweet in your veggie bin for an eternity.

Annie said...

I don't know what enchanted me more, this strawberry dream or the sweet chicken story just below.