Though the growing season has been a little off due to the record rain in June, I have had lots of luck at various Farmer’s Markets so far this season. Since June we have had lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, carrots, pea shoots, and greens. I am still regretting passing up locally grown mushrooms, TWICE! They won’t get away from me again…
As I make my way to various markets, I am surprised at how much variation there is in what is offered and when. Hoop houses and other season extenders make some things available earlier or later, but the farmers themselves decide what to plant when, so even if you have one market or stand you are a regular at or have a CSA, try scoping out something new and see what’s available. I have a summer season CSA which starts this week. I can’t wait to see what my choices will be.
What have you enjoyed so far this season?
Fourth of July Celebrations usually involve cooking and eating out doors. You can easily use local food, since by July some vegetables are now available and our area provides lots of variety for locally produced meat.
Grilling meat will be similar to grilling conventionally raised meat. If it is leaner, you may want to marinate the meat first to get a more tender result… Try marinating in locally produced wines or ciders for an interesting flavor.
Any vegetable that will not fall through the cracks of the grill can simply be tossed in the cooking oil of your choice and laid on the grill. Smaller chunks of vegetables can be cooked in a grill basket or foil and skewered. In my opinion, everything tastes good cooked over an open fire, vegetables are no exception.
Be sure to follow the same food safety rules you would always follow, even if you are using organically grown vegetables or pasture raised meat. Rinse your vegetables well; soil naturally has bacteria and vegetables inevitably come into contact with the soil. Keep raw meat and it’s juices away from other foods and be sure to wash or sanitize all surfaces that have come into contact with raw meat before they come into contact with anything else.