Monday, May 31, 2010

End of Season, Beginning of Season

"Summer's here! Well I'm for that, got my rubber sandals, got my straw hat." James Taylor wrote that in one of his songs. I'm beginning to feel it even as the wind blows cool through my house. The cherry harvest is underway in Brentwood and I've been enjoying that harvest. Last week, we had Brooks cherries, this week Rainiers. Each variety has its own uniqueness. I love them all. Next will be apricots, then peaches, nectarines, pluots, plums. Oh yum!

And in the veggie department, the fava beans are still being harvested as well as lettuces, chard and other greens. Coming up: summer produce like tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers. I love each season but summer is so full of great stuff, it's hard to not love it best.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Changing Seasons

Despite the weird winter-like weather, the season is absolutely changing.
Farmers in Brentwood, 25 miles east of my house, are harvesting the first cherries of the season. Many of them are members of an organization called "Harvest Time" which was begun to promote local farmers and their delicious produce. The growers created a farm map and most of them set up farm stands and u-pick operations. Memorial Day weekend is the busiest day of the year in Brentwood with hundreds of people travelling to the area to pick the first delicious cherries after a long winter doing without.

Next on the harvest schedule will be apricots. I love the two fruits together. Deborah Madison published my favorite recipe for them: cherry and apricot crisp. With a slight hint of almond extract, the flavors of dark sweet cherries and the first tart apricots of the year are unbeatable.

So, all hail spring! Even when it still feels like winter, the fruits are ripening and telling us the warm weather is not far behind.