As my Slow Project continues and I am working on my own personal goals of slowing down, I realized that the first official day of summer came and went and I didn’t write anything about it.
It also got me to thinking about why I always love summer. What are the things that make summer so special and so relaxing? For me, it starts and ends with food, or, more specifically, with the fresh produce and tastes of summer.
The summer may be the easiest season to eat seasonally because there is such a wide variety of fresh food available to most of us. For me, fresh summer produce makes it easy to remember to eat seasonally because the foods of summer have given me indelible memories and tastes; sweet, juicy fresh-from-the-vine tomatoes, sugary sweet watermelon and white corn, and stone fruit, like plums and peaches. There is no other season quite like it.
No matter what I am doing or where I am going, summer fruits and foods always take me back to when I was a kid and when life was (or seemed) simpler.
And, since we only have fresh summer fruit for a short time, I want to make sure that I enjoy it while I can and that I support our small, sustainable farmers.
With that in mind, here are a few simple ways to reconnect with the foods of summer and to slow down and enjoy them.
Make your own ice pops while summer stone fruit is here. Peaches, plums, nectarines can all be added to watermelon juice or lemonade to create a cooling and refreshing treat. Or, you can make them with berries inside, add concentrated or fresh fruit juice, along with organic fruit and yogurt and make smoothie pops.
You can even buy toxic-free molds for your homemade ice pops. This site has a great comparison of several now on the market.
Add some fresh vegetables to your dinner menu or have a picnic highlighting seasonal foods. A few fresh vegetables and a food processor make delicious chilled summer soups, tomatoes, corn and cucumbers taste great this way.
Grill fresh veggie kabobs and include some peaches and plums to add a touch of sweetness to your kabobs.
Go and pick fresh fruit or berries. If you don’t have a local farm or farm trail, how about picking from a friend or neighbor’s fruit tree? Or, if you are on vacation, check for local farms near you or near your vacation spot.
If you aren’t growing your own, you can take advantage of summer’s bounty at a local farmers’ market. There is sure to be a local farmers’ market in your area.