Something about the appearance of the first local strawberry every year puts me on a local / organic / sustainable food and green-living kick. Ideally, I’d like to think along these lines all year round, and I do try, but it’s just so much easier when the farmers markets open up and the fresh local produce is available in great abundance.
[If you were “lucky” enough to spend Thanksgiving dinner with me anytime during the 70’s you will remember me as the only one at the table eating a hot dog instead of turkey, and picking over the lone vegetable on my plate: a small pile of corn, the only veggie I didn’t despise. You are probably finding all of this joy over fresh produce hard to swallow. I understand. Eight-year-old me wouldn’t have believed it either. I’m still pickier than I should be, but I’ve come a long way in the last few decades.]
I take advantage of inter-library loan a lot when I’m on one of these kicks. Food memoirs and cookbooks comprise the bulk of my reading right now. I’ve already read and returned Food Rules, The Town That Food Saved, and Seasonal Fruit Desserts, and soon I will dive into Hungry Monkey and Edible.
(Any other book or podcast recommendations along those lines? I can’t seem to get enough right now!)
I picked up a few quarts of strawberries from a somewhat-local farm a few days ago. Half of the batch was frozen for future Strawberry-Lemonade Smoothies, and the other half is becoming jam as we speak. While looking for a recipe I discovered something very cool: you can make jam in a crock pot.
It’s still bubbling away on the counter, and I’d be lying if I claimed I hadn’t slurped a tiny sample from my stirring spoon, but I should reserve my final judgment for later – when it’s cold and set. Tomorrow I expect to spread it on homemade bread along with a healthy dose of natural peanut butter. I’ll report back then, but between you and me, I have a hunch that lunch tomorrow is going to be very, very good.