June 7, 2011

June Pickins

I think May might be the most frustrating time of the year for me as a farmer's market shopper.  The highlights of May are strawberries, peas and spring onions.  Oh, cherries and asparagus, too, but I seem to forget those.  Sure, I like all of those things.  And yes, there are still beautiful winter greens and lettuces available.  But the apples of fall have petered out and whatever citrus is left isn't as exciting as it was a couple months before. Summer is just around the corner, but the summer fruits are still on the trees.

But in June things start to look up. This Saturday we found blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and cherries.  And the first little nectarines (okay, actually Mr. Vogel had some hard little nectarines a week or two ago).  Apricots and peaches are available.  The flavor isn't what it will be in a couple weeks, but it's exciting to see them, because it means it's true: even with all this rain and cool weather, summer is right around the corner!

There were also a couple varieties of potatoes, which I didn't notice last week.  (Maybe because it was absolutely freezing and raining last weekend, so all I bought were three heads of organic lettuce to make a salad for a potluck.)  But this week, there were those potatoes and little baby yellow zucchini. There is still one vendor selling asparagus and there are still plenty of peas, lettuces, greens.

And as much as I want all the farmers to make good money selling their produce, I enjoyed that the crowds were smaller because of the rain.  It gave Grace and I more time to look at stuff and visit with friends.

This week we came home with one bunch of asparagus, some yellow potatoes, one bunch of golden beets and one bunch of carrots, blackberries from three separate vendors, strawberries, blueberries and eggs.

To accompany the berries, Grace and I baked a pound cake.  We used the recipe in Joy of Cooking.  I liked the texture, but next time I would leave out the mace.  It's a very eggy cake and the flavor of the mace reminds me just a bit too much of Grandma's Chess Pie, which is one of those food memories I'd rather not have. But berries with whipped cream and pound cake?  Summer is here!

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