Fresh Produce

Summer mornings are the best time of the day to be outside and in the sun. Here the weather is still full of summer warmth, where the mid-day heat can wilt our spirit and we take shelter inside. Going out to the farmer's market in the early morning nearby is a delight. There in the blue-tinged light under the cool of market awnings, fresh produce seems so much more inviting than its cousins in the chill of a market.

At first I am overwhelmed by the selection: what was it that we needed? After surveying the greens I am reminded that our salad selection has specific openings for new crunchy greens and any exotics to add flavor. Back on task I wander through the vendors, seeking out firm fruits to last the week and soft tomatoes for tonight's dinner.

I love that it's possible to find both 'ready to eat' and 'wait for this to ripen' varieties available. This is where I have to be careful not to buy more than we need and it takes some consideration. I pause at the grape vendor and over-hear a mother and daughter discussing their plans for a family barbeque. Their ideas sound delicious, and I am inspired to re-think my own menu for our weekend too.

Back home in the kitchen, I set out the fruit in a basket to ripen where it will be seen and we won't forget to check on the progress of each piece as it makes its way from firm to ripe then far too quickly, on to over-ripe. When it comes to fresh fruit, sometimes you just have to drop what you're doing and eat a pump nectarine over the sink, since its freshness won't wait until tomorrow's lunch time comes around.

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