Groundhog Day! If any groundhog is daring to look, he is probably doubting that spring is right around the corner or even six weeks away. The wind is howling outside and blankets of snow are sweeping over my fields, house, and barns. My windows are shuttered and all the draft dodgers are stuffed in my door ways. It seems like a long time since I have experienced sunlight on my face. It’s time for some summer.
So I go and open my freezer, and there, in the light of the incandescent bulb, is summer. Bags of golden sweet corn, red peppers, and all kinds of tomatoes. Cubes of pesto and herbs. Batches of blueberries and raspberries and strawberries, their lovely vibrant blues and reds sparkling back at me. Too bad Mr. Winter – I am freeing summer from the freezer and sending it to my plate for dinner tonight!
Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my share of root crops in the winter. Beets, carrots, celery root, potatoes. It’s all very nice. But right around February is when I crave my summer back, and so to the freezer I go.
What’s for dinner tonight? Maybe its sweet corn risotto with Herbs de Provence, the frozen kernels perfectly preserving the delectable pop and sweetness of August. Maybe it’s summer pasta – the most perfect, thin spaghetti made with locally grown organic grains, cooked al dente and finished off with those fresh frozen tomatoes and some of that pesto. Maybe I’d like a taste of July – some of those berries served over yogurt or ice cream or maybe in some pancakes. No matter what I choose, it brings back that day that it was harvested, perfectly ripe and warm from the summer sun.
I used to think that eating local and organic food year round would be too hard or too expensive. This year I finally cracked the code to make it easy and economical for me to eat local organic year round. So many farmer’s markets are now operating all winter – and from my friendly neighborhood farmers I still get local organic eggs, root crops, and greens that are growing even now in high tunnels. And thanks to squirreling away and freezing spring and summer bounty, I can enjoy the taste of summer just when I need it most! Hello summer! Time to eat!