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An Appetite for Summer (Summer produce worth getting excited about)

IT'S HERE! The most exciting event of the year (no, I am not talking about the Nordstrom Anniversary sale), it’s the start of summer! While the weather takes its time to transition, I am pleased to present to you an alternative reason to keep wearing your eager smile: summer produce! This is perhaps one of the most generous seasons, offering a rainbow of fruits and vegetables exploding with honeyed and tart flavors.

(Are you hungry yet?)

Summer Produce

This is a rough prediction of when you can expect to see the following produce in season:

You may have noticed that cherries, currants, raspberries, and strawberries are already brightening up grocery bins. Next month (brace yourself) apples, apricots, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, figs, huckle/goose/logan/marionberries, nectarines, peaches, pears, and plums will be all be begging to be placed in your grocery bag. Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, onion, peas, tomato and zucchini will be irresistibly fresh beginning in July that even the “veggie-hater” surrenders. Corn, peppers and melons can be welcomed around the same time as the hydroplanes (August). Herbs also thrive this season, starting in June and extending through September, and include basil, cilantro, dill, fennel, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, and tarragon.

Summer Favorites:

Food matters

Cooking with kids is a great way to expose them to new flavors and cultures.  It teaches them math and science in a way that they don’t even realize.  It brings families closer and having family dinners has shown to reduce depression and drug use, and make for happier, healthier kids.

There is a wonderful not-so-new concept that is catching on like the latest cute cat video on YouTube. This experience is bringing communities together and helping families bond.

Community Kitchens.  

Once a week, multi-generational families from a community come together and cook with local foods from their Farmer’s Market to make wonderfully nutritious meals.  There are conversations over chopping carrots about the community, families, and cooking.  Then everyone sits down and has a fantastic meal together and have lively discussions about anything.  At then end, everyone cleans up, and takes home leftovers to freeze for easier and healthier meals during the week.

Parents just don’t have much time in the evening to prepare such time intensive dishes, after work and between homework, laundry, dishes, and bedtime.  Home Economics and Cooking classes have been cut from most school districts’ budgets, so where do our kids learn to prepare barley, or homemade apple pie?

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