Last year, when Jake and I started dating, we started a Sunday dinner tradition. The tradition involved finding a new recipe that we wanted to try, gathering ingredients, and putting the meal together with chaotic precision. The tradition has since expanded to include a new bread recipe, which I bake on Sunday afternoons, and fresh, local, in-season vegetables. Now, instead of planning our dinner around the recipe, I plan our meal around what ingredients are available in my garden and at the farmer’s market.
So, to celebrate the beginning of my summer vacation, we had Sunday dinner on my patio with several close friends. I started preparing dinner at about 1pm. The menu included: summer squash soup with salsa verde (featuring lots of fresh herbs from my garden, especially oregano), whole wheat crust pizzas with farmer’s market cherry tomatoes soaked in balsamic vinegar, fresh salad from the garden, and rhubarb crisp for dessert. I made rosemary focaccia with coarse salt from the Kneadlessly Simple bread cookbook. I also made a loaf of whole wheat bread to make sandwiches for our upcoming road trip to Montana on Wednesday. Overall, the dinner was pretty tasty and the company was delightful.
On another note, I pulled my first carrot from the ground (bucket, actually). I tried to grow carrots a few years ago with little success. As you can see by the picture, I did pretty well this time. The container gave them lots of root space to grow. Also, my sugar snap peas started to grow. We ate a bunch of them right off the vine after Sunday dinner. It couldn’t have ended in a better way.
Finally, now that I have time off, I’ve been plowing through the book I’ve been trying to read for months, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. Last night while I was reading, I came across a passage where Pollan talks about the “local food shopper” and it described what I have experienced exactly. He said,
The local food shopper will need to put some work into sourcing his food.And then he will have to become reacquainted with his kitchen… a successful local food economy implies not only a new kind of food producer, but a new kind of eater as well, one who regards finding, preparing, and preserving food as one of the pleasures of life rather than a chore.