Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"august, I'm on your side"

the song: "August" Rilo Kiley

Happy happy August!  This month, I’m going to try something different here at GNP. I’ve been lacking inspiration just a bit lately. It is hot and I’ve found myself skipping dinner or going out more often than cooking a big meal. I need to focus.

Fall is on the horizon, albeit not for another 3 months in Austin. My goal is to hang on to summer while we’ve got it. So this month, let’s focus on seasonal recipes. But I must first offer a disclaimer. I am no shining beacon of seasonal eating. I try my best to make it to the farmer's market, but quite honestly I am a little crazy about enjoy meal planning and organization. Any given week, chances are you'll find me doing our weekly shopping at HEB where I have a grocery list in hand organized by where items are located in the store (sheesh). 

Having said that, I do pay attention to the seasons. You won’t find me making peach salsa or corn and tomato pie in December. I try my best to eat in season, but it’s mostly because I’m cheap. $.64 for a pound of Texas grown peaches? $.86 for a pound of ripe juicy tomatoes? Free peppers and eggplant from my garden? Seasonal vegetables are one of the rare times when spending less means better tasting food. For me it's as simple as that.

I remember this time last year feeling a tinge of sadness in my heart at the thought of giving up squash and plump peppers. How will I ever adjust? I remember thinking. I love the food I’m making now so much. 

Summer harvest, June 2009

Similar thoughts ran through my mind in April as the weather started turning warmer and my leafy greens started to go to seed. How can I possibly cook without 4 types of greens at my disposal? I fretted. Dinner just won't be the same! 

 Snow covered greens, February 2010

And it's true. As I look back over my food journal (you can see the last month here), my dinners were very different last June than they were last November. My gardening set on Flickr shows the cycle of food. Squash to peppers to broccoli to lettuce and back again. But isn't that part of the beauty of paying attention to what you eat? Taking time to notice what is actually ripe rather than just grabbing the same vegetables week after week makes for more creative menus and daring recipes. Paying attention keeps me out of a cooking rut. 

This August, I'll be writing about summer food. A little homegrown, a little farmer's market, a little grocery store special. Things are gonna get fresh around here. Stay tuned.


P.S. If you're interested in seasonal eating, I highly recommend Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle about her family's year of eating locally. She writes so very eloquently about her food choices, going far beyond "it's cheaper and tastes better."

1 comment:

  1. Hey Emily!

    Ok - so - you totally read my mind with the sadness over winter squash / peppers!

    I cheated, and bought (an imported, sigh) butternut squash last week. And I plan to relish every bite.

    BUT I agree with you, that there is lots of beauty in paying attention to what you eat, and how the ground yields just what you need at certain times of the year. It's a type of earth wisdom we've completely forgotten about!

    Lovely little post, per usual.