As I write this, it's sweltering outside, and the first hot, sticky day of the season means that we'll be saying goodbye to some of our cool-loving spring crops soon. When the growing season gets in full swing, it's a good idea to temper enthusiasm for the first harvest of new crops with a little reflection.
Ask yourself: Did you eat your fill of local STRAWBERRIES during this short season -- enough to last you all the way through to next May? Did you blanch and freeze a few pounds of ASPARAGUS to have around through the summer? Are you satisfied with the number of times you were able to crunch through a pint of SUGAR SNAP PEAS as though they were potato chips? These are all important late-spring questions to ask.
For me, making the most of late spring's bounty means making lots of RHUBARB recipes, like rhubarb-rosemary jam (which I plan to try as the sauce for some slow-cooked Country Time pork shoulder), roasting rhubarb (to use as a topping on oatmeal, and ice cream), and trying out a new-to-me savory recipe, like this couscous with asparagus, walnuts, and rhubarb. I put raw strawberries on just about everything that makes sense, like yogurt and s'mores, and try to do something with Taproot Farm's sugar snaps besides just eat them raw like candy - searing them, perhaps, or maybe something richer, like this pasta with prosciutto, peas, and cream. (I'm also hearing rumors about SHELLING PEAS and CUCUMBERS, but it might be a little too soon to speak definitively on those - more news next week.)
GARLIC SCAPES are finally up this week, ready for the grill, a zesty pesto, or standard garlic usage. Bunches of FRESH RED and WALLA WALLA ONIONS arrive this week from Landisdale Farm, and our beautiful hothouse PEACH TOMATOES from Sun Haven Farm are tiding us over until field tomatoes are ready. Taproot also brings us gorgeous PURPLE KOHLRABI, bunched with its edible leaves on, ready to add color to your healthy snacks, salads, and slaws.
In our cheese case, we welcome a new take on DRAGONFLY, Doe Run Farm's latest offering. What started out as a bloomy-rind round is now being shaped into a Bûcheron-style log - the change in shape makes for a better flavor in this creamy, spreadable, flavorful cheese.
Doe Run's cheesemakers, Matt Hettlinger and Sam Kennedy, are hard at work experimenting on new varieties. Read all about the farm and their cheesemaking operation in this news article, and check out Fair Food's Facebook album of pics we took when we visited the farm this spring. Baby goats and lambs galore!