Summer Fare

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“To every thing, there is a season”.  And that definitely includes the world of cuisine.

As we enter the first true week of summer, i.e. July 1st, the weather here in the eastern part of the U.S.  has fallen into line, so to speak….Temperatures in the northeastern part of the USA will reach the mid-80’s (F) and stay there for at least a week; even go higher-into the 90’s by weeks end.  For me , hot weather changes my eating and cooking desires.  A time for much fruit and salad;and  an abandonment of “rich” meats, roasts, traditional sauces;  and a reduction to 2 regular meals a day;  a memory of my early years growing up on Long Island.  I look back now and see how lucky we were to be able to put together a lunch bag for the day, head to my little fishing boat–(only 17′ long) and go out on the bay to dig clams with our feet; or spear eels while snorkeling; or at the end of August, go crabbing for blue-claws with our bait rings made of wire hangers, loaded up with chicken necks.  We invariably came home at sunset with as many crabs or clams as we could handle.   This made my seafood loving father very pleased .!  Today, I pretty much have to go to one of the local markets in the area, pay a “pretty penny” for this same lot and be resigned that those early days are long gone as well as the cornucopia of the bountiful bays of my childhood.

I was fortunate to have a mother who not only loved to cook, but was really good at it as well.   And she knew how to prepare meals “for the seasons”…In a family with 5 children this was no easy task.  And I have memories of never feeling a lack of good and healthy foods.   The old adage of “Eat your vegetables”  truly existed in my household.  And we did. I think it was this early “training” that today makes me appreciate great salads, vegetables of all kinds and summer fruits–whether in drinks, served with ice cream or sorbets or at any time throughout the day.

Remember to keep it simple; keep it small; and shop at local outdoor markets as often as possible.

Enjoy all that summertime offers.

To your health,

Jim