It’s June and summer has arrived! It’s the start of pools open, grilling, and hitting the beach. It’s the time of pollen subsiding and farmers’ markets being a true rainbow of colors. I love the energy in the changing of the seasons. With all that has happened this past 15 months, this summer is a welcomed gift.
What are your personal or family traditions during the summer? An epic summer vacation? A good summer read? Family reunions? Grilling delicious summer meals? While you can’t go wrong with this time of the year, a reminder to wear your sunscreen, stay hydrated, do most of your errands and chores during the morning hours when it’s cooler, and make sure when walking pets, the cement isn’t hot where it injures their paws.
During the summer, there are produce that are truly at their peak….cherries, peaches, and summer squashes. Yay! I love cherries and relish the moment when they are available for us in the summertime. I found them at a supermarket for 89 cents a pound recently! Woohoo!
I thought I’d share some tips with these produce this summer.
Cherry season is short (boo hoo), so we have to enjoy them while we can. Look for the dark red, firm cherries with bright green stems. For an extra-special treat, be on the look out for the red-gold Rainier cherries. Cherries store well for a few days at room temperature. Put them in a dry colander for a little air circulation, and don’t rinse them until you’re ready to use them. Store them in the fridge in a colander if you want them to be good a few extra days. So many cherry recipes…black cherry iced tea, fresh cherry cobbler, cherry-spice oatmeal breakfast bread, bourbon-cherry BBQ sauce, vanilla frozen yogurt with fresh cherry swirl, cherry-peach sangria (that’s a two-for!)…so many ways to enjoy cherries.
I love the experience of biting into a peach. It’s so fresh with zest! Peaches should be mostly firm but have a slight give when gently squeezed. Stay away from green peaches and those with bruises, soft spots, or wrinkled skin. Store your peaches unwashed in your crisper drawer for up to five days. An intense perfume-like scent is a sign of a good peach. Some peach recipes…peach pie pancakes, arugula/peach/goat cheese salad, browned butter grilled peaches, peach-glazed chicken, peach salsa, peach pie milkshake, homemade peach jam…amongst so many yummy more.
I’m going to learn more about squash since I’m kind of a beginner to the squash family. I know of acorn squash and zucchini. But the fun is learning about all the others. Look for squash and zucchini that are firm with shiny, blemish-free skin, and have their stems attached. Store them unwashed in a plastic bag with some holes in your crisper drawer up to five days. Wash them just before use. And there’s no need to peel them. They can be eaten raw or cooked. Fun summer squash recipes…zoodle ramen (that’s zucchini noodles), squash casserole, summer-squash pizza, summer squash and zucchini soup, taco-stuffed summer squash boats, spicy squash refrigerator pickles…the deliciousness is endless.
Self Care Action Step.
Celebrate the start of summer with some fun and delicious recipes! Just do a Google search and you can find so many more. Don’t you just love the endless ways we can cook, barbecue, and create summertime meals, drinks, or desserts? It’s too much fun! Find your recipes, get your tools and equipment, start your summer fun!
So, what’s the gift of summer mean to you?
“Sweet, sweet burn of sun and summer wind, and you my friend, my new fun thing, my summer fling.”
~ K.D. Lang
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