Make the Most of It

Summer produce eats up my farmers market funds like nothing else.

This time of year, there seems to be something newly in season at the market every week, and we end up bringing more and more home with us.

This Saturday’s haul included corn, nectarines, peaches, cherries, strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, snap peas, squash blossoms, avocados, radishes, lettuce, potatoes, fresh shallots, and English peas.

I still didn’t leave with everything that I’d wanted to buy. I skipped the raspberries, blueberries, apricots, and the late season fava beans.

Every week I assume we’ve overdone it, that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, but this time of year, we eat nearly everything we buy. We often end up back at the Ferry Building for the smaller Tuesday farmers market just to replenish our supplies.

Summer foods are just so wonderfully easy to eat. So much of what we get at the market is perfect just as it is — a ripe peach, a handful of cherries, a Persian cucumber, sugar snap peas. A snack is as simple as walking through the kitchen.

Meals feel particularly effortless this time of year, too, since most of what’s in season needs nothing more than a quick sautee. Our dinners lately are really just side dishes. We had stuffed squash blossoms for dinner one night, along with a bright salad of English peas, radishes and feta cheese. One night we made a fresh salsa and guacamole thinking it would be a snack, but it ended up as dinner, with a side of sauteed corn.

When the weather participates, we’re likely to skip cooking altogether. One warm night a week or two ago, we brought a loaf of Tartine’s bread and a tupperware of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella to Dolores Park.

I’m particularly appreciating the simplicity of summer this year, since our return from 2 weeks on vacation. It’s so easy to drop back into our daily routines and take on too much, but summer brings a reminder to do less, to spend less time cooking and more time outside, to bring a little taste of vacation into our daily lives.

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