Thursday, June 27, 2013

summer bounty

Homemade ketchup, just in time for 4th of July
My lemons
Summer is in full swing, and aside from working too much, I'm back to playing around with the incredible bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are available here during the sunny summer months.

Apricot and greek yogurt coffee cake
 The tons of fresh tomatoes sitting in crates on the terrace make great stars in homemade ketchup, which I made by following this recipe, but adding spices like cumin, coriander seed and turmeric.  The apricots from my neighbor were amazing in an apricot coffee cake from one of my favorite blogs, topped with a Greek yogurt and egg custard.  The fresh mint and lemon balm in the garden made a great iced tea with fresh ginger and thyme honey.  The chives, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary?  Chopped fine, mixed with local olive oil, lemon and Dijon mustard for an easy vinaigrette.

Just when I'd made a significant dent in the produce I'd acquired this week, a nice older man from the village stopped me in front of work.  
"Do you want two lemons from my garden? I just went and picked them."
No one can refuse that, and despite my refusals, he left me all the lemons he had just picked, leaving me with a future filled with limoncino.  It's my own fault, as I forgot that often when Italians say "two" of something, they really mean "some".  Like the first time a woman ordered due fragole after dinner, and I walked away, thinking that it was odd she was so specific.  I chopped up the two requested strawberries and brought them back to the table.  She looked at me and her tiny plate of dessert blankly and asked me what in the world I brought her.  I responded, confused, that she had asked for two strawberries.  Lesson learned, Christine.

Regardless, it's nice to have so much fresh produce at hand, even if it means spending a little more time every day planning on how to eat it all.  Thankfully, I've gotten over my fear of canning, and there are more experiments on the horizon.

mint lemon tea and herb vinaigrette

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes fresh local produce, your so lucky to have such an abundince advalable to you. Were just begining to get a varity here due to the fact that we have such a small growing season, so unless you have the large green house to start the early crop your stuck with the last frost date in late June and the early snow that can come in September.But still that does give us enoughf produce to supply us through the summer months and can for the winter months.Nothing like opening a can of green beans in march that came from your garden the September before.
    Enjoy all the fun and hard work in having to eat well and can for the months ahead.

    Grazie mille again for a great story!