When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summertime, and the eating is good...

One of my many favourite things about summer is the huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that make healthy eating so enjoyable! I've gone a little produce crazy in recent years, and have found some exciting ways to get my hands on the good stuff easily.

We're fortunate to live close to a great local farmers' market, which I visit often. It always seems such a treat to trade in the mundane trek through the grocery store aisles for a sunny stroll through the bustling collection of stalls filled with colourful sights and delicious smells! Even my boys, who complain about shopping of any kind, can be seen dancing to the tunes of local buskers while munching on juicy fruit samples, and we all enjoy chatting with the farmers while we make our selections. My only problem is trying to lug armfuls of goodies home....

I've solved this in part by also ordering a weekly box of organic produce from a market co-op of local farmers. It's big excitement at our house every Thursday to open the bin and see what's inside, because the contents vary based on what is ready in the fields each week. Yesterday's offerings included the bounty you see here:

What I especially like about this arrangement, aside from the fact that everything tastes fantastic, is that it gets us eating vegetables that we might not have chosen otherwise. I've learned how to make salsa from tomatillos, to saute cauliflower with olive oil, fresh garlic and chives and a squeeze of lemon, and even to enjoy beets (gasp!) roasted with other hearty vegetables.

I decided last summer to get my hands dirty as well, and started up my own little veggie patch in our backyard. It's a very rewarding experience to watch the tiny seeds I planted sprout into food, and I love going out on fresh summer mornings to see what is ready for picking. I have garden expansion plans in the works for next summer to be able to reap more benefits from my latest hobby.

The question of what to make for dinner is easy to answer with a whole rainbow of vegetables and fruits as inspiration! It makes me wish (sometimes) that summer could last forever....

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