Summer Bounty

What is more perfect than wearing a cute madras skirt to the farmers’ market and getting an ice cream? Not much. I am low-maintenance that way.Photo by Rachel Brown 2010 For the record it was the low-fat chocolate almond in a sugar cone.

For some reason putting dinners together this time of year is easier. Maybe it is all of that fresh produce that inspires me to take a chance and find a new recipe. Maybe I am looking for no-cook/light-cook options because I am lazy and I can get away with it…grin.

So, in the summer, I get most of our produce from the Newton Farmers’ Market – the City of Newton even has a movie about it here.  I love everything about the farmers’ market – the great produce, that I am supporting local farmers and connecting with the community (it seems like everyone goes there – really, so much so that our local politicians do pre-election stake-outs for maximum number of happy exchanges with voters).  I have lived in these ‘burbs for about 18 years (man, I must be OLD) and a few years ago I found Bob’s Turkey Farm. Our favorite non-cook weeknight dinner includes: Bob’s turkey salad, fresh bread and a salad of tomatoes, cucumber, sweet peppers and carrots and, if I can stand the heat, corn on the cob (so, almost no-cook). If the A/C is cranking and I have an hour before dinner the pot pies are yummy (and contain no veggies – perfect for those picky eaters).  Other faves:  The fish market is mobbed by the time the bell goes off at 1:00 p.m. (announcing the market’s opening) and you have to get there early or you will miss out. Same for the turkey salad (and evidently the turkey patties which were sold out by 2:00). There is even a video of the market here. If you really don’t feel like cooking there is another great alternative,  Healthy Habits Kitchen,  I wrote about them here – a great local company that helps you serve a healthy dinner by assembling it for you – nice, right?

Love the summer lettuce and fresh basil from New Field Farm, great goat cheese from Crystal Brook Farm,  homemade dog treats, and tomatoes. The peach stand (Nicewicz Family Farm) is a weekly stop as is the ice cream truck – especially if I have children in tow. Luckily my ability to use up all of this produce has been helped by something that was sent to me …Clearly Fresh bags as a sample.  I do buy (and throw out when it goes bad before we can eat it all) a lot of produce. I was not convinced that a bag would make a difference, so being all science-y the way I am, I put some produce in bags and some I left in no bags (sure, if I were truly science-y I would also have employed other bags but this is what I did. Bananas, peaches, lettuce were my test subjects and, truly, the bags really do work. Good, that gives me more time to figure out what to do with a ton of kale and chard from the farm share.* I will definitely buy these – a super way to extend the bounty. Click on the Amazon link below and you can get some of these bags for your own.

*We also share a share with another family from Newton Community Farm (every other week we get to go to the farm and pick up our share). Love going to the farm and last year one of my daughters took a series of wonderful photos for a camp class in digital photography.

What else do I do with this summer bounty? I went to favorite food blog Smitten Kitchen and this is my choice –
arugula, potato and green bean salad (adapted from Martha Stewart). It is a gorgeous salad with a minimal cooking requirement – just the way I like it.

 

I received a sample of Clearly Fresh bagsfor review.

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