Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July Veggies and Recipes

Honeybee on Serrated Red Poppy
Bee Friend Helping Make Poppyseed

'Tis Now the Youth of Your Summer

In living and eating by the seasons we appreciate the wealth and gifts of every month, but there’s no denying that July is extra-abundant in the northern hemisphere. Long days with plenty of sunlight inspire us to be outside more, and warm temperatures encourage relaxation and enjoyment of outdoor meals with friends and family. The bounty of fruits and vegetables in our gardens and on local farms make it easy to eat local foods, create new recipes, and share food with others. 

Culinary Poppyseed Seed Pods
Future Poppyseed Cakes
We’re already enjoying peak season strawberries and late blueberries, and blackberries and raspberries are starting to show up everywhere too. The last of the cherries are tasting extra sweet. Basil and other herbs burst out with new growth and squashes multiply. Gardeners are watching their green tomatoes in anticipation of ripening, and we hope that pepper and eggplant will also be ripe by the end of the month. Perhaps you're lucky enough to live in an area where corn grows readily. If so, you can expect to taste some by the end of the month. Here on the central CA coast, we might have to wait a bit longer. 

Red Lily Bequeathed to us by Deceased Friend
Friend Joy is Gone Yet Her Flowers Live On
It’s ironic that this wealth of veggies and fruits comes at a time when many of us decide to take a well-deserved break, a bit of vacation. We foodies must find a balance between our desire to create deliciousness with so many ripe ingredients, our desire to preserve the bounty for leaner months, and our need to relax and enjoy summer. Thank heavens for barbecue grills, which can make the simplest foods seem more interesting. And of course the more motivated among us can use the pre-barbecued veggies and meats to create new and exotic dishes. Spontaneous salads and dressings seem easy to create now.

Enjoy your bountiful harvest this month. And remember to take a break once in awhile to simply enjoy your day as it is in the seasonal cycle. Have a wonderful month and please comment if you have any ideas for July menus.

Bright Yellow Calendula Flowers
Edible Flower of the Month: Calendula

July Veggies and Fruits:
For Recipes, click links

Sweet Peppers (if weather holds)
Hot Peppers (if weather holds)
Tomatoes (if weather holds)
Italian herbs

Cluster of Apricots on My Tree
Apricots Getting Larger Every Day

Favorite and New July Recipes

Berries in Light Honey Sauce (most popular recipe ever on this blog)
Brandied Cherries

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