Enjoying the Local Summer Harvest

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Enjoying the Local Summer Harvest


This week, I came home from picking up my CSA share with an overflowing bag of veggies.

Chard, 3 kinds of zucchini, big beets and baby beets along with their greens, English snap peas, 2 heads of romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, spring mix, green onions, and garlic scapes poured out; making it undeniably clear that we have entered the peak of summer’s harvest.

To supplement my veggies, the day before I’d visited the Sunday Farmer’s Market and returned home with locally grown or produced: popcorn kernels, 3 kinds of mushrooms, cheese, apricots, and honey.

There I stood in the kitchen Monday night after picking up my share, my veggies overtaking the countertop.

Taking a deep breath, rolling up my sleeves, (a dramatic silent drumroll in the background) I triumphantly thought, “Let the games begin!!!”

I began grating fresh zucchini and after squeezing out the liquid formed it into patties with some freshly grated Parmesan.  I baked those and when they were lightly browned, topped them with sauteed garlic scapes, oyster mushrooms, chard, and beet greens.  Finally, I iced the whole thing with garbanzos I’d soaked the night before and put in my slow cooker with onions and garlic before leaving for work, so I could return to a fragrant home of ready to eat beans.

20 minutes later, I was sitting down to a delicious, just harvested meal.  Wow!!!  I must have gotten a whole day’s worth of vegetable servings into one meal!

I was virtually buzzing with Qi!

But what about those of you who would like to enjoy the summer’s harvest but just don’t know what to do with all that foreign stuff?

Or maybe you simply don’t think you have the time to put into preparing all that food?

Then come to this wonderful class, “Local Seasonal Summer Foods Cooking Class”, taught by chef Linda Hoffman of our local Come Back to the Table.  This class is being offered by Slow Food Cache La Poudre in conjunction with Linda Hoffman.  It is only $30, ($15 if you’re an official Slow Food USA member!) and is next Sunday, August 1, from 4-6 pm.

Reading over Linda’s website, you will see that she shares many of my philosophies towards eating, food, and finding realistic ways to fit healthful and enjoyable eating into our already full lives.

I will be there with apron and chef’s hat on (OK well, maybe just with an apron), and I hope to see you there!  Class size is limited so sign up soon if you’re interested!  (click on the links for the classes to reserve your spot.)


an excerpt from her website:

We ask so much of ourselves today! Women and men both have challenging jobs that require huge commitments of time and energy, but it doesn’t stop there. We have spousal and family relationships that require time, attention, and nurturing. We have hobbies and interests; homes that need decorating, landscaping, cleaning, and maintenance; we have children who require our loving presence, attention and guidance, not to mention chauffering! And we’re fueling all those demands on our energy with fast food, convenience foods, and take-out. It doesn’t work. We need real food, honest food, full of vitamins and minerals, and so do our families. I invite you to come back to the table, to savor the difference real food can make in your energy level and your sense of well-being. I invite you to learn simple food preparation, with fresh ingredients, seasonal cooking that anchors us, that lets us live in harmony with the rhythms of the Earth.

I believe there is a significant value to the hands-on learning process, that we learn best by “doing” as opposed to watching someone else do it. How can we know when the dough has risen enough if we don’t feel it, if we don’t experience it coming together? How do we know how much wine to add to the sauce if we aren’t right there to add it ourselves, then taste it immediately to see how it changes the flavor? And again, after the alcohol has burned off? Have we seared the tenderloin correctly? Did we sear it “enough?” We learn by doing, by checking our progress along the way, by receiving confirmation for our efforts, and by tasting and enjoying the final product. We need to have time to ask questions, to share our experiences with food, to get to know one another, and to feel free in the kitchen.