Summer bounty in the house

Its always fun to sit with my chefs young and old alike and develop new menu changes. The more experienced can help the newer ones to form complete ideas and the younger ones always have some fresh ideas even if it’s only a part of a dish or an ingredient that they wanted to try working with. Summer is here and this season seems to I fluency everyone’s menu ideas than any other season. Granted our winter seems to produce ingredients that we generally have more of an attraction to cooking but here summer with its heat and humidity turns out to be the season that has the largest impact on the thoughts of the people in the kitchen. As they say , it’s damn hot in here”. Lighter style dishes and using the bounty of the season opens new ideas and areas in the mind that have shut down for 6 months. We got Creole tomatoes, okra, green beans, zuccinni, many types of squash, carrots and eggplants. But and thus is a big but by August the heat shuts down most crops and we start scrambling again. Ah well that’s the plight of the chefs who try to cook seasonally and locally. So while the veg and fruits are pouring in daily we get to work preserving in jars or pickling or drying( though this last method is tough in our wet environment, think drying berries underwater. Soon you’ll see hundreds of jars on our shelves again with peaches and blueberry Barbeque sauces, pickles both familiar and puzzling, jams jellies butters juices syrups mustards and any other type of condiments you can think of. Menu changes next week 6/23 and summer is in the house. I love it and can’t wait to get at it teaching old techniques and even learning new ones. Makes it so much easier when you have a glorious bounty to work with.  

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