Cooking, Gardening

The foods of summer

To me, each season has its own type of food that makes it special. I think that summer foods are, by far, my favorite. I love a bowl of warm soup on a cold winter night, but the foods of summer are what I long for. Best of all are fresh foods straight from the garden. Living in a rural county I am lucky enough to be in a place rich in agriculture and farming heritage.
When my mom first put me in daycare in a nearby town at age 3 or 4, they had quite a time getting me to eat their food. I had never before had green beans that came from a commercial cannery. Oh no, I was used to the succulent beans that had been hand-picked and canned with great love by my grandmother and mother. To this day I don’t buy canned green beans from the store.
I have been lucky, all my life, to enjoy the most delectable fresh produce that my Uncle Tom and Uncle

Clip grew. Uncle Clip used to grow radishes just for me, because he knew how much I liked them. Uncle Tom would bring me the biggest, prettiest, pinkest German Johnson tomatoes you ever saw. One summer after traveling for a few days with my parents, I came home to find my bed full of the biggest tomatoes I ever saw. Uncle Tom had put them there as a surprise for me. I think they tasted like magic.

On Saturday mornings, Daddy would make homemade biscuits while Mamma fried up bacon or country ham. We’d slather a biscuit with butter and put a thick slice of German Johnson tomato on there. There’s really no other taste that can compare to a fresh homegrown tomato.
A few years ago I started my own little garden and have followed in the footsteps of my Mamma and Granny Jo in doing a little canning. I’m proud of my little garden, and the food that comes out, it just tastes so special to me. It tastes like summer.
If you don’t have a garden of your own or beloved uncles to shower you with fresh produce, I suggest checking out a local farmer’s market.
My tomatoes are coming along, but no fresh tomatoes yet, so I keep dreaming and enjoying other foods that taste like summer.
On Memorial Day, we had a few friends over for a little cookout and I made a corn and bean salsa that I think came across with great summer flavor. We roasted the corn on the cob on the grill for just a bit and then cut it off the cob. Into the salsa went a can of drained black beans, a can of Rotel (tomatoes and peppers) and olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. It’s a simple recipe you can whip up in a pinch. Using canned corned works just as well if you don’t have fresh. We served ours with chips and also ate some as a topping for our burgers.

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