We've been savoring summer by sampling the many flavors of Mom & Pop's Popsicles (available at Wheatsville and People's Pharmacy), dipping our toes in the Frio River, swimming at Deep Eddy and eating simple summer meals. Anything to stay cool.
I can't say I've spent as much time laboring in the kitchen lately, but who needs to when there is such amazing summer produce at the farmers' market and farms around Austin right now. Summer produce is so easy to put together with little to no prep or cooking time.
I'm a lazy summer gardener and have been depending on the hard work of local farmers to fill our plates. Don't forget them in this sometimes unbearable heat and visit a local farmers' market or look for local produce at your grocery store!
If you have a little more free time this summer, make a day or weekend trip to Fredericksburg to pick up some peaches or blackberries. It is worth the trip. Our favorite orchard stands happens to be Vogel Orchards and Marburger Orchards, but you should decide for yourself.
Did you know that there are several peach varieties? Look for freestone peaches in late summer with varieties such as Loring, Dixiland, Ruston Red, Redskin, O'Henry and Flameprince.
Be sure to check our Farmstress Maggie's post, Consider the Peach, on how to choose the perfect peach, peach storing guidelines and great peach recipes.
Have a peach (or tomato) tasting party and let your guests decide! Tomatoes are starting to fade so get them while you still can!
Here's a few ways to make the most of the summer abundance....and to add cooling foods to your body during the heat.
Fennel & Cherry Tomato Tart from Russell James, Raw Food Chef
Watermelon, Mint and Honey Popsicles from Honey Dumplings
Tomatillo Gazpacho with Pickled Cactus from Creative Loafing
Pickled Farmstand-Tomatoes with Jalepeños
Water with Sliced Local Cucumbers (simple and refreshing!)
Pick up a local juicing box from JBG Organic for $25
Open-faced Goodseed Burger with Dai Due Pickles and Mustard, Sliced Local Tomatoes and serve with Dr. Blueberry Organic Blueberries (from North Texas and available at Central Market)
And a final note....would someone local please make some dandelion and chicory root coffee substitute? (I know Johnson's Backyard Garden is growing dandelion...hint. hint.) Dandy Blend is my afternoon treat that is so much like iced coffee without the caffeine and even easier to make. I buy mine from People's Pharmacy. To make put 2 TBSP of Dandy Blend in a mason jar with some cold water, ice and almond milk, honey simple syrup and shake the jar until combined.