Here comes Summer! I can smell the charcoal, hear the crickets, feel the sun on my skin. Harvested our garlic scapes last night and made a pesto with some mint that was like eating the color green. Living in a part of the world with distinct seasons makes you appreciate their individuality so much more. While our summer may not be very long or very hot (although it feels like it gets hotter every year), it is sweet. Perhaps even more so for its brevity. You savor those first strawberries because you know their season is brief. We have had a rainy spring, but the Marshall strawberries that we planted last year have borne the most delicious fruit.
The Marshall strawberry is an original New England berry that until recently was only found at one biological research station on the West Coast. The RAFT program listed it as one of 700 plant and animal foods at risk of extinction. That was until David Buchanan made it his mission to bring it back to the East Coast. We bought some plants from him last year and have been generously rewarded this year with aromatic, sweet berries which I will be making some ice cream with this weekend. Biodiversity is to be nurtured and celebrated. If you’ve got a garden, ask around to see what kinds of local or more unusual varieties you can grow. We can help take our agriculture back from the Monsantos of world, one garden at a time.
As Summer is upon us, the store is filling up with new books. Some new British titles arrived last Friday. A new one from Elisabeth Luard: A Cook’s Year in a Welsh Farmhouse. Cooking from her property in Wales, the well-respected British food writer charts her year in the garden. Back in stock after an absence is Peter Gilmore’s Quay. Gilmore is executive chef of Australia’s restaurant of the year for 2008/9. Irish vegetarian chef Denis Cotter has a new title: For the Love of Food: Vegetarian Recipes from the Heart. In the vein of Nigel Slater comes another new British journalist/chef, Lucas Hollweg with Good Things To Eat. And that’s just scratching the surface of the imports. We’ve also got all the great new American titles: The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat; The Food of Spain from Claudia Roden; a new edition of Escoffier; The Beekeeper’s Bible; Latin Grilling and more arriving every day. And for those who may not know it, Nigel Slater’s first volume of Tender is now available from an American publisher, so if you’ve been holding out, now’s the time to take the plunge.
We’ve also just purchased a huge collection of books on bees, so if beekeeping, honey, or anything bee-related is up your alley, come on in. We’ll have a good number of those books out by Friday.
Come in and say hello, we’ll be having a First Friday Summer launch event on July 1st. There are details below. We’re looking forward to seeing you.