Okay, so May is half way over but I wanted to start a new category called “What’s in Season” so I can share fruits and veggies that you should look for at your local market. These choices should also be on sale at larger stores. There are about 50 fruits and veggies in season in May but here are a few that have seasons that are just starting, ending or are short. For a complete list visit The Southland Farmers Market Association.
Season is almost over!
Dates (January-May): Dates are thought to have originated from lands around Iraq and are mainly produced in the middle east. They are usually enjoyed pitted and dried and are delicious stuffed with cheeses and wrapped in bacon. 🙂
Cherries (April-May): Cherries are great right out of the bag but they are awesome in pies, jams, cobblers and even brandied. Look for cherries that are firm and glossy with the stems still attached. For pies and jams use sour cherries. I love Rainier cherries which are yellow with a kiss of pinkish red.
Season is just starting!
Apricots (May-June): Apricots are a great fruit to pick your self. They make great jams and go well with pork (apricot chutney?).
Figs (May-August): The fig is originally from the middle east and is one of the first plants cultivated by humans. If you can find fresh figs look for slightly wrinkled (but still plump) figs that are not weeping or leaking. Fresh figs are great in salads with goat cheese, arugula, radicchio, prosciutto and green apples.
Pears (May-October): Pears are interesting because not everyone likes their texture. My husband thinks they are a sweet version of a potato and will go on and on about how much he hates them. I tend to like them but only very ripe bartlett pears. They also go very well with pork.
Plums (May-September): Plums have really pretty flowers and are great raw. They are also awesome in a cobbler with some ice cream on top! I have found a decent amount of information about making plumb gin (fill a bottle of gin 1/3 full of chopped plums, 6-8 oz plain sugar, fill to top with gin, let sit for 4 months agitating weekly). I will try this and report back. 🙂
My favorite spring flowers are daffodils, tulips and dahlia. Contrary to popular belief, Easter Lilies do not naturally bloom in spring. The bulbs need to be exposed to at least 40 weeks of “fake winter” and then bloom at a much higher temperature in a green house. If Easter Lilies were left to mother nature, they would bloom in mid summer.