Eating seasonally means you get the very best food when it is at its very best. It also means getting things at the best price as it is when they are most plentiful. Think asparagus in the Spring, corn in the Summer, apples in Autumn, and root vegetables in Winter.
Summer has kicked in, as the Market yesterday was just packed with shoppers–which is always lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves with all the variety of things offered there. Many, many of the flower vendors had sweet peas it was really quite a sight. They are such dainty, wispy blooms. Like most flowers, I prefer all of one color. Even when choosing one tone, the natural variation within that color adds visual interest. Sweet peas are so sweet, sorry but I had to type it, clustered in tight little bunches. The red-y pink-y ones reminded me of cutting into a perfectly ripe watermelon. Here are a few more to enjoy on this Sunday.
When the world hands you glorious beet greens, use them. Ted found wonderful beets at Island Meadow, one of our favorite organic farms out on the island. He made the beets for dinner but the greens came back with us to Seattle. Snip, snip and the greens were in a vase on the ottoman in town to be enjoyed this week. While amazing to sauté up, beet greens are incredibly visual. The ruby spine set against the green greens quite something.
Just in time for Summer grilling, aromatic rosemary & lavender savory salts. Simply sprinkle this salt on meats, fish or vegetables before baking or grilling for a quick and easy way to add flavor to a dish. The combo of lavender and rosemary sort of Summer in a bottle. Plus the bottle is cool too! I love these little Weck jars with the metal clips. Once you have used the salts up, the jars are the perfect vessel for whipping up a vinaigrette in–come to think of it, these savory salts would be pretty fabulous added to a vinaigrette to add a serious burst of flavor. And last but not least, these make one heck of a swell gift. Your host/hostess will be quite happy they invited you…
It is a busy social week at the Watson Sive household in town, so I wanted to have The Gainsborough looking snazzy with some flowers throughout. This is a funny time of the flower season, as we are at the end of the season for many and too early for others. My quick walk through the Market the other day left me not finding what I thought would be quite right. The grocery store would have to be my back-up plan. My heart about stopped for a quick moment when I started to come up dry there, as well. Until I rounded the corner and spotted the sweetest hydrangea in a plastic pot. Ten bucks, more than ten blooms, and I was on my way. This is where single stem containers come in so handy. Within a short amount of time, our place was flowered. All ready for guests to enjoy. Here are a few spots they landed.
Cheers to Summer and a little Summery rest for each and every one of us and a bit of cloud watching to all!
I find it so interesting why we grab for the same things over and over again when we are cooking. I guess it becomes comfort in familiarity. The other day I grabbed for something I have never used when it comes to cooking chicken, balsamic vinegar. Balsamic is something we like and cook with quite a bit, but I had never used it on chicken. Saturday morning was my initiation. We take the ferry over to Vashon in the evening, so we always have dinner in the car. Often times it means picking something up in the Market that day, or stopping and picking up quick take-out on the way to the ferry. But the thing we most like is when it is a home cooked meal. This is where the balsamic glazed chicken comes in.
We had boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the fridge so that is what I used but I think this would work really on any cut of chicken. Turn oven to 400 while you get the chicken ready. This really is so darn easy so don’t blink or you might miss it. Put chicken pieces in a baking dish. Pour extra virgin olive oil over the chicken to thoroughly coat. Sprinkle all with salt & pepper. Next liberally dose the whole lot with balsamic vinegar. Put in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then take out of the oven and turn the chicken pieces over, spooning the liquid in the dish over the chicken and return to the oven. Bake another 15 minutes and then check the internal temp of the meat until it reads 160. Times vary depending on the meat thickness. Cook until it gets to that temperature. Once there, take out of oven and cover dish with aluminum foil for 5 minutes. Done. Really could not be easier. Truly. The chicken gets this amazing caramelization on it and becomes so tasty. I sliced it and we had it over a big kale salad which had cherries and corn in it. A one bowl car meal enjoyed as the ferry took us to the island.
Say ‘Thank You’ often. Those 2 simple words uttered can make someone’s day. To the person who just made your coffee, to the person who just held the door open for you, to the person who asked you how your day way going. Saying it means you noticed. Saying it means you are acknowledging the thoughtful actions of another.
Ahhhhh, Summer. Officially here. As the years pass I think my awareness of the changing of the seasons has heightened. I think it is my way of trying to slow down how fast time seems to be traveling at times. By trying to be in tune with what produce/flowers/events are best in a given season, I really find it slows my pace down. I become much more aware. And I like that. A lot. Last night we arrived out on the island after a busy work day, but we were exhilarated by the sun and the fact we knew it was the first eve of Summer. Out came the umbrellas from storage. Out went the zinc topped dining table onto the deck. All signaling a new season is upon us. We look so forward to many meals in the coming months with friends in that very spot above. Hearing the water below, the boats passing by, and the symphony of birds the season brings. I hope you all find a special spot to grab some memories of this sunny season.
I am excited to report that I will be signing copies of Style & Simplicity tomorrow, Sunday, at the highly visual/highly beautiful DIG Nursery on Vashon Island, from noon to 3. Owned by our good friends Sylvia and Ross, DIG is one of the more artistic nursery I have had the pleasure to lay my eyes on. Plants are not just put out, but displayed–with tremendous thought & care. It is always such a treat when we need to go shopping for plants for WestWard to make a pilgrimage to DIG. So if you are looking for a Sunday adventure, hop on that ferry and come check out our beloved Vashon Island. The ‘Garden Tour’ is also happening, so lots to see on the flora front if so inclined. I know Sylvia is whipping up a specialty drink to serve at the book signing too, so do stop by if you find yourself in the area.
I promised I would not have book ‘stuff’ dominate the daily posts. So I thought I would share with you these 2 heavenly shots of peony I took the other day at the Market. The days are clicking away for peony season so I am savoring each and every one.