The Start of the Markt Season

This past weekend was full of blissful peace and quiet in Lyme Connecticut. I took refuge under a big yellow umbrella for the better half of the weekend, where I delightedly finished my book (A Crowded Marriage by Catherine Alliott, another witty, British novel, my favorite kind of late). I let my mind wander as I looked out across the wooden fence into the pastures, where the horses grazed and tall grasses swayed hypnotically side to side.

But I didn’t go up there for the sole purpose of shameful laziness: I love to visit the various farm stands and nurseries throughout the season. With each week comes new seasonal food, new fragrances, new sightings, new flavors. I learned that this is the best time of year to eat fresh romaine as it is at its peak in mid-June. It often lasts longer this time of year, and we bought enough to dine on romaine for breakfast, lunch, and supper for the rest of the week.

If you have been following my blog this season, you are aware of my obsession with basil and all things pesto. We were sure to plant more, and before every meal I popped round the kitchen to our herb garden and plucked fresh, sharply fragrant basil leaves. I scooped up bundles in my hand, careful not to crush the leaves, and I surely left trails of green petals behind me wherever I went. With my hard boiled eggs, avocado, and tomatoes on a piece of grain toast, in our salad, in our summer garden pasta, scattered on the fish… in my eyes, basil can do no wrong.

It’s also the season for fresh Connecticut strawberries: small red misshapen fruits found in a green, wooden container with hardly any leafs. They are a burst of juicy, strawberry flavor. The young man at the fruit stand advised against cleaning them all at once. He suggested rinsing them as you use them, and leaving the remainder in the container. Their shelf life is only a couple of days, but I eat them like pistachios. I can never have too many, and by day two the container is all gone anyways. Zucchini, squash, snap peas, watermelon, cucumber… my mouth is already watering for the peaches. Patience, Annalee, patience…

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