A few years ago, I moved to the Pacific Northwest, and it really opened up my eyes to eating things in season. One of my favorite things to do here is to hit up a farmers market during the weekend. Growing up as a kid in New York, I was very used to going to supermarkets and buying anything I wanted at any time. I think a lot of us are still used to that, especially those of us growing up in the inner cities. But summertime produce is a thing to behold if you're wandering the stands at the market; you can feel like you've stumbled on a gold mine.
In early June, the first strawberries start to arrive alongside their partner in crime, rhubarb. Late June and early July is when berries are everywhere you look (we even have them growing in bushes in the neighborhoods) as well as my favorite summer fruit of all time, peaches. When it comes to peaches, I'm like Bubba in "Forrest Gump": I put them in everything from syrups to compotes to jellies, even processing them whole and throwing them in a few Mason jars for later in the month.
Here are some of my favorite sweet summer recipes that harness the power of the season.
This is a great Southern classic for your summertime dessert rotation. I try to use fresh peaches when they are in season, but this would still be delicious with canned peaches. Throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top or even cold whipped cream to really bring this dish together.
Nothing goes together better than fruity strawberry simple syrup and homemade lemonade! When strawberries are in season, I highly suggest grabbing as many as you can and making this ultra-refreshing drink.
Cornbread is one of my favorite things to eat and, contrary to what you may think, it can also be a flavorful, simple dessert and a great vehicle to showcase the berries of summer, like amazing organic blueberries. This recipe is based on Southern cornbread, which is sweeter and more cake-like in texture, compared to Northern cornbread, which is drier and has more of a crumble.
If you like those summery recipes, you should also try these: