Fleur de lys Bracelet Cuff
Bracelet: Handmade from shrink plastic, leather cord and sterling silver chain.
Bike Chain pendant
The pendant is made from a purple square glass bead and a recycled bike chain which has been thoroughly cleaned and sprayed with a protective coating to help keep it from rusting.
Messenger Bag Black White Adjustable Strap Intricate Weave
Messenger bag in Black White with adjustable strap & intricate weave.This is a medium size messenger made in Black & White woven home decor fabric.It has plenty of room for carrying your daily needs with 3 pockets. It’s long adjustable strap enables you to wear the bag across your… details »
While other months may be able to stake claim to being most bountiful October is probably one of the most interesting months during which to eat local. Many places, even in the cold northern regions, still have the tail-end of summer harvests trickling in as the short-season, cool-weather crops we saw at the beginning of spring make their reemergence and the long-season, fall-specific crops make their debut. It makes for a combination of flavors and textures that cannot be accomplished during any other time of year; meals based on cool weather staples — many green and leafy — spiked with the fading flavors of summer and complimented by the hearty, warming hints of autumn and the impending winter.
As you venture to your local farmer’s market and on-farm stands this month take both plenty of reusable produce bags — small, lightweight — and larger, heavy duty reusable sacks to cart back your finds; they’ll range from tender baby spinach leaves to heavy, heirloom squashes. Here’s a short list of what you should be on the lookout for:
Winter Squashes & Pumpkins
- Pie Pumpkins
- Cinderella Pumpkins – like that pictured above, actually a scrumptious variety of squash.
As a bonus, hard-skinned squashes and pumpkins store well under even adverse conditions, making them prime candidates for edible decor. Stack a few of your favorite small varieties atop a cake stand for a center piece, allow larger varieties to adorn front walkways and porch steps until they make their way to the dinner table.
Late Summer’s Leftovers
- Peppers – hot, sweet, mild and bell.
- Beans – bush and pole
- Summer Squashes
Of course I would be remiss to leave out the star of last week’s column, apples, like those pictured above. And, since I couldn’t possibly include every in-season item in any one column, do be sure to check out previous installments of What’s In Season Now for more ideas.
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All Produce featured in this week’s column was photographed by the author and sourced from local, Michigan farms. To find farms and farmer’s markets near you check out Local Harvest.
A couple of weeks ago I planted a bed of peas. It was pushing the season, to say the least, but I did it anyway. And less than 48 hours later I awoke to a house without power and a yard and garden covered in no less than two inches of slush and snow and ice. Mostly ice. It’s a good thing peas don’t mind a freeze or ten.
Mother Nature is a finicky lass and though April first seems to be the unofficial start to spring in this part of the world there’s no guarantee she won’t pummel us again.
Yet, I remain optimistic. The sun is shining more days than not and the earliest spring plants have been seen shooting up from the cold, brown ground. The grass is beginning to green and I know sooner or later the growing season simply has to make an appearance again.
In the meantime we continue to dine on whatever is left of what we put by last season, taking careful stock of what exactly is left with every new jar we open. There’s not much. And we dream, of fresh picked, newly harvested. Of another season of preserving because it’s those last jars that truly get us by when fresh, local food is so close to being available we can taste it.
And while we’re dreaming and waiting we are a bit envious. Okay, more than a bit envious, because in other parts of the world — parts not even very far from our own little corner — there is fresh food in abundance already. If you’re in one of those parts here’s what you should be looking for at the market:
- Greens — Spinach and lettuce and kale and chard galore!
- Radishes — Spice things up by looking for colors other than the traditional reds and pinks. Chinese Green Luobo, for instance, are a bright green variety.
- Brassicas — Broccoli, Cabbages and Cauliflowers make great side dishes and also lend themselves well to center stage, making a hearty late spring meal when roasted or sauteed in a little oil and garlic.
- Asparagus — Look for thin, tender shoots.
- Rhubarb — Great raw, cooked, in pies and even makes a lovely jam.
- Herbs — Chives are some of the first herbs to pop up in spring gardens. Look for Parsley, Chervil and even Sage and Thyme to follow shortly thereafter.
- Peas — Both pod and sugar-snap are hardy and among the first producers of the season.
- Onions — Especially green, but also be on the lookout for bunching and short day varieties in the south.
Of course, there are always preserves and storable produce — apples, potatoes, winter squashes and the like — to lend flavor and variety to the menu. And those items that are ‘on the hoof’ — meats and dairy products — never go out of season. Pair some with a side or two of the above in-season veggies and a baguette from your local baker and you’ll have a meal worth sitting down and thoroughly enjoying!
Until next month, Happy Shopping!
I know it’s still January, but have you put any thought into the Valentines your child will be exchanging at school this year? While it’s fun to get all glittery and gooey, it’s not technically necessary to get your hands dirty anymore. You can go the VIP route and order up some of these super cool valentines, from Peas and Thank Yous customized for your child, in time for Valentines day. Just be sure to get your order in soon!
I like that there are both boy and girl versions of these Rocker/Princess Ticket style valentines and that the design is so funky and fresh. It’s easy to go kitsch with Valentines and these are a graphic and surprising twist (but still sweet!).
Check out all the awesome paper goodness in Peas and Thank You’s Etsy Shop.