Owing to a late spring and an even later start with the garden, we just got our first tomatoes today. I'm telling you, I bit into one and thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
If you ask me, the only reason even to have summer is so you can eat fresh, warm-from-the-garden, home-grown tomatoes. Without growing your own tomatoes you're just getting hot and sweaty for nothing.
This morning Mike and I went to an Amish grocery store we'd heard about. They have spices in large quantities for really good prices, so I stocked up on a few things I was out of -- celery seed, turmeric, paprika -- and bought a quarter pound of parsley, because you can never have too much parsley.
I also bought, for the first time ever, a tub of lard. I used it to cook our salmon patties for supper tonight and they turned out well. I'm glad to have another fat to add to my inventory. I've read that animal fats are the best for frying in since they can take the heat.
We're raising ducks for the first time and several of them have turned out to be males, so we should have plenty of duck fat this winter. Sally Fallon says duck fat is the best thing in the world to cook potatoes in.
My two oldest are in town tonight and they're going to go by the big grocery store while they're there to see if they can buy some things that I'm not able to get in the stores in our rural county: cream of coconut, macadamia nuts, instant espresso powder, plus a couple of other things. Tomorrow I'm going to make either Mystie's Intense Coffee Ice Cream or Coconut Macadamia Ice Cream for our Sunday treat, depending on which ingredients they're able to find. We bought the cream this morning from the man who butchered our pig a few years ago.
While we were in Amish country we also bought a gallon of milk from pastured cows from a man we get milk from when our goats aren't producing enough, or when I want cow milk. (We would have bought the cream from him too, but he was out, and sent us to the butcher.) I'm going to try making yogurt with it because I don't like the way our goat-milk yogurt turns out.
My sous chef and I have been in a food rut for the last year -- kind of bored with everything, not interested in coming up with meal plans, wondering why we have to eat every day anyway, let alone three times every day. Today, I'm loving food again.
I like it better this way. :-)