When I lived in Houston I really wanted to be one of those ultra-cool people who only bought produce that was in season. I struggled mightily, though. For one thing, I wasn’t sure exactly how far afield I was allowed to go for “the season”. Texas? south of the Mason-Dixon? the northern hemisphere? Also, it was just so tempting to buy my favorite fruits and vegetables whenever I wanted them, because they always seemed to be mounded up in the vast produce sections of my cavernous grocery stores. I was weak.
But I am a better seasonal shopper now, because it’s much easier to shop seasonally here. The outdoor markets will offer produce from far afield, but it’s easier to resist it. For one thing, the country from which each food hails is printed on the sign with the price. It’s kind of hard to ignore that those pomegranates came from Israel when it’s staring you in the face. Also, as we all know, there just isn’t the infinite choice of products to which we Americans have become accustomed. And I have kind of enjoyed the challenge of looking for fruits and veggies from “the Hexagon” (as we people who live in France like to call it).
Today I went to the outdoor market with the specific goal of finding my first French asparagus and strawberries of the season. I scored, and also found some rhubarb and a few lovely apples. Voila-
Of course I haven’t resisted popping a few of those strawberries in my mouth, and they were definitely worth waiting for. Oh my.
The rhubarb has already been transformed into rhubarb compote, thanks to Melissa Clark’s video on the New York Times web site. I tasted a spoonful and it is delicious. I know- many of you are Rhubarb Skeptics, but that is probably because you have never tried doing anything with it. It’s really, really good. Really. Try it.
I haven’t yet decided the fate of the gorgeous asparagus. I think I want to sautee it with some of that awesome French butter. But I’m open to suggestions.
What are you making for dinner?
PS- I am whipping out my passport yet again. Tomorrow I fly to Washington DC for the culmination of my daughter’s gap year experience. Sunday she and my husband and I fly to Houston for a few days, Thursday my daughter and I drive to Memphis (husband gets to fly) for my son’s graduation from Rhodes College (woo hoo!), Monday we drive back to Houston, and Wednesday we fly to Paris. Are you tired yet? So if I am quiet for a while, that is why. Thank you for your cooperation. Good bye.