Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trek, Surf, Eat Local, Down the Jersey Shore

A favorite trek is walking to the beach, carrying nothing but a surfboard tucked under my arm.

The summer is in full bloom here along coastal New Jersey. The water is a balmy 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I have noticed if I am very quiet when I reach the water's edge, the ocean has a melody unique to each day. So I listen and wait until the music alights upon my ears. Two days ago, it was a jazz quintet. Today, a Bach chamber piece.

Another pleasure of the season is the farmer’s markets and their seasonal, local offerings. These are the folks and the practices that give New Jersey its Garden State rep. Asparagus season has passed but blueberries and corn are here for a few weeks. The chard, arugula, and beets are robust and vibrant. Peaches are just beginning to peak.

Another aspect of the farmers’ markets I enjoy is that they bring a lifestyle from France and Spain that I love: shopping locally and everyday for food without ever getting into a car.  There is such deep pleasure in walking to market and carrying food home. The car sits quietly in its parking spot and I see more of my neighborhood, my neighbors, and my market baskets overflow. I have sunflowers riding atop, ready to cheer my kitchen table and bring in another connection with France and Spain.

A favorite summer dinner with local fare:

Sautéed Swiss chard in olive oil, garlic, and chili pepper flakes and tossed it with angel hair pasta made with Jerusalem artichoke flour (it tastes fantastic, like artichokes and herbs).

Dessert: Simplicity rules. Rinsed blueberries in a pretty bowl, to pluck one by one or to pop greedily into your mouth by the handful.

Locating The Garden State’s Farmers’ Markets:

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