Friday, August 18, 2017

Harvest Supper

            One of the best things about living in areas of abundant agriculture is the easy access to local fresh produce. Frequently we have meals that mainly focus on bountiful harvests. The other night was just one of those times and I thought I would share with you.

            What does an average, run-of-the-mill supper look like at a house where a Chef lives? Probably not much different than the ordinary household. Yes, there are many times that we pull out all the stops while we explore the wonderful world of the culinary arts, but there are just as many times where the dishes are very simple, balanced, and just as delicious... in their own way.

            Earlier this week we made a stop at Lepp Farm Market in Abbotsford BC to pick up our weekly supply of groceries and as always we were taken back by the ambiance of the experience. Cooking and eating is a celebration of all your senses, but your senses can start to be tantalized as early as the shopping process... if you let them. Grocery shopping is only a chore, if you make it a chore. The first thing I indulge in is the pleasant aromas. Pause from time to time. Take a few seconds to breathe in deeply and let your nasal passages rejoice. All encompassing farm markets are great for this because there are so many fresh smells to explore in a very small area compared to a major supermarket. Take in all the wonderful colours of the fresh produce carefully stacked and awaiting to be selected. If there are any samples being offered, try them. Markets like this, know what's good and are eager to share their knowledge and offerings with you. Many times a produce employee will also cut off a piece of fresh fruit for me to "try before I buy" - talk about customer service! Touch the produce. Take time to feel what you are buying. Give it a gentle squeeze, lift it to your nose and smell. You can start to sense the farmer's love that they have put into their crop. With a little change in focus, anything can become more enjoyable.

            No matter what you are eating, food is meant to be enjoyed and savoured. Take the time to embrace all your senses during the shopping, cooking and eating processes and you will be amazed at how much more gratification you will have. But I digress... our supper the night was over 75% fresh produce. Fresh Lepp corn with  succulent yellow beans, steamed nugget potatoes with fresh dill, and fresh mixed greens as a side salad. For protein on this particular evening we simply sautéed up some prawns in garlic butter. Talk about satisfying!

            If you don't already do so, switch up your regular routine and visit a farmer's market for your groceries. I know you will love it. Until next time... Happy Cooking!

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