Spring and summer mean a return to eating a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies. Farmers’ markets will stop looking like a wasteland. (I mean, I like root veggies and the cabbage family as much as anyone, but variety is nice.)
Simple greens like spinach and lettuces will come in first, followed by peas and berries and new potatoes. As we move into the summer, there will be corn and summer squashes and stone fruits and tomatoes and cucumbers. So many good things to each and cook.
If you don’t garden (no shame – I don’t garden either), now is a great time to get in the habit of visiting a local farmers’ market. There’s just no substitute for fresh-picked produce. It tastes so much better than food that was picked too early and shipped cross-country.
If you plan to do any canning this summer, it’s not too early to start planning. While your canning recipes will likely depend on the produce that you can find. But you can check your canning jars and other equipment – making sure that everything is in good repair. You’ll also want to make sure that you have enough canning lids (which can’t be reused) and canning rims (which can be reused). When canning season is at its height, those supplies can be hard to find. If you have the storage space, you might want to pick up big jugs of vinegar, pickling salt, citric acid, and pectin (if you’re going to make jam). You need to make sure that all of your supplies are in place before you buy the fruits and veggies. It would be a waste to lose food to spoilage because you didn’t have jars.
I’m looking forward to canning this summer. I’m hoping to make both dill and sweet pickles, hot and sweet giardineria, and blueberry butter. Any other canning will depend on what looks good at the market!