Simple Tastes of the Season

The more complicated and hectic my life becomes, the more I find myself trying to simplify everything.

As a full-time working mother of a two-year old, I find myself struggling to find the time to do just about anything.

Most days I’m like a duck on a pond: I may look calm on the surface, but below the surface my feet are kicking like crazy just to stay afloat.

Cooking has always been a passion of mine, but lately I don't have the time or the energy to invest in making complicated recipes with umpteen ingredients.

However, I refuse to sacrifice taste, quality or healthy options when it comes to meals.

I always associate each season with the produce available.

For instance, summer equals sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon, green beans, cucumbers, blackberries, yellow squash, zucchini, etc.

My mom always found the time to grow a beautiful garden, and some of my earliest and fondest summertime memories include blackberry picking with our family dog, making jam and cobbler, the smell of a vine-ripe tomato, and the taste of my Grandma’s green beans with potatoes and bacon.

The entire gardening process was so enjoyable, from the plowing of the field, to the planting of the seeds, even the seemingly endless wait until I could taste the fruits of our labor.

Although I did not have the time to grow my own garden this year, I did find the time to become a member of the

Elmwood Stock Farm Community Share Agriculture (CSA) program

. All produce is grown on a local 350-acre family farm in

Georgetown

,

Kentucky

, and delivered to a convenient pick-up location near our home.

For 22 weeks (from mid-May through mid-October) we get to enjoy fresh, local, organic produce, along with weekly newsletters, food preparation tips, recipes, crops news and other items of interest.

As my old friend Ina Garten would say, “How easy is that?”

In my opinion, nothing tastes more like summer than a vine-ripe tomato.

And, they are simply perfect just sliced and eaten by themselves.

Seriously, you probably don’t really need these recipes; rather, they are more of a reminder that you can enjoy the very best of the season in the simplest ways.

Tomato

Sandwich

with Bacon and Mayo

Two slices of bread, lightly toasted

Duke's mayonnaise

2 to 3 slices of bacon

2 to 3 slices vine-ripe tomato

Caprese Salad

3 vine-ripe tomatoes, ¼-inch thick slices

1 pound fresh mozzarella, ¼-inch thick slices (

Buffalo

mozzarella is a favorite)

Garlic salt lightly sprinkled on tomatoes

Fresh basil leaves

Extra-virgin olive oil drizzled on top

Balsamic vinegar drizzled on top

Fresh ground pepper

Buon Appetito!

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