Summer [ suhm-er ] is the season between spring and autumn. Just three short months in the Northern Hemisphere—June, July and August. If we're lucky, some of those Indian summer days languish into September.
Edible flowers harvested at the Case Western Reserve University Farm
Summer means longer days, more daylight and food that we look forward to all year and can be savored during those luxuriously warm days. Fresh peaches, berries, ice cream, corn, vine ripened tomatoes, basil, BBQ, s’mores and iced tea. Memories of sitting on the front porch of my childhood home after dinner until way after dark and wait for the lightning bugs to appear.
Our garden would be at its absolute best with tomatoes, collard greens, a pear tree and a Concord grape arbor tended lovingly by my parents. We frequented local neighborhood farms for corn and would drive to Elmont, NY to Gouz Farms for milk and ice cream. The Gouz Family had a farm with cows, goats and sheep and you could watch them bottle milk right before your eyes.
Today, I enjoy visiting farmers markets in Northeast Ohio--they are like a candy store to me. Flowers, piles of just picked fruits and vegetables, corn, locally made foods, cheese, maple syrup, honey and more. I enjoy talking with growers/producers as well as other customers It's my little staycation.
Local strawberries from Rittman Orchards in Doylestown, Ohio (about a 45 minute drive from Cleveland). It’s a little piece of Heaven on earth.
Street side farmers market in Philadelphia, PA.
To me, summer is a time to reducir la velocidad which means slow down. When the temperatures soar, and it’s hazy, hot and humid, I naturally move slower so I can actually feel the warmth radiating from the sun.
Luscious ripe strawberries from Rittman Orchard make the best granola parfait.
And while I no longer enjoy the carefree summers of a child, I take time to enjoy the bounties of nature that only summer brings like getting back on my bicycle, gardening, walking the shore communities along Lake Erie and gazing out on lake life, enjoying ice cream from a local stand, sitting on the deck until the sun goes down.
Favorite strawberry ice cream soda. THIS is what I look forward to all summer!
Spoon into a tall glass a generous tablespoon of crushed berries, a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream, more crushed berries. Fill glass slowly with club soda or your favorite soda (it’s called pop in the Midwest). Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a berry perched on the rim of the glass.
Here's a lovely recipe that calls for diced fresh strawberries courtesy of www.theviewfromgreatisland.com Strawberry Lemon Blondies
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Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food and lifestyle company.
Pat's Granola is sold online at www.patsgranola.com and is also available at several Northeast Ohio businesses including:
Troubadour Coffee Roasters www.troubadourcoffeeroasters.com
Sports and Spine Physical Therapy www.sportspine.com
Local Flavors Shoppe www.localflavors.net
Rittman Orchards and Farm Market www.rittmanorchards.com
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport www.clevelandairport.com
Locle Box www.loclebox.com
Made Cleveland www.madecleveland.com
Mister Brisket www.misterbrisket.com
Nature's Oasis Lakewood www.naturesoasis.com
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