It’s been hot, muggy, and raining all week. Not just raining but actual epic downpours totaling over 20 inches. Rivers have flooded, homes have washed away, tornadoes have struck…but thankfully we are all dry, safe, and doing well. More storms are on the way, but whattya gonna do?
The farmers I talked to today have managed to withstand the adverse weather…although some who have waited to plant potatoes until after potato beetle threat had passed are now finding their fields are too wet to get into. I got our first Wisconsin strawberries today. They’re so different from California strawberries; they’re smaller, softer, juicier, and more flavorful. Asparagus is still going strong here and I was told we will probably have it through June. Our dairy’s cows are all grass-fed and now that they have access to an abundant supply of fresh, tender greens their milk is so sweet and yet it has a scent that reminds me of freshly mowed grass.
Rhubarb is still plentiful, spring onions and garlic scapes too. Gloriously large heads of lettuce fill my refrigerator…as a salad they need little more than a dribble of oil and a splash of vinegar. I’m odd enough to love lettuce leafs plains, as an afternoon snack.
Really that’s what spring and summer in Wisconsin is all about; taking the best of our locally grown foods and doing as little as possible to it in order to showcase it’s fresh, intrinsic flavor. It’s a great way to cook and think about food.
The shrimp pictured above aren’t local but they do make for a quick lunch. I dusted them with cardamom, allepo pepper, and sea salt and then threw them into a blazing hot, dry, skillet. I think they may have taken all of 2 minutes to cook. I wrapped some shrimp and a spear or two of asparagus in a lettuce leaf and gave it a shot of a piquant, new, locally made, hot sauce called Off Road Fire pepper sauce. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re a chili-head.
Over at What Geeks Eat… I’ve got a delicious creamy-cheesy-biscuit-fruit thing that also has a great technique for biscuit making. There’s also some fabulously succulent sausages from a fine Wisconsin sausage maker. I’ve even given bloggie a bit of a face-lift too.
But, before you head over there leave me a comment about what looks good in the markets where you live.