I’m addicted. I absolutely love opening my freezer and seeing all the fresh local food waiting to be eaten when the growing season ends. My habits are changing. Granted my family has a long way to go in preservation of food if we want to go year round, but I think every year we will get better and have more food. So far, I have bags of blueberries, containers of raspberries, 1 sad and lonely, but cherished container of strawberry jam, lots of raspberry and blueberry jam, asparagus, squash, and fabulous steak cuts from Lasting Legacy farm.
One of my new habits, is every weekend I head over to Monahan’s Farm and pick fruit for about an hour right when they open. It’s been a really nice time spent with my almost 4 year old, Isabella, who has become a fairly proficient picker. I have also been joined by quite a few friends, and it’s a great time to catch up, especially for moms. We’ve commented on how relaxing it is; maybe it’s our hardwired foraging genes coming to surface.
A motivation for picking fruit, besides blueberry pancakes and the ability to eat raspberries by the handful, a typically expensive task from the grocery store, is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that does not contain corn syrup and is all locally made. For whatever reason, this sandwich is coveted by the under age 10 population and by parents for it’s easy serving. For the bread, I use either homemade bread or pick from one of the many locally made ones, a family favorite, is Mathew’s All Natural from Lowell, MA. It’s easy to get, even at the big grocery stores. The jam is homemade because it is soo easy to make and the most difficult ingredient to buy without breaking the bank or containing corn syrup or substituted other cheap fruit. The natural peanut butter is becoming more popular and easier to find. I have not researched thoroughly yet to find the most local version, but On the Vine has some, and even Shaw’s carries some jars from MA and New York.
So one result from my new healthy addiction is a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich I can feel good about serving. And my most vocal food critic in the house, Isabella, will eat the entire sandwich and ask for more. I think the Grandma bought t-shirt says it best, “I like my grapes in jelly.”
Photo caption from the top: my freezer with no bar codes, raspberry picking with friends at Monahan’s Farm, Chase Stuber blueberry picking, Isabella with McTague family blueberry picking