Summer is only halfway over and yet I am already seeing ads for school supplies. I lamented that fact to a friend and it got us talking about the relative simplicity of times when all we had to worry about was new classmates and teachers, purchasing Trapper Keepers and writing essays about what we did on our summer vacation. It’s a shame because it hasn’t been until recent years that my summer’s have been worth writing about.
This summer, in addition to a few vacations and long weekends, I have tried to take some trips right in my own kitchen. You see, earlier this year, our local grocer made a concerted effort to rotate in small amounts of “exotic” produce that are typically not found in upstate PA. Because of this, I decided that each week I would purchase whatever was new and figure out something to do with it.
There seems to be little rhyme or reason to how each week’s produce is chosen and so my results have been hit or miss. At different times I have been greeted by tamarind with its beautiful brown pod and fleshy fruit, pungent salsify, dragon fruit and the kiwano melon (which looks like it is straight out of a 1970’s Star Trek movie). One of the more successful attempts I have had with this rotating produce experiment was when I walked in to find dozens of waxy, starchy pieces of yucca root piled high. While I had never worked with it before, my produce guy Brett said that it was similar to a potato and could be prepared as such.