August- It’s the last hurrah of summer and the sultry dog days of heat and humidity. It was 45 years ago this month that a wide-eyed seventeen year old camped out on Max Yasgur’s farm and experienced the spectacle that was Woodstock. Now I’m that white-haired “hippy at heart” trying to keep up with the twenty and thirty-somethings and still groovin’ on the magical mysteries of life!
This is the prime produce month when local organic beets, carrots, corn, cucumbers, peppers, squash, eggplants and tomatoes are at their peak, ready for the picking in Rob and James’ produce department. August is also a good month for local organic raspberries, high bush blueberries and the small, sweet, succulent wild blues from the blueberry barrens of Downeast Maine.
And let’s not forget the bounty of fresh organic basil- vibrant, green, aromatic basil! Partner it with fresh sliced organic tomatoes and Vermont’s Maplebrook Farm hand-pulled mozzarella for the ultimate Caprese salad. This tri-color triumvirate does the green, white and red of the Italian flag proud. Also by way of Italy is that amazing amalgam of fresh basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese: Pesto! - an emerald jewel in the crown of summer’s royalty. There are many, many pesto recipes out there to choose from. I’m partial to the Moosewood recipe from their first cook book. You can get it on line if you don’t have the book. For a vegan version, substitute Go Veggie Vegan Parmesan and Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread.
Frank’s Recent Favorites
Emoi (Ay-mwa) Imports- The Artichoke Spread and the Red Piquillo Pepper Spread are wonderful alone as dips for crackers, chips or pita bread and can be substituted for mayo on a sandwich or baguette. The Grilled Baby Artichokes are perfect for jazzing up a summer salad or slice them up for a secret ingredient in your fresh bruschetta recipe.
Meredith Dairy Marinated Feta- This Aussie import is the creamiest feta-style cheese you will ever experience. It just might be delicious enough to tempt a koala to trade in his eucalyptus leaves for a taste. The richness of the sheep’s milk perfectly balances the piquancy of the goat’s milk in this memorable cheese. The feta is then marinated in olive oil with herbs and spices for the perfect finishing touch. Save the remaining oil when the cheese is gone and drizzle it on a plate of fresh greens.
Hubert’s Lemon and Limeades- With their iconic smiley lemon faces winking from the bottle and six flavors to choose from, what better friend could you have on a steamy summer day? Joseph claims that the Cherry Limeade makes for a good margarita with the addition of fermented blue agave (tequila).
The View from the Tree House
Living Earth was the first natural/organic market in central Mass. and a pioneer in the organic foods landscape. We are still a family-owned independent business that has been serving the Worcester community since 1971. Our commitment to supporting local organic agriculture and promoting healthy lifestyles is stronger than ever. The Living Earth will continue to advocate for mandatory labeling laws regarding genetically engineered foods and strive to provide our customers with the finest foods, nutritional supplements and wellness products available. Like the tree in the Living Earth logo, our roots are deep, our trunk is strong and our branches reach for the sky.