Tag Archives: Seasons

Cooking with the seasons – Summer*

Summer BerriesSummer is, of course, the best and easiest season in which to source fresh, locally grown produce.  However while supermarket shelves are heaving under the weight of fresh fruit and vegetables at this time of year, you need to be aware that many are still sourced from way beyond your direct area.  It’s quite possible that there are smaller, local producers selling many of the same products fresh from the fields and this is why I’m a fan of farm shops.  Seek them out and you will often be rewarded with the best fruit and veg money can buy and the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting traders in your own community.  

It may be that supermarket shopping is easier for you and that buying locally produced goods is less of a priority.  Whatever the case, Summertime gives us an enormous variety of fruit, veg, fish and meat which is at its best at this time of year.

SUMMER

Seasonal Vegetables

Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn-on-the-cob, Courgettes (Zucchini), Fennel, Green beans, Green peas, Herbs (Basil, Chives, Dill, Fenugreek, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme), Jersey New Potatoes, Kiwi Fruit, Marrow (Squash), New Potatoes, Peppers, Rhadishes, Rocket, Runner beans, Salad ingredients, Sorrel, Spring Onions, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress

Seasonal Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blueberries,   Cherries, Gooseberries, Elderflowers, Loganberries, Melons, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Redcurrents, Red water melon, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Tayberries,

Seasonal Meat & Game

Lamb, Wood Pigeon

Seasonal Fish

Cod, Clams, Crab, Dover Sole, Grey mullet, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Lobster, Mackerel, Pike, Pilchards (Sardines), Plaice, Prawns, Salmon, Sardines, Scottish Squid, Sea Bass, Sea Trout, Trout

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*(Seasons and availability of produce obviously varies from country to country depending on geographical location.   This list is primarily based around location in the UK & western Europe).

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Midsummer's Day: a conundrum

AliceWhite_01Hey, here’s a question for you:  Why, in the northern hemisphere, do we call 21st June ‘Midsummer’s Day’ when 21st June actually marks ‘the start of Summer’?  Aha…

Did you know that in meteororololololgical terms Spring begins on 1st March, Summer on 1st June, Autumn – 1st September and Winter – 1st December?  Those dates make more sense to me in terms of what the weather is actually doing, certainly where I live, and in my own mind this is closer to how I think of the year. (That still doesn’t make ‘Midsummer’s‘ day on 21st June mind you).  Confusing, innit?

Well, just who went and confused things by willy nilly declaring the start of the seasons as the 21st of March, June, September and December?  I bet it was those pesky Christians (no hate mail please – to all intents and purposes I’m one of them …which doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m currently a fully paid-up member of the club).   If you know the answer, do tell.

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Happy Fathers’ Day to all the Dads out there.  If you haven’t already, check out the videos I posted yesterday:  A funny (and wincingly painful) clip from the brilliant Paul Merton’s trip to India, and maybe my favourite ad of all time (well…so far), the Guinness surfers and white horses ad.

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Cooking with the seasons – Spring*

salad-bowl1To cook the best food you need to use the best ingredients, but this needn’t involve huge expense if you buy with the seasons.  Local produce is obviously the freshest and most cost effective but even food that has to be imported from elsewhere follows seasons when it is at its best, is more readily available and therefore cheaper. 

SPRING

Seasonal Vegetables 

Asparagus, Avocado pears, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Butter beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Chicory, Chives, Courgettes, Leeks, Mint, Mushrooms, New potatoes, Parsley, Peas (beginning in May), Peppers, Purple sprouting broccoli, Radishes,  Salads, Spinach, Spring greens, Turnips, Watercress

Seasonal Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Gooseberries, Grapefruit, Grapes,Pears, Pineapples, Rhubarb

Seasonal Meat

Hare, Rabbit, Lamb

Seasonal Fish

Cockles, Crab, Lobster, Mackerel, Mussels, Oysters, Pollack, Salmon, Sardines, Sea Trout

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*(Seasons and availability of produce obviously varies from country to country depending on geographical location.   This list is primarily based around location in the UK & western Europe).

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Cooking with the Seasons – Autumn

We’re so used to buying food at the supermarket, where everything is available all year round, that we’ve lost touch with knowing what is ‘in season’.  At this time of year, look for the following:

Seasonal Vegetables – Beetroot, Cabbage, Carrots, Califlower (surprisingly, these are often at their best after a frost), Celery, Courgettes, Kale, Leeks, Marrow, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pumpkin, Runner Beans, Spinach, Swede, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Watercress

Seasonal Fruits – Apples, Blackberries, Blueberries, Damsons, Dates, Elderberries, Figs, Grapes, Greengages, Peaches, Pears, Plums

Seasonal Fish, Meat and Game – Mussels, Sprats, Oysters, Whiting; Rabbit, Grouse, Guinea Fowl & Partridge

Depending upon where you live a good deal of the above will be locally produced and therefore at its fresh best and very reasonably priced.

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