Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Well the seasons are changing, leaves are falling and the local growing season comes to a close with the danger of the first frost. As I cleaned out my summer garden I was reminded of the wonderful tastes of garden fresh produce. The use of local produce enhances every dish we as chefs can produce. I can still remember the taste of fresh spring asparagus picked that morning. Vine ripened tomatoes in all their glory in the heat of the summer. Living in Connecticut means a shorter growing season than some parts of the country so the challenge is how to save and incorporate those farm fresh flavors in the dead of winter. Some ways to save that mid summer flavor are making jams and compotes from tree ripened fruits, canning vine ripened tomatoes, making pesto from the final run of basil and dehydrating herbs and fruits. Produce is available year round but we all know that after being shipped across the country (or even from another country) the flavor profile starts to break down. The saving of fruits and vegetables when they are at their peek and abundant is a great way to incorporate some farm fresh flavor when the snow begins to fly. Well the good news this time of the year is I just picked all of my pumpkins from the garden and it's time to get creative and start carving. Happy Halloween everyone!