Summer is obviously long gone. I mournfully packed up my summer clothes and replaced them with sweaters weeks ago, the temperatures last week made me consider getting out my long winter coat, and yesterday we got a decent amount of snow (!).
Despite having bid farewell to summer, there’s something from the summer that made me very happy and is making me happy still– namely, the fact that I made it to the market quite a bit this summer. The previous summer I didn’t go at all, as we spent half the summer traveling and the other half too exhausted to go out of our way to get seasonal produce from the market. That made me really sad. But this year I was a market-goer, which was facilitated by the fact that they opened a small marketplace right around the corner from us at the beginning of the summer. I could stop by there on my way home from work and grab whatever looked good. My first time there I impulsively bought green peas and raspberries at ridiculously low prices, not sure of what I would do with them. The next day my sister and her friend finished the camp they were attending here and came to spend the night at our place. I put them out on the table and those fresh, Estonian-grown peas and raspberries quickly became the best afternoon snack imaginable. I later got more raspberries, some of which are still in the freezer.
And remember these strawberries, from one of our first trips to the market this year? Beautiful!
I miss them!
I also got chanterelles from the market at a very good price (although the price dropped even lower later in the season). Chanterelles are called kukeseened in Estonian, which I love– it literally means rooster mushrooms! 🙂 Sounds a lot less fancy than “chanterelles”, doesn’t it? Kukeseenekaste, or chanterelle sauce, is an Estonian favorite. I made some with the fresh mushrooms, then cleaned and froze the other half of my haul to use later in the winter. I love freezing things. I’m thinking of making some kind of quiche or pie with them.
I’m so glad I rediscovered the wonder of the market this summer. Somehow it makes it a little easier to face the impending winter knowing that I filled up (and stocked my freezer) with as much fresh, beautiful local produce as the short season has to offer. As we head into the cold months of carrots, cabbage and potatoes, hopefully those delicious berries and fresh mushrooms will keep me feeling strong, warm and healthy until next summer comes along.