The Food Series: Signs of Summer

Berries have to be one of my favorite things about summer. I start dreading the onset of heat and humidity every year just as spring starts to wind down. When the hydrangeas and crepe myrtles start to bloom, I know the hot, humid weather is here to stay. Down on the coast, we all seem to talk about how we hope it won't be as hot as last year (but it always is) and I pine for the cooler days of fall and winter. I go around saying "I hate summer" to myself and to anyone else who seems to bemoan this sauna of a climate we call home. But then I find myself in a grocery store and a sweet smell brings me back to reality. The sweetness of a perfectly ripe berry is irresistible! Berries are possibly the best thing about summer (other than watermelon). Berries make summer bearable. There's nothing better than driving over to Loxley on a hot Saturday afternoon just to get strawberry shortcake, or blackberry cobbler, from Burris Farm Market (a family tradition since I was a child).

I recently walked into my local grocery store and found the most perfect container of strawberries. The sign said they were grown in Huntsville, from a special type of seed that produces smaller, sweeter berries. I could practically taste them just from the scent that perfumed the entire produce department. When I first put these babies in my cart, I knew they were going to be in a photograph as soon as I got home. I ended up making some mini tarts for Memorial Day using those berries as the star fruit. They were the perfect kick off to summer--the season I dread, but wouldn't want to be without. What's you're favorite thing about summer?

Stay tuned to the blog for more posts in the food series!