Earlier this year I invested in some local, butchered, all-natural chickens. Last weekend I took one out of the freezer, deciding it was time to turn on the oven and try a bird out, especially since the weather is feeling more like fall than summer. Before my son started eating solid food, a baked chicken at our house could stretch for four meals, keeping my daughter, husband, and I well fed. Now that my 1-year-old has broadened his eating repertoire, I’m lucky if he doesn’t eat half the chicken in the first sitting.
The latter part of August this year has been a bit chilly and rainy compared to Augusts of recent memory, and so I’ve turned to some soups to warm things up in our kitchen. Recently, for example, I roasted some cauliflower and cabbage in the oven, boiled up baby red potatoes and then sautéed celery, onion, sweet pepper and carrot with a little garlic, olive oil and butter. In a large soup pot I mixed these ingredients together and added about three-quarters chicken stock and one-quarter water to cover.
If you haven’t yet visited one of the area’s farmers markets this year, peak season is upon us. Each week is filled with plentiful variety — the greens are tender, herbs abundant, and the onions and zucchini are juicy. Produce at the market is as tasty as ever, thanks in large part to the generous amount of rain our region has received this summer. Even in my home garden I’ve had more success with onions than in any previous garden in recent family memory.