July 17: Bluberries, raspberries, baby-sized carrots, and Cato Corner Bloomsday Cheese (their sharpest and nuttiest cheese, my personal favorite) for a picnic on Governor's Island. First peppers and eggplant of the season! Corn in the second week of its season, and tomatoes in their third. Eggs, milk, broccoli, and peaches, as well.
July 24: A smaller haul because of my nomadic nature that week in between apartments. This was my first time buying okra for making southern-style fried okra. That big pink tomato at top is Brandywine, an heirloom variety, best sliced and eaten simply with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil to savor its sweet flavor. Unlike the majority of tomatoes found in supermarkets everywhere, which have been bred to withstand long travel and still look uniformly round, heirloom tomatoes are unique varieties that were historically cultivated by small farms for their unique tastes. Commercial hybrid varities have come to dominate the market, edging out small farms and heirlooms, which offer greater diversity of pest and disease resistence and adapation to specific growing conditions. Buy some to help preserve biodiversity and to support farmers! Coming up are recipes to highlight these stars of summer produce!