Summer is almost over. Both my kids have started a new school year, and our house is abuzz with talk of college football. But flip-flop weather lingers, and the taste of summer abounds in the fresh produce from the farmer’s market that’s center stage on our table.
Summer’s bounty is a boon to families like mine who follow special diets. My son’s allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, egg and soy make fresh fruit and vegetables essential. You can’t beat a fresh fruit salad filled with peaches, cherries, cantaloupe, watermelon, blueberries, strawberries and grapes. I depend on steamed broccoli and cauliflower and grilled asparagus to round out meal menus. And it’s so easy to hand out juicy plums and peaches at snack time!
I love making cobbler with whatever fruit is in season or grating zucchini to use in turkey meatballs and zucchini muffins--allergen-free and yummy! But the great thing about summer produce is its simplicity. Because simplicity means there is much less chance that something unsafe will reach my son’s mouth.
The other day, my children (Joseph, 7, and Pamela, 2) were happily munching on pieces of sweet, juicy watermelon. As they reached for more slices, I noticed that the curved rinds they left on the table mirrored their smiles. The kids later added corny smiles to the mix as they chomped on fresh corn on the cob.
With summertime waning, I’m thankful for the simple joys of fresh produce that inspire so many healthy smiles. I’ll be hanging on to those grins as the season drifts into fall.