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Food Letters

May Food Letter

by Nick

Every month in 2009, I am writing a post detailing some specific things about food in the upcoming month.

As I’ve said a few times over the last week, we are in full effect summer here in DC. It’s muggy, hot, and pretty swamp-like. Occasionally, it will cool down a bit, but there’s no doubt that the heat is on. The good news is that there is a ton of wonderful fruits and veggies that are ready to be munched.

As I wrote last week, I was considering joining a CSA this year but I think I may pass. I researched a bunch of different options but all of the CSAs that had drop-offs in the DC area were sold out already (my fault!) and I don’t have the time to make the trip out to VA every week to pick up food. That’s okay though, I’ll stick to my farmer’s market schedule and try to get on the boat earlier next year.

What to Eat in May There is no shortage of things to eat in May. That said, as my Dad informed me yesterday May is still borderline Winter in some states like Wyoming. Below are a few things that I’ll be looking for this month at the Farmer’s markets and some good recipes to use them in.

Asparagus – I’m pretty certain that asparagus is my favorite veggie that exists. Definitely top 3. Which is funny because I don’t think I’ve made anything with asparagus here. In any event, here are some good recipes.

Roasted Asparagus with Manchego – Roasting asparagus is probably my favorite way to prepare it. I like it when it is a bit charred and crunchy but tender and flavorful on the inside. (@ The Perfect Pantry)
Asparagus Soup with Cream – If I had to pick one vegetable that was my favorite soup base, it would probably be a tie between asparagus and broccoli. Luckily I don’t have to pick. (@ Apple Pie, Patis & Pate)
Rosemary and Parm crusted Asparagus – This is a pretty inventive way to serve asparagus. Awesome finger food. (@ Eat make read)
Shaved Asparagus Salad – I’ve had a salad similar to this before and it is pretty amazing. (@ hungry cravings)

Cherries – Cherries are one of those things that I rarely buy for some reason, but anytime they are around, I devour them. Cherries are one of the first fruits to ripen in Summer, but really these are borderline June. Some markets will have fresh ones in May though. Also a lot of recipes call for the dried variety which you can get anytime obviously.

Crepes with Cherries – Cherries make a perfect filling for crepes. (@ Eat Real)
Cherry Clafouti - I don’t think I’ve ever had this dessert, but it looks like the perfect way to show off the cherry. Good explanation on making it also. (@ This Engineer can Bake)
Cherry Scones - These use dried cherries, but cherry scones are my fave so I had to include them. (@ Sophistimom)
Chocolate Chunk Cherry Cake - Get out of town this looks good. Chocolate and cherry were made for each other. (@ Sassafras Cafe)

Beets - Beets are one of my least favorite veggies. I think this is because I always think of the canned red beets that stain everything. I’m starting to learn that beets can be good though if made correctly.

Golden Beet Salad - It’s not red at all! These golden beets don’t make me want to gag right away. Love this salad. (@ The Bitten Word)
Roasted Beets with Orange Vinaigrette - Notice how I’m staying away from the red variety? (@ Craving Greens)
Roasted Beetroot with Feta - Okay. These are red. But I would eat them. (@ Souvlaki for the Soul)

flowersandbeeFlowers - April showers, May flowers right? Hopefully you live in an area that has some awesome flowers blooming this month.

Tips on growing your own wild flowersIf I had any outside space, I would want a few flowers growing. (@ eHow)
Leblon Iced Tea – Iced tea with edible flowers! Looks awesome for a Spring day on the porch. (@ Bloomacious)
Sugar Flowers – I have no idea how to make these. I like to look at them, but would feel bad eating them. (@ My Sweet and Saucy)

Cinco de Mayo – Tuesday is Cinco de Mayo – one of my favorite days. It happens to be my nephew’s birthday, but also it means margaritas and Mexican food. If you’re looking for something to make, try these beautiful nachos or these chorizo and yam tacos.

Mother’s Day (May 10th)- Don’t forget about Momma’s Day next Sunday! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to spend it with my Mom, but if I could, I would make her some delicious French Toast.

Waiters and Waitresses Day - If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you’ll agree that waiters and waitresses should get more than a day dedicated to them. If you happen to be out at a restaurant on this day, throw your server a few extra bucks. They work hard.

Enjoy May everyone!

Photos by itsjustanalias and Dr. Hemmert.