June 30, 2006

Friday, June 30, 2006

Picking Peas for the Fourth of July...

I wonder when the New England tradition of having new peas and fresh salmon on the Fourth of July started. Although I have several good food history books, all of which stress how very welcome fresh peas were as one of the summer season's earliest vegetable offerings, none mentions peas-and-salmon specifically.

Well, we certainly will have those peas this years; in fact, we've been picking peas for weeks now. And, while we're heartily sick of this cool, clammy weather, there are many things in the garden that have loved it, the peas especially. The early potatoes are also thriving as are the broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, as I guess you'd expect.

But of course, the green pepers need heat, the tomatoes need sun, and, well... I need summer! Many of the herbs are doing just fine including the cilantro, fennel, and dill as well as the usual tarragon, thyme, sage, oregano and basil. I use the cilantro in flower bouquets for its feathery foliage, tiny white flowers and gorgeous citrus-y scent. Dill, which traditionally garnishes that holiday salmon, is absolutely one of my favorite cooking herbs.

The weather report holds out a tantalizing promise of clearing later today, but a certain scepticism does creep in on hearing such a forecast on the Friday before a long holiday weekend.
We'll see...

Have a glorious Fourth! Mary