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Gazette food writer Lucy Pickett revels in the season

  • Mariusz Blach


Friday, June 08, 2018

I’m saying goodbye to asparagus soon — a sad day — but saying hello to strawberries — a happy day.

That’s the thing about the growing seasons. It’s about goodbyes and hellos. Yes, we can gather and freeze the crops, but is it the same as biting into a fresh strawberry or tender crisp bright green asparagus spear? No.

As usual, I did not get very creative with asparagus this season. I was too busy just eating it. I was pleased this year that the stand I usually buy it from had the asparagus separated into fat and skinny. Like the old days at the long-gone Stan’s vegetable stand in Hadley. Stan the Vegetable Man would separate it into three sizes. Skinny, medium and fat. I think as a kid I liked the skinnies. But now I love the fat ones.

I think we will have two or three more asparagus meals before they sprout into those feathery ferns.

To help ease the pain of that transition we have strawberries. And then, of course, all the other wonders of summer eating.

I just had my first local strawberry today. It was fantastic. Like a different fruit than the winter imported berries I have been buying.

Now, if I am not too busy just eating strawberries, I might take the time to make strawberry shortcake.

Life goes on.

— LUCY

I was driving by a farm stand in Hadley Thursday and the sign read “Strawberries.”

No sign for asparagus even though the stand was still selling it.

How soon the promise of a green spring turns to the promise of a sweet summer.

Pretty soon it will be the Fourth of July and we will all be trumpeting corn and tomatoes!

On second thought, trumpeting now takes on a whole new meaning that speaks to dark and stormy times. Not conducive to growing anything worthwhile.

But let’s hope that soon peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.

Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding, no more falsehoods or derisions.

Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in. Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in.

— LOU

***

Sad note: After hearing the news about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide just a few hours before we went to press, I felt I had to write something about him. I have to say I am devastated. I feel like I have lost a good friend whose career I followed since I read his somewhat controversial book “Kitchen Confidential.”

I watched his shows, “A Cooks Tour,” “No Reservations,” but more recently “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” I thought they were all great. He grew with every one, and in “Parts Unknown,” in my opinion, he really showed genius.

I loved his bare-all personality. He wasn’t afraid to show his bad sides as well as his good. He had a gift when it came to interviewing people from all walks of life. He would try any food or drink from any culture.

Goodbye, Anthony, you will be missed. May you rest in peace, my friend.

— LUCY