Tasting the Delights of the Season

Welcome! It surely has been steamy outside lately. It makes for great swimming, but miserable walks. I try to walk daily, and I never seem to get outside early enough. It’s funny how the same weather can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your circumstances.

But hot weather also signals the beginning of fresh sweet corn and tomato season. Growing up in the Atlantic community I had no idea how spoiled I was when it came to fresh produce. When I moved to the Akron, Ohio, area, I was hard-pressed to find a vegetable stand anywhere, and man, did they jack up the prices. I paid whatever they asked just to get some freshly picked corn. Corn from grocery stores has no flavor. And when you’re used to the real thing, you’re too smart to buy low grade sweet corn.

My family used to make sweet corn the centerpiece of meals in August. I remember seeing piles of corn cobs on our table on hot nights. Somehow enjoying sweet corn made the heat more bearable.

But you can’t eat sweet corn without fresh tomatoes as a side item in my house. Greenhouse tomatoes are already for sale at Atlantic’s produce stands. Now, of course, we can buy tomatoes year-round in grocery stores, but it’s only during July and August, and maybe early September, if we’re lucky, that we can buy fresh, home-grown tomatoes in Atlantic.

One of my favorite meals is a tomato sandwich. Have you ever had one? My late Grandma Moore used to make these. Here’s how: Toast some whole wheat bread and butter it generously. Cut a ripe tomato into a thick slice and place it between the buttered sides of the toast. Yum….

I think tomato sandwiches might be a holdover from the Great Depression. When you can’t afford meat, substitute a ripe, succulent tomato. Works for me. Why not buy some corn and tomatoes this week and praise God that you live in a place where you can buy fresh, delicious sweet corn and tomatoes from local farmers?

Fallowfield United Methodist Church members are hard at work on this year’s Crawford County Fair pie project. We made 205 apple pies and strawberry-rhubarb pies on July 24, and 188 Dutch apple pies on July 31. We’ll also make pies on August 7 and 14. We freeze, then bake these during fair week. Of course, we make fresh pies during fair week, too. Typically we bake 60 frozen pies per day during fair week and make the rest fresh. That translates to about 180 fresh pies per day. This is an estimate; if it rains or there’s a small crowd at the fairgrounds one day, we might only make 90 pies that whole day. Other days we might make 120 at one bake. It just depends on the crowds.

This will be Fallowfield’s 62nd year at the Crawford County Fair. As always, we’ll make apple, Dutch apple, coconut cream, lemon meringue, rhubarb, strawberry-rhubarb, blueberry, blackberry, elderberry, raisin, cherry, peach, and summer harvest (a blend of cherries, peaches, and blueberries) pies. We usually make between 1,800 and 2,000 pies. All net profits will be sent to missionaries and charities, both locally and around the world. Please stop by our fair booth and enjoy some homemade pie. You’re supporting many good causes around the world.

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!