what's in season: august

a beautiful display of tomatoes in Borough Market - summer 2014
Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity?
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city
All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

But at night it's a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come on, come on and dance all night
Despite the heat, it'll be alright
And babe, don't you know it's a pity?
If the days can't be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city

Cool town, evening in the city
Dressing so fine and looking so pretty
Cool cat, looking for a kitty
Gonna look in every corner of the city
Till I'm wheezing like a bus stop
Running up the stairs, gonna meet you on the rooftop

But at night it's a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come on, come on and dance all night
Despite the heat, it'll be alright
And babe, don't you know it's a pity?
If the days can't be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city
The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer in the City (Steve Boone, John Sebastian and Mark Sebastian)

So summer has well and truly arrived in England - hot sun and torrential rain . . . again. In between dodging rain showers, every other day seems to be the perfect time to eat outdoors - preferably with an interesting selection of tapas or mezze, little nibbles of something amazing, or perhaps a refreshing cold soup, under the vine-laden pergola while swigging lashings of cold white wine.

As for what is good to eat in August, this month should (weather permitting) be a good month for soft fruits and vegetables, with stone fruits such as plums (such as Victorias) and peaches appearing towards the end of the month. And since we are talking of delicious food and hot weather, this is also the season for spice and chillies; I don't know why, but the hotter the weather, a really hot chilli noodle dish seems to cool me down.

By the end of August and into September, there will be food for free and I shall be out foraging and beating back the wildlife in order to get to those wild berries. It shall also be the time to actually put into practice some of my ongoing New Year's kitchen resolutions - in foraging, preserving and better planning. Some things never seem to change!

vegetables, herbs and wild greens:
artichokes (globe), auberginesbasilbeetroot, borlotti beans (for podding), broad beansbroccoli (calabrese), cabbages (various varieties), carrotscauliflower, ceps, chanterelles, chardcourgettescucumberfennel, French beansgarlic, horseradish, kohlrabi, lambs lettuce, lettucemushrooms, onions, oyster mushrooms, pak choipeaspeaches, peppers, potatoes, purslane, pumpkins (and squashes), radishesrocket, runner beans, salsify, samphire, sorrel, spinachsweetcorn, sugarsnap peas, tomatoeswatercress, wild fennel

fruit and nuts:
apples, apricots, bilberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherriesdamsonsgooseberries, greengages, hazelnuts, loganberries, peaches, mulberries, pearsplumsraspberries, redcurrants, rhubarbstrawberries, white currants, wild strawberries

meat and game:
beef, hare, lamb, mutton, rabbit, venison, wood pigeon

fish and shellfish:
black bream, crab (brown, hen and spider), freshwater crayfish, herring, john dory, lobster, mackerel, mullet, pollackprawns, river trout (brown and rainbow), scallops, sea bassshrimp, skate, squid




3 comments:

o cozinheiro este algarve said...

Great picture and my favourite summer song.It has to be one of my desert Island discs.

mrsportlyskitchen said...

'Wheezing like a bus stop'? Lol. Great song though. How're things? Loved your Borough Market recipes, many congrats.

stella said...

What a superb list of seasonal foods. Absolutely love this series, thank you! I can't seem to find purslane anywhere. Is this something you forage or have you been able to find it in farmers markets?