It may not officially be summer, but with this week's bounty you could have fooled me!
The harvest began in NYC on Wednesday when I gathered a mess o' Mayapples. They weren't 100% ripe, but Mayapples are one of those obliging fruits that ripen on the windowsill. Four days later and the fruit is soft and yellow, ready to be turned into an as-yet-un-named delicacy. Leda suggests Mayapple ice cream which sounds like a wonderful idea to me. Any other suggestions?
Over the next few weeks, Mayapples will be ripening in woods all over the Northeast. Young Mayapple plants bearing only one leaf won't flower or produce fruit. But check under the foliage of any two-leaved Mayapple and you may find a small fruit. Give it a squeeze. Is it a little soft, a little yellow? If you answer yes to both these questions, it's time to harvest. Special note to Mum: go out and check your Mayapples! If they're ripe, pick them and call me!
Saturday morning was the first Barryville (NY) farmers' market and Penni and Pat brought me guinea fowl eggs. They remembered how fascinated I was last year by all the different sizes and colors of their eggs: quail, chicken, and duck. Guinea fowl eggs (on the left) are slightly smaller than chicken eggs (on the right). Penni couldn't vouch for their taste, but she warned me their shells were crazy thick. I had to smash that shell against the inside of the sink with considerable force, but it was worth it. The taste is similar to the taste of a chicken egg (a good, grass-fed chicken egg)...maybe a little stronger. But what's most fabulous is the yolk to white ratio. I always wish there were more yolk in an egg; isn't that everybody's favorite part? The guinea fowl yolk is surrounded by a mere centimeter's margin of white. Egg perfection.
Saturday afternoon, despite a litle rain, Mark and I harvested milkweed florets. That's an understatement. We hit the milkweed jackpot, baby! I like the florets even better than young milkweed shoots; they have the shape of broccoli florets but taste so much better. I sauteed a few onions in olive oil, added the milkweed, S & P, and we feasted on deliciousness.
Go ahead and tell me it's not summer. I know summer's bounty when I see it.