Do you find the constant references to our “beautiful, glorious weather” as disturbing as I do? The comments trouble me, just as the description of rainy days as “ugly” and “awful” have always troubled me.
The current praise for our weather makes me shiver as I remember the two significant droughts I've lived through here. The relentless “niceness” of the weather becomes exhausting after a while, especially when there's not enough water to keep your outside plants alive and you try to shower in under 2 minutes.
If this keeps up, and there is every indication that it will, lack of water will play havoc with our farms and their harvest. There has been such an amazing increase in the number of small family farms since the last long-term drought ended in extreme weather and dramatic floods at the start of 1994. Since then, we've had more years of average and above-average rainfall than I can recall.
We're way overdue for a drought, but if this one is long-term, a lot will change and not in a good way.
Some of the changes will be subtle and, really, we're already seeing them. If you eat a truly seasonal diet, things feel off. The slow braises, stews and hearty soups we want in the rainy season just don't seem right when the thermometer reads like late spring and the sky is a startlingly clear blue. Yet freezing nights make us crave more than a light salad.
Here are a couple of recipes, seasonally appropriate, that I hope will help.
This dish is meant to be either a substantial first course or a main dish, not a side dish. It is hearty and filling, yet does not take long to prepared. All ingredients can be found at farmers markets, except the maple syrup in the dressing.
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad with Pecans, Soft-Cooked Eggs and Warm-Bacon Maple Vinaigrette
Makes 4 to 6 servings
— Warm Bacon-Maple Vinaigrette (recipe follows)