Whenever I see a restaurant that advertises meals “from farm to table,” I have to smile. This is nothing new. I have fond memories of the meals my grandmother served from her garden. German potato salad and cabbage slaw. Corn chowder. Fruit salad served in a bowl that she carved from a watermelon rind. Delish!
Making the most of seasonal fruits and vegetables grown in the backyard or by the neighbor has always been a way life for the Amish. After five or six months of warm stews and casseroles with canned fruits and vegetables, springtime brings fresh asparagus, peas, chard and broccoli to Lancaster County dinner tables. By June, sweet, mouth-watering strawberries are ready for picking and canning. And come July, tables are heavy with everything from succulent tomatoes to crisp sweet corn and “eat over the sink” peaches.
This time of year, local produce fills our tables. In my summer novella A Simple Crossroads, Lizzie and Joe King make the most of produce from the family garden, enjoying a meal of sandwiches, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon. And even as I sit here working on this recipe, I am feasting on a sweet nectarine from a farm stand down the road.
One of the best ways to combine fresh fruits and veggies is to create a salad. The conventional salad might be loaded with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and onions, but here’s one that combines the two late summer treats: cool melon and sweet fresh corn. It quickly disappears from our family table.
Roz’s 2-C Salad
- 3 ears of white corn
- 1 cantaloupe
- 3 cups lettuce, washed and chopped to bite-sized pieces
- Fresh dill, if you have it
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- olive oil
- dash of salt and pepper
Cut the cantaloupe in half, slice around the seeds, and then scoop them out. Cut each half into slices, remove the rind, and cut the cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces – little orange gems.
Shuck three ears of corn and remove the kernels, slicing down toward your cutting board. No need to cook the corn to have nuggets of gold.
Sprinkle the cantaloupe and corn on a bed of lettuce. Drizzle with olive oil and toss in a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.
Use as a side salad or top with chicken breast for a meal. Enjoy!
Rosalind Lauer grew up near a Mennonite community in Maryland but now lives with her family in Western Oregon. She is the author of Amish fiction published by Ballantine Books, including the Seasons of Lancaster and Lancaster Crossroads series. The King family of Lancaster County are characters near and dear to her heart, and she enjoys exploring the ways that Amish and English lives are interwoven in Lancaster County. Her next book is A Simple Charity, on sale October 14, 2014.
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