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What is in These Bags?

I think I have a sickness. I am not sure what it is called, but it is to blame for my out of control produce purchasing! Today, even though I have plenty of prepared veggies in our fridge ready to eat, I went to Lombardi Ranch. It is one of my favorite places to go during the fall season. They have a HUGE assortment of pumpkins ranging from the teeny tiny varieties to the “Big Mac” variety. They also have an array of sunflowers and a trail of scarecrows all dressed up in their best costumes for the annual contest. On weekends you also get to experience live music, fall treats and many, many happy people. We had a little extra time today so we stopped by…even though it is a little early in the season for the festivities.

So, what did we find? Farm Fresh Produce! Who can resist? $4.00 for a large basket of tomatoes which would make perfect salsa to can for the winter or tomato sauce to use when the fresh tomatoes are gone. And then, I spotted the squash…butternut and summer varieties…these would be great to freeze for later in the fall when they won’t be available. Then, peaches AND pears…purchased at my daughter’s request, along with a small pumpkin for her room. Hot peppers and onions…perfect for the salsa! And, corn…my husband really enjoys corn chowder. See…it has to be a sickness! Fresh produce gets my creative juices flowing.

As I ponder my purchases, I am also pondering my childhood. My dad’s favorite place to stop on long trips was… you guessed it, fruit and veggie stands. What did we spend all summer harvesting? Our family garden. Tomatoes, Squash, Potatoes, Cucumbers and Corn. Apples in the fall. Apricots in the spring. Sometimes peaches in the summer, if we could beat the birds to them. What was just 45 minutes away from our home? Boxes and boxes of fresh peaches and pears. And, don’t forget the strawberries. Even my Grandmother and Grandpa and Uncle grew tomatoes. It was a family affair. So many happy memories.

Even now, every morning, you will find my dad in the kitchen squeezing fresh orange juice and making a fruit salad. At dinnertime, you will find him lovingly preparing the most delicious vegetable salad. He and my Mom would make the most creative things with the endless supply of summer squash. Hmmm…I think I found the root of my sickness. It is called a happy childhood memories. It isn’t a sickness after all. Warm and thoughts about my family and our memories, that is what drives me to the fruit stand and to creativity in the kitchen. Family. Family then and family now. I want my family to have the most nutritious meals possible. Farm Fresh. I want my family to share my memories and to learn that food doesn’t come from a box or a bag. It is grown or raised.

So, here are my new additions.

Thank you Dad and Mom for faithfully raising us to enjoy things that are so good for us. Thank you for giving us the gift of a simple home life. Thank you for the memories that I cherish and that inspire me today. Perhaps now, you could give me another gift and come enjoy some of these good things I have in my fridge. 🙂

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