Strawberries in July

I went to the farmers' market to get strawberries. I thought I might have missed their short season, but they were in fact there. And then, as if I were somewhere I might never visit again, I suddenly needed everything else there, too.

I hadn’t thought of tea radishes or pink or icicle radishes either — or purple, yellow or white spring onions, carrots, herbs, peonies, tiny, odd lettuces — or shell peas. I didn’t need snap peas, but there they were, tight in their skins, like a bin full of miniature blimps. I wanted to see them again, so I took a picture. The farmer said I could even taste one. Almost involuntarily, I found myself unfurling a bag from the roll and stuffing some in.

The less common the vegetables were, the more I suddenly needed them. And now that I already had to carry a bag, there wasn’t much reason not to quench my drought of fresh chamomile flowers, or to fill the now obvious garlic-scape chasm in my life. I pressured a nearby stranger who claimed not to know what to do with radishes to drag them through butter and dab them in salt, and later saw her headed to the register with three bunches.

This is one of the reasons to go to the market. It's like going to see live music that's never going to happen exactly that way again. Especially when I am getting the last something of the season. It makes me feel alive precisely because of how fleeting and mortal it all is. But back to strawberries.

Starting about a month ago, it became possible to get really good strawberries, at least in New York. The ones we normally get are gigantic and from far away and are often foamy and tart and sometimes not even flavorful, though I buy and sort of enjoy them anyway.

But the ones right now are coming from nearby so they are sweet and small and they smell really good. And they have not traveled far enough to lose their little hairs.

Crushed and stewed with sugar, vanilla and cardamom, they would be good on a biscuit. But mine went to refrigerator jam, a thank you gift for a friend.

Try These Strawberry Recipes:

Keep Reading

Next Up

July Food Festivals

Celebrate summer with these July Food Festivals that comes with a mixed bag of celebrations that cool down and spice up Americans nationwide.

July Food Festivals

Whether you’d like to cool down or heat things up this month, there is a food festival for everyone in July.

July's Top 10 Recipes

Want to know what Food Network fans were cooking in July? From Basil Pesto to BLT Pasta Salad and sweet Peach Cobbler, browse the top 10 recipes of the month.

Best Fourth of July Recipes

Celebrate the 4th of July with Food Network's menu of all-American eats and drinks, which includes grilled pork, crispy fried chicken and a patriotic cake.

15 Fourth of July Potluck Recipes

During the holiday weekend, I’m always invited to a potluck barbeque. But no matter which type of meal part I’m assigned (from appetizer to dessert), the end result is always a no-fail recipe and a string of oooh’s and ahhh’s by other guests.

4th of July Recipes for a Crowd

Make Fourth of July entertaining worry-free this year by adding these simple, crowd-wowing dishes to your menu.

Spotlight Recipes: Fun & Easy For July 4th

Roll up your sleeves and dive into a seafood fest this holiday weekend. Whether you’ll be celebrating in the sand, poolside, or indoors, these recipes can’t be beat.

Star Judges' 4th of July Recipes Won’t Disappoint

Want to wow your guests this holiday weekend? Inspired by the episode, Star Talk has rounded up the best takes on these dishes from Star judges Bobby, Giada and Alton.

9 Healthy Desserts For the 4th of July

Celebrate the holiday with one of these healthy fruit desserts.

Thanksgiving in July: Food Network Magazine’s Shortcuts Survey

From boxed mashed potatoes to canned cranberries, Food Network Magazine wants to know how you cut corners for the big feast.

On TV

The Pioneer Woman

9:30am | 8:30c

The Pioneer Woman

1:30pm | 12:30c

Chopped

2pm | 1c

Chopped

3pm | 2c

Chopped

4pm | 3c

Chopped

5pm | 4c

Chopped

6pm | 5c

Chopped

7pm | 6c

Chopped

9pm | 8c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Chopped

10pm | 9c

Chopped

11pm | 10c

Chopped

12am | 11c

Chopped

1am | 12c

Chopped

2am | 1c