I have been waking up at 6 a.m. to the sound of geese making practice flights. There's yellow creeping into the birch leaves in the yard. The greens in the garden are cartoonishly overgrown. It's late summer, our greenest season. And it gets a person thinking about topping off the freezer.
Especially, if your chard or kale is 2 feet tall, you might give some thought to this week's Alaskana recipe for super adaptable, super nutritious, super pesto, which can be made all year with Alaska herbs and greens (including fiddleheads, nettles, dandelion and wild subsistence greens). The recipe is built like Alaskans cook, with lots of substitutions for whatever you've got on hand. Make a double batch and throw half in the freezer. You'll be so psyched in November.
If you're not growing greens, now is the time to buy them along with carrots, potatoes, beets and herbs. Our market columnist Steve Edwards reports farmers markets right now are "a landslide of everything." Aside from making pesto, I like to take herbs like basil and tarragon, give them a quick pulse in the food processor, freeze them with water or olive oil in ice cube trays and then use them to brighten my winter sauces.
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We're also still at the apex of berry season. Kim Suneé has a jewel-toned recipe for a British-style berry pudding that I'm pretty sure I'm going to make with challah bread from Fire Island Bakery and serve with a big ol' dollop of whipped cream.
And, as I slow my roll into the calmer schedule that comes in the fall, I'm looking to do some backyard fire pit time. Next time I do, I might bring a hot bowl of Maya Wilson's easy garlic edamame and wash them down with a nice local brew.
[Find more recipes and food news in the ADN Food and Drink section]
Industrious cooks are busy testing wild game recipes and novel Spam recipes right now in the Alaskana Recipe Facebook Test Kitchen. You're welcome to join them. I'm also looking for advice on moose chili and wild game meatballs. Email me about that or anything else you're thinking, Alaska food-wise?
Here's hoping you get a taste of grilled coho on a sunny evening. Thanks for reading.