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May 1999 Issue
The Season's Fare
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair! This month's theme targets the early fresh crops that you will find in your local markets now that spring is in full swing. First, a few tips about shopping...

If you are lucky enough to live near an agricultural area, you will likely find an array of vegetable stands opening up during this time of year. I would encourage you to support your local growers and spend a little time shopping for fresh vegetables in one or more of these vegetable stands. You will find that their produce is not only fresher, but much better tasting than supermarket produce. You will find the fruits, corn and tomatoes sweeter and the greens crispier when purchased at one of these stands.

Still, it pays to be wise when purchasing produce at any store. Select greens that are not wilted and firm to the touch. Make sure that the broccoli has tight heads. Some broccoli, due to cold weather, may appear purple in color. Not to worry, the quality of the vegetable depends more on the freshness. Avoid broccoli that appears yellowish, however, as this indicates excessive age. Asparagus is a popular item during this season, and you will find the price of this vegetable very reasonable with the influx of harvest time. Take advantage of the items that are fresh and seasonal. Fresh tomatoes will come later in the year, but during the month of May you will find many other vegetables ripe for the picking.

Last month was a hectic month for me because we were remodeling my house. And, of course, I had to select some of the better items for my kitchen. After a 4 week break from cooking, I am now finally able to cook on my new Dacor stainless steel cooktop. I must say that it not only looks nice, but cooks much more efficiently than my previous unit. Perhaps I'll show off my new kitchen with some photographs after I get a digital camera. You may also get to see some of my recipes in creation!

The recipes presented this month are from my yet to be published cookbook, Phil's Family and Friends Cookbook. Feel free to email me at with your comments and requests. Be well, and good eating!

Now, on to the recipes!

The Season's Fare

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