Summer in Northeast Ohio is especially wonderful. Something about trudging through winter snowstorms and getting to enjoy spring for only a fleeting couple of weeks before getting hit with late-May frost makes the long, hot days of summer a well-earned reward.
As the heat rises, our family likes to escape to Kelleys and Middle Bass islands as much as possible. Something about taking the ferry across our great lake and leaving the mainland behind helps us shift to a summertime mindset. On Kelleys I wake up early to enjoy sunrise over the lake and I’m actually disappointed when there’s an overcast morning. I can sit on the porch listening endlessly to the waves and the wind. And we cook. Everyone hauls over their ingredients to make meals that gather the family from all corners of exploration to eat, drink and laugh together. Barbecue, peach cobbler, fresh bread, and yes, Lake Erie perch—these are our summer staples on the island.
In summertime, our local food options in Northeast Ohio explode. The farmers market is a riot of fresh produce bursting with flavors. It’s the perfect season to stretch your local food muscles. Remember that from Memorial Day to Labor Day, you’ll have at least 300 chances to eat seasonal and local (counting on an average of three meals a day and a few snacks thrown in for good measure). For most, trying to keep in mind where our food comes from for every meal might feel overwhelming. So start small. Store up on some new snacks. Start your day local by changing your breakfast. Or choose an “Eat Local” day of the week for your family. Any one step you take will have a positive impact on support for the local farms and small-batch producers out there who work year-round to make our summers so delicious.
Whatever summer fun you’re planning, from camps and vacations to baseball games, farm visits, and fireworks, we hope this issue of Edible Cleveland gives you plenty of inspiration and the resources to enjoy many memorable seasonal meals with family and friends.