I had great ambitions at the beginning of the summer. I was planning on decorating my cookbooks with post-it flags marking the best recipes that highlighted seasonal product, filling these blog pages with mouth watering photos of healthy, savory, awe-inspiring meals, coming home very week from the farmers market with my basket full of new and interesting produce.
But life got in the way and I found myself night after night looking for culinary inspiration that wasn't too be found. I was tired, distracted by other more pressing concerns, happy if my dinner included all the major food groups, much less actually was appetizing or attractive. I did bring home lots of market produce, but often found myself simply steaming or sauteing it with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt. Now don't get me wrong. I think simple is often underrated. I believe that you should actually be able to taste the flavor of the vegetable, not drown it in other overpowering sensations. But creativity and imagination is still a good thing.
My life is approaching normalcy again and I feel a pull back towards the kitchen. It might be the unseasonably cool weather that makes me think of spending Sunday afternoons making bread and soup and filling the windows with steam.
So this is where you, the reader, come in. I am looking for some new inspiration and have seen from past blog and Facebook posts that the people that shop at the Montavilla Farmers Market might very well be the best sort of advice. The month of September is being devoted to a customer challenge. Send me your favorite recipe, complete with enticing photograph and I will post it for all to enjoy. At the end of the month, we will put all of the entries into the running for a reader vote. The person submitting the most popular recipe will win a 2010 MFM t-shirt, men's or women's sizing from American Apparel.
In the meantime I'm going to head to the bookstore for a new cookbook for some nightly reading. If you're anything like me, you too enjoy curling up in bed with a cookbook dreaming up combinations of flavors. If you don't have a recipe to submit, send me suggestions of a great new cookbook to check out.
If you want to submit an entry, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words "MFM September Recipe Contest" in the subject line. Make sure to include a photograph, the proper credit to a cookbook or magazine if appropriate, and enough instructions that the average cook can recreate your masterpiece. I will in turn post the entry to the blog and ask readers for the comments and reviews of the recipe. At the end of the month, we'll hold a vote and award the prize. The only defining feature is that the recipe should feature something seasonal and locally available at the farmers market.
I look forward to seeing what this challenge produces. Happy cooking!