Seasonal Cooking

April 11, 2013

Do you eat seasonally?

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Images by Christian Hammar for Lux Stockholm.

Let me tell you how serious I am about seasonal cooking: at Christmas, I make gingermen. To welcome Spring, I recently made a chilled cucumber and dill soup. (With yogurt and goat cheese, it was perfectly delicious.) All summer long, our zoku maker lives in the freezer. During the fall, the kitchen invariably smells like squash. And that, augmented by whatever my local farmer’s market sells, is my idea of seasonal fare.

We can all understand why I don’t own a fancy restaurant in Sweden.

Luckily, there’s Lux Stockholm. Reputedly one of Stockholm’s most luxurious food stops, Lux is also committed to serving fresh food made only with local ingredients at their seasonal peak. And when it comes to seasons, they count sixteen. Not four.

Do you eat seasonally?

To illustrate their hyper-seasonal concept menu, Lux has teamed up with London-based art director Christian Hammar to visualize the seasonal fare.

The photos are gorgeous, and I admit to loving the idea of eating hyper-seasonally. Right now, Lux is welcoming Spring with a salivating menu of oysters, veal with fried leeks and rhubarb, haddock with cucumber dressing and trout caviar, and garden chocolates that will get your mouth watering. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the season, especially if there are fifteen more just like it.

Do you eat seasonally?

As far as hyper-seasonal goes, the closest I come is eating my way through the holidays. Between Thanksgiving and December first alone, I indulge in pumpkin pie season, turkey leftover season, I’m never eating turkey again season, and isn’t it time for Christmas cookies already season. My summer seasons mostly revolve around waiting for the summer squash to finally arrive and Jenni’s ice cream flavors.

Lux’s menu has me thinking a little more critically about seasons, though, and how to make the best of local products at their peak.

Do you try to eat seasonally? Do you let the produce section or farmer’s inspire you, or are you also counting down the days until the summer squash and all the other seasonal favorites hit the shelves?

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate April 11, 2013 at 7:59 am

It’s Stockholm, not Stolkholm. :)

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2 Design Mom April 11, 2013 at 8:26 am

Oh. My bad! I read it before it went live and totally missed the misspelling. Will fix it now. Thanks for the heads up.

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3 Raleigh-Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 8:27 am

Kate, thank heavens for you! I feel like such a bozo. Pregnancy brain! I must have done that – and corrected it – at least six times while writing this post. I grew up on the corner of Fernway and Stolkholm roads… I guess it’s imprinted forever.

Thank you so much for the fix! (And in true fashion, I also just misspelled my name in an email. Yipes.)

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4 Kate April 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Ha ha, Stolkolm actually exists then, no wonder you mixed it up. :D And I kinda wish that I would have as good an excuse as pregnancy for my own typos!

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5 Sharon @ Discovering Blog April 11, 2013 at 8:18 am

I’ve found that when I bother to buy something off-season, the flavor typically isn’t there. Strawberries may look plump and red, but don’t have that sweet deliciousness in the winter like they do in May.

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6 Raleigh-Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 8:27 am

Oh, but they do look so tasty, don’t they. Do you freeze any of your seasonal food to try to extend the shelf life?

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7 Sharon @ Discovering Blog April 12, 2013 at 8:15 am

I did last summer with my pints and pints of blueberries! I need to dig them out of the freezer and make my yummy Blueberry Buckle…
https://sharon-magner.squarespace.com/httpdiscoveringblogcom/2012/6/6/discoveringblueberry-buckle.html

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8 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity April 11, 2013 at 8:44 am

I do eat seasonally, but find it difficult living in Canada. At this time of year there is nothing that is local and even the stocks from the winter vegetables are low. I find if I hold off on buying strawberries until June when they are ripe here then not only do they taste much better but the waiting makes me appreciate them so much more … mmm… strawberries (can’t wait!)

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9 Raleigh-Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 6:34 pm

STRAWBERRIES!

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10 Erin April 11, 2013 at 8:49 am

First I want to say I love all your food posts. I try my best to cook in season because it really does taste so much better…no strawberries or grapes in the middle of January for me. (FYI: I wouldn’t consider myself hyper about it.)

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11 Raleigh-Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm

YAY food posts! And I think maybe those of us who just eat seasonally (but unhyperly) have the happy middle down?

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12 Rachel April 11, 2013 at 9:08 am

This is not the first reference to Jeni’s Ice Cream I’ve seen this week. I’m thinking it must be amazing! You’ve just prompted me to seek it out — turns out I only have to walk 2 blocks from work over my lunch break to pick some up at Battery Place Market. Thanks for the inspiration (even if it is to eat a $12 pint of ice cream)! :)

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13 Raleigh-Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Jenni’s is so worth it. Please tell your waistband I’m so, so sorry. We are legitimately considering spending $148 on the 10 pack for our wedding anniversary present to each other this year.

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14 Julie April 11, 2013 at 9:12 am

Love that picture you paint in the first paragraph. I could feel each season through the smells in your kitchen! Love that!

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15 Raleigh-Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Yay Julie! That’s such a compliment. Grin. Thank you!

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16 becky April 11, 2013 at 10:03 am

I love celebrating new seasons with the perfect food pairing! It’s so difficult to know what’s in season where. I live in Austin, where there is a big local movement, however if I don’t get a chance to get out to the farmer’s markets on the weekend, the grocery stores make it seem like everything is always in season, everywhere. (And the food they sell may not ever see seasons in the greenhouses or wherever it’s grown.) The seasons are different wherever you go, so it’s often hard to know what’s prime for the pickin whenever and wherever you are. There are lists, but I’ve found that often I will plan a seasonal menu based on a seasonal list, and then not be able to find seasonal food in the markets. Eating seasonal is synonymous with eating local. If there is no local food culture to plug into, seasons make no difference. However, if the elusive good seasonal food can be found it’s worth all the effort – sublime! I’ve found my palette and cooking expanding thanks so much to local, seasonal food.

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17 Raleigh-Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Austin sounds so much like a food lover’s paradise. (I ate at uchi suhi the last time I was there, which was a few years ago, and I can still taste the deliciousness on my tongue.) Especially after all the Texans shared their grocery store love last week… I feel like we need a SXSW:foodie edition!

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18 Carter Higgins April 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm

These pictures are incredible! And now all I can think about is oysters. And dill.

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19 Raleigh-Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm

yum oysters…

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20 amy April 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm

In the past few years this has become a passion of mine! First of all, there is nothing more frustrating than buying beautiful produce and rushing home with it only to discover that it HAS NO FLAVOR!!!! :’-( Also, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in eastern Europe and LOVE the way they eat seasonally. They also eat very few processed foods and have far fewer food allergies. But I digress into another passion of mine.
There is a reason food comes to us in seasons! Thank you for this post. Glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks of this stuff.

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21 Raleigh-Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 6:50 pm

okay, i’m totally taken aback: my experience with veggies in eastern europe has been dripping in cream + fat and not remotely close to seasonal. fill us in on the secrets!

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22 Adrienne April 11, 2013 at 6:49 pm

We just relocated from the Rocky Mountains of the West to the White Mountains of NH and we’re happily surprised to find a year round CSA, which in addition to providing local (and therefore seasonal) veg all year long also has a locavore option which supplies food from local producers – breads, grains, beans, dairy, eggs, condiments, etc. Having my weekly veg already picked out for me makes menu planning a breeze, and it forces us to eat seasonally and locally.

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23 Raleigh-Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I LOVE our CSA, but it isn’t year round. I’m so envious! What’s been your favorite pick so far?

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24 Adrienne April 12, 2013 at 11:41 am

I was astounded to find a year round CSA in a cold northern area like this, and I actually have to drive 30 minutes to Vermont each week to pick it up but it is completely worth it. Our favorite items so far, and keep in mind we have only lived hear since February, include: local heavy cream, frozen red peppers that our CSA farmers picked last summer and froze (gorgeous, delicious, amazing), fingerling potatoes, shallots, valentine radishes, wood fired bread, sheep’s milk cheese, rainbow carrots, and this amazing sprout salad mix with cress, radish and sunflower sprouts. My kids (four and two years old) fight over the salad mix. It is that good!

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25 Amy Hackworth April 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Ha! “At Christmas, I make gingermen.” I love that! What a great post!

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26 Rachel April 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Oh man.. those photos have me drooling. That shrimp – gimme now! Haha. And I wish I could cook seasonally… I stick to staples. I’m always surprised when I go to the grocery store and I can’t find something and everyone’s like, “Oh that’s not in season right now.” Never occurs to me.

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