By mid-February, I’m theoretically done with winter. I’m thinking about warm weather, being outside more than inside, eating garden-fresh tomatoes, and wondering what the heck to do with all that zucchini once it arrives.
But in practical matters, I’m still very much stuck in the present — wearing cozy sweaters, “enjoying” the inverse ratio of outside versus inside, and eating hearty, soul-warming meals. Cooking seasonally is a pretty sustainable way of life, except, that is, when it comes to recipe development.
During my many years in magazine publishing, we routinely worked five months ahead to account for the publishing schedule — i.e. testing, writing, editing, photography, layout and design, printing, distribution, etc. When you flip through your favorite food magazine for Thanksgiving menu ideas, those recipes were most likely developed and shot in July when finding Brussels sprouts or kumquats in New York is nearly impossible. Likewise, peaches in January for a Fourth of July picnic article.
We had to source those out-of-season ingredients from specialty purveyors. They were not easy to find, especially pre-internet, nor were they cheap or local or even remotely sustainable. I shudder to think of the carbon footprint flying in all those products left. Did the irony of publishing a story about an all-organic, farm-to-table restaurant in August that was shot in March not escape anyone? We worked in a near-constant state of suspended disbelief, yet somehow we never figured out how to consistently work 12 months ahead.
Fortunately, digital publishing, including the recipes we create for you all at Sitka Seafood Market, allows for a tighter turnaround, often within the same month. Which means we’re able to create content that is as sustainable and seasonable as the fish that comes in your boxes.
That doesn’t mean we can’t dream of feeling the sand between our toes or drinking lemonade poolside a few months early.
Wishing everyone the warmth of sunny days ahead.