But it certainly is easier here in Northern California. We are truly blessed with a bounty of year round delicious fresh foods. Now, if we could only get more cookbooks and cooking magazines to follow our seasons, life would be a whole lot simpler. Recently it occurred to me that often we can replace ingredients with items that match a flavor profile and/or a texture. For instance I seldom have parsley in the house (and it may surprise you but I don’t just go run out to the field to pick some). Parsley adds a lovely color contrast to many dishes, and although it certainly has its own unique simple flavor, a good portion of that flavor is the taste of green. I don’t know, maybe that is just in my head, but I taste it. Last week, as a parsley substitute, I used a small amount of finely chopped mizuna, and it was delicious. In one of the dishes in this week’s newsletter, I have substituted cubed butternut squash for diced carrots. Both add a sweet flavor, and when carrots are fully cooked they are very soft much like the squash. A nice solution for using items from the box, but more important in my life, is eliminating the necessity of making a trip to the store in the next town. I hope I encourage everyone to break free of the confines of recipes. If you are really scared, start slowly, always think of matching flavors, one bitter for another, a sweet for a sweet etc., and equally important match texture for texture, soft for soft, crunch for crunchy. Have fun, stretch your imagination to fit your weekly share, and enjoy the excitement of creating your own recipes. Remember there are no failures, only lessons!