This weekend we had the pleasure of hosting my youngest brother, who had a rare weekend off from his job working in the kitchen of a popular Mexican restaurant in New Hampshire.

Lucky for us, T enjoys cooking even when he’s not working, so we threw him in the car and drove to our local farmer’s market with a plan to have our first BBQ of the summer.

We bought some beef from a lovely farm that I’m embarrassed to admit I can’t remember the name of – nor can I find online.  I will report back on that.  It was excellent, and T suggested cooking it in the shape of squares for a practical reason that I’m also unable to remember, but took his word on.

You’ll see he threw some apple into the patties.  Yum.

I, meanwhile, whipped up one of my favorite potato salad recipes from the Joy of Cooking.  Forgetting to pick up a shallot at the farmer’s market proved a good thing when I remembered the chives in our background (see first picture).  I just learned that allium, the name of a higher-end restaurant in Great Barrington, is actually the onion genus with over 860 species.  I like the purple flowers they produce.

Our fixin’s included local spinach, onion and mushrooms (and non-local but household favorite Green Mountain tortilla chips) presented all professional-like.

While I was eyeing Berkshire Mountain Bakery’s ciabattas at the farmer’s market, T suggested we buy a few and use them as buns.  Genius!  The square-shaped burgers now had both form and function.

Back inside, we pulled our out growler of Chatham Brewing Co’s IPA, and settled in for a feast.

I had the olive ciabatta, Anuj the jalapeno, and T had the cheese and herb.

There wasn’t much talking at the table.  I think it was just moaning.

Breakfast found the spinach and potato salad back on our plates, this time accompanying cheesy eggs with chives and the most amazing breakfast sausages I’ve ever had from the same farm that I can’t remember the name of!

This post may sound like an advertisement for local foods, and I’m cool with that.  In fact, I’m proud of that.  Because I’m telling you, this food tastes better, it feels better, it connects Anuj and me to our community, and selecting and cooking it was a really meaningful way to spend time with my brother.