The Hoosier Kitchen

Eat fresh. Eat local. Eat well. A year-round guide to cooking seasonally in your home.
fruits and vegetables

Any time you want a strawberry, there are strawberries to be had. The same goes for peaches, apples, Brussels sprouts—all of those so-called fresh foods waiting for you just a shopping trip away. The problem with that kind of convenience is that it cheats us out of enjoying fruits and vegetables when their flavors are at their peak. It dumbs down our palates. People who claim to hate tomatoes have probably never picked one straight off the vine in their grandmother’s backyard on a sticky August day. That is almost un-Hoosier.

To recalibrate our taste buds, we offer this season-by-season meal plan to get you through the year, beginning with the flush of summer farmers markets, enjoying some fall baking therapy, venturing into wild-game territory in the winter, and then basking in spring’s fresh start, which, as one locavore writes, can apply to life as much as it applies to the kitchen. Because chefs have already figured out all of the tricks to eating seasonally in style, we asked four of them to serve as guides for a year of eating deliciously.


Roadside markets and backyard gardens operate at full tilt during the humid Hoosier summer, when nature’s all-you-can-eat salad bar is open for business, and eating fresh is a no-brainer.


Sweater weather beckons us outdoors for perfect cool days in U-pick apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Beets and late-season peppers give way to cabbages, greens, and turnips as the temperatures drop. When we need to warm up, we take refuge in the kitchen, where baking season hits its sweet spot.


Locavores need not go into hibernation during the depths of winter. Root vegetables, rich and exotic meat stews, and kitchen potlucks keep us well-fed and inspired as we wait out the darkness.


This season hits our refresh button. Everything gets a little greener, including our plates, as the first rays of sunshine renew a passion for eating from the garden.