As much as I would like to, I do not always have a plan for what I’m cooking each week.

Oh heck, I’ll be honest: I rarely have a plan. I usually wind up letting what is offered at the farmer’s market or what local goods are featured at the produce stand guide my decisions for our menu. Once I can narrow down what I’m cooking, half the battle is done. I can come up with all sorts of things to do with what I find. I just need that one decision to present itself.

Well, inspiration was a little hard to find this week. The farming seasons are in transition. Many of us have had our fill, if that’s possible, of eggplants and peppers. And, quite a few farmers were busy in their fields getting ready for the next crops.

But there were still delicious, locally grown foods to be found.

I decided I had better look deeper onto the tables and stands for those gems I usually miss while navigating the crowd at the market. What I found was a small box of beautiful, deep-colored fresh hibiscus fruit and some sweet, crunchy Asian pears.

Picking these two foods gave me something completely new to play with. I learned that hibiscus fruit is helpful in soothing stomach irritation and easing fluid retention, something many of us could use thanks to this recent heat and humidity. I also enjoyed using the pears in a savory dish for dinner. I hope you’ll enjoy these quirky little finds, and I encourage you to look for something new to bring to your table while we wait for the fall season to flourish.