What I learned this summer.

It seems impossible to me that Labour day is here and yet another summer has come and gone. But, rather than cry into my fall clothes I thought I would take a moment to look back at a few of my summer highlights and the things I learned the last couple of months.

Sunflower

I learned…..

… that I really love pesto made from radish tops and I still really don’t like parsnips.

…that while watching a baby coyote sleep under the hedge is adorable it probably isn’t desireable (and freaks the cats out).

… that the Yukon is amazing. Getting to explore it with my sister is twice as amazing.

… that taking an outdoor cooking class from Michele Genest, writer of The Boreal Gourmet, beside a northern BC lake, while at a music festival with said sister is pretty much my idea of heaven.

… that mint and spring pea rissotto made by my husband is divine.

… that a greenhouse makes an amazing bar for summer parties (but if that’s the case we may need a bigger greenhouse…).

… that it is actually possible to eat your fill of fresh figs.

… that I will miss the community, friendship and food created this summer in the Community Kitchen.

… that when making pierogi, even when using the identical batch of dough and filling, once cooked you can always tell which ones the Ukrainian Grandma made.

Summer memories

Most importantly I (re)learned that summer is far too short but when there is food, friends and family involved life is grand. What did you learn this summer?

The summer I learnt how to cook zucchini.

Zucchini, it is kind of an odd vegetable. Okay, maybe not that odd, but kind of odd.

Think about it. It often looks like a cucumber but is in actual fact a member of the squash family. It can be eaten cooked or raw and while it is most definitely a summer vegetable it is just as comfortable on a winter table.  I don’t quite get it.  I mean seriously? You can even eat the flowers. Now, it’s not as if the zucchini is some sort of “out there” esoteric vegetable. Quite the opposite. It is actually pretty common. It’s just that other than zucchini bread, for years it didn’t figure that high on my radar. And even then only if someone else made it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always eaten it and known it was good for me. It’s high in potassium, vitamin A and antioxidants. I have never disliked it, I have never quite understood how to use it so it’s not just one of those boring, good-for-you kind of vegetables.

Until last summer.

That was when thanks to the magic of a summer holiday, a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks and a friend more well versed in the subtleties of squash than I, it happened. I fell in love with this humble little vegetable.

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