When I was a kid my Mom, as most moms do, drove me crazy. As soon as tomato season started every time she would bite into a tomato, and I mean every time, she would swoon. Really. Not just get a bit excited, but the “do you need smelling salts’ kind of swoon. She would take one bite and in a fit of slight rapture she would exclaim “oh….. this is sooooooo good”. “Yes Mom, we know. They are good.” we would say. “No.” she would say, ” but these are SOOOOOOO good”. Sigh. As a teenager it was mortifying.
I love summer. It really is the best time of year. The heat, the humidity, the sun, the fresh vegetables – heaven! The only downside I can think of is that it is usually (hopefully!) too nice to want to spend much time in the kitchen. I want to be at the pool, in the garden or playing bocce with friends. When I do step into the kitchen I want to create meals that are fast, seasonal and adaptable. Like potato salad. Now I’m not talking the mayonnaise loaded salad of our youth but a fresh, zingy, loaded with vegetables one that is a full on meal in a bowl.
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.
… 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.
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?
As I write this it is early morning and I’m sitting on my back porch with a coffee. The sun is creeping its way over the trees, the birds are singing and the garden is still dripping from the dew. I may change locations soon but only to get a fresh peach for breakfast, weed the garden and plot my next preserving adventure.
It’s summer and the livin’ is easy.