Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Joy is Eating from the Garden.

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A Summer with NO HEAT!

Weather-wise,this has been a truly crappy summer. I have lived in BC for more than 30years now and I have seen my share of summers that were late to arrive...but this summer is like a pot of water on a fire that can't quite get up to temperature. Did I also mention that today is August 11th? Judging by the little herb garden I have been growing on my patio, and from the quality and variety of produce arriving in my weekly SPUD tub, I can conclude that this year's growing season has been one of the bright spots in this unseasonably cool summer. The exception for me have been the berries. Having grown up in Abbotsford, surrounded by fields of strawberries,raspberries,and blueberries, in my expert opinion this years berries have been some of the most sour I have ever tasted.


The one flavour I will remember from this summer is the taste of fresh herbs, namely Basil, Thyme, Oregano, and Chives. I have been religiously picking and snipping these herbs in a variety of combinations and adding them to soups, eggs, and pasta. I made a pasta dish for lunch yesterday that consisted of Swiss chard, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, and a handful of fresh Basil and Chives tossed in at the end with extra virgin olive oil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. As I was eating it, the combination of fresh basil and zucchini took me back to last summer in Raito Italy, sipping wine and savouring a variety of antipasti with the P-Man. I have also been enjoying eating tuna sandwiches made with fresh Basil leaves mixed in with the lettuce. Try it, and you'll never think tuna is boring again!

A Summer Meal as described by MFK Fisher in " The Measure of My Powers" 1936-39

"First we drank a delicate broth made of chicken stock and white wine and fresh tomato juice, the three iced and mixed together just before we sat down. Then there were little hot cheese tarts, made in Vevey that afternoon. With them we drank a three-year-old Faverges from the vineyard across the road, a high thin white wine like all those of the coast we lived on. Then there was a tray of cold roast pigeons lying on a bed of herbs from our garden, and a big earthen tureen of all the small summer vegetables we could find, cooked whole and separately and then tossed together with sweet butter. There was bread, fresh and crusty." MFK Fisher.

Happy summer eating!

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