So, it’s summer. A concept I truly never appreciated until I began living year-round in the rather northern part of the northern hemisphere.
Living near the equator, such concepts as “Summer Solstice” are ridiculous at best. Celebrate the longest day of sunlight? Please. Most people are trying to escape it under the nearest shady tree.
Fast forward eleven years into thugging it out through three hundred days of consecutive rain. You know that line in Sleepless In Seattle where Tom Hanks’ best friend expresses chagrin about his impending move to the Northwestern US? “It rains nine months out of the year in Seattle!”
Living just a little above Seattle, that quote has lost most of its humour. Oh, and it’s true. Maybe even a conservative estimate.
So when summertime arrives in my own little suburb of Vancouver, I sing my own hallelujah chorus from beneath the nearest strawberry shrub, wearing as little clothing as I can legally get away with and sipping a giant glass of something frosty.
I know it’s been a little tumbleweedy around here. Are you like me? I get grumpy when bloggers don’t post frequently. “What could she be doing?” I ask, impatiently. Well, now I know. She (or he) is cooking in a frenzy that obliterates all hope of taking notes. Or trying recipes that end in decidedly unepic (and unpoetic) failure. Or grieving. Or writing novels, or short story collections, or both. Or picking strawberries. Or eating uncreatively. Or eating very creatively, but free-style, and without a camera on hand to document the fun. Or knee-deep in garden-fresh kale. Or busily compiling great recipes to share … soon. Or, or, or.
I can say this: my absence has not been in vain. Along with scavenging for strawberries and delving into the big bad world of growing chickpeas, and explorations into a kale salad (have you heard of massaging kale? It’s bizarre, and entirely worthwhile), I’ve been introduced to a whole new type of yummy. The guy at one of my favourite veggie stores (home of the first honour box I ever met) introduced me to garlic scape jam/spread/jelly/heap of summertime delicious. I bought a jar, and the last 36 scapes on the premises, and perhaps the last 36 of the season. (Sorry, Ladner residents; I’m the one. I took them.) I came home, and made the most amazing semisavoury scape and balsamic vinegar jam. So next post: my report on this jam (a Bernardin one: I’m hardheaded, but not hardheaded enough to wing it in my jam making…kinda), and why, if you have access to these long and curly wonders (i.e., live outside a twenty mile radius of me_, you, too, should buy up every last one on sight and whip up a batch yourself.