Happy-Gourmand

Dog Days Of Summer

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They have begun… the dog days of summer started on Monday. It is that time of year when the essence of summer oozes out everywhere – people wear flip flops and beach clothes almost any place they go, pools and beaches are packed with sun worshippers, and patios are crammed full of folks drinking and laughing and enjoying the heat. The dog days of summer are an ancient tradition, so named because of the confluence of the dog star (Sirius) and the sun. At our house, it is evident from the attitude of the dogs, which seems to sum up summer: “it’s hot, so why should I sweat? I might as well just relax and enjoy until things cool down.” Like I said, it is the essence of the season.

Food in summer seems to follow the same trend. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel much like turning the oven on when it’s 30 degrees! Salad sounds good, especially when the garden explodes with ripe veggies from the hot days and evening thunderstorms. We get very creative this time of year, adding hard-boiled eggs and tuna for a nicoise, or snow peas and beet greens for an Asian twist. If we want something hot, then it is the barbecue that gets heated up, not the kitchen. A slow roasted chicken is just as good for leftovers (one less day for the oven) and German sausages on a baguette are a great exotic alternative to the good old hot dog. (As the Naked Ladies said, you can live like the rich and have gourmet condiments!) But I must tell you, I am saving the best for last, as the real treat of summer is the desserts you can make!

We had strawberry shortcake the other night that was inspired! Just fresh berries and whipped cream with biscuits or angel food cake and voila! If you have berries left (or couldn’t save enough from picking for a cake!) then you can just drop them over some ice cream… Martin put field strawberries we picked over vanilla ice cream with some toasted almonds and it was perfect! Soon we will have cherries and they make wonderful strudel (you can use phyllo dough) or clafoutis. (I have given this recipe before just e-mail us if you would like it again Cobblers and crisps can even be made on most gas barbecues, if you want to stay out of the kitchen entirely!

So, as we celebrate our wedding anniversary (six years of cooking together – congratulations, my dear!) and as wedding season gets into full swing and the dogs howl at the moon in the dog days of summer, I say “Let’s all eat some cake!” Life is too short not to have dessert and enjoy every last minute.

Happy summer!


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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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