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Happy-Gourmand

OK, now it feels like summer

When you’re used to living in Paradise, days of wind and rain just don’t seem like they belong. When you hear of everywhere else getting the heat and you’re still putting on a sweater and not sitting on the deck at night, well that just seems unfair. Finally though, dare I say, we seem to have at least a dose of summer happening. This week I have enjoyed some of my favourite flavours of the season, so I thought I would share…

We have a cherry tree in our front yard. It’s an old one, with majestic branches and a wonderful stately trunk. The crop of fruit we get is about all we can handle, so I was glad when my Mom said she was coming for a visit during cherry season. She remembers sitting in a cherry tree in her yard in Penticton when she was young, eating her fill of the luscious fruit. Martin and I both grew up outside the Okanagan, so cherries were a decadent treat that was never in abundance. There is nothing better than being able to wander out your door and pick fruit from the tree. Between the cherries and the golden raspberries this year, we are in heaven.

Mom decided we needed to make something with the cherries too, and so of course our first idea was clafoutis. I discovered this while living in France, and to me it is the quintessential French country dessert. (It’s also good for breakfast!) It’s quite simply a layer of cherries in the bottom of a baking pan, with a simple batter full of eggs with just a touch of milk and flour and maybe a dose of flavouring like your favourite spirit. (I added a touch of rum and it was divine.) Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar when it comes out of the oven, and voilà! The traditional recipe I have says to not even pit the cherries, as the pits add flavour, but I’m too clumsy for that. It still tasted awfully good, in my opinion.

We didn’t stop there with our culinary treats, and any gardener who grows zucchini should listen up – here is a way to curtail your squash production AND have a decadent appetizer with which to impress your guests! “Fiore di zucchero” is the Italian name for this delicacy – in English, zucchini blossoms! Just snip off a couple of blossoms once they get to be a few inches long, and rinse them off. Then stuff them with a bit of cream cheese or other soft cheese blended with herbs, dip them in an eggwash and then some bread crumbs, and fry in a pan till golden. Mom had these when she was in Rome years ago, and apparently we managed to duplicate the effort quite well, judging from the smile on her face and the humming noise she made.

We had more clafoutis with the last of our Cru Beaujolais to cap off the evening, and that made me feel as though summer had officially settled in. We may not have as many moments this year as we are used to having, but I need to remember to cram in a few more like that evening to ensure I have those nuggets to reflect on during the dark winter nights.

Here’s hoping you can make the most of your summer! Don’t forget the sunscreen!



More Happy Gourmand articles

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

 



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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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