Happy-Gourmand

Moonshadows and Squash Blossoms

I have sat on my deck every evening for the last week, enjoying the moon as it rose in the sky. It has been so bright it casts shadows on my deck and in the garden below. Sitting out there on a sultry September evening as I listen to the crickets and the burbling water in our little pond, I feel I should be toasting my good fortune. Doesn’t summer seem to be our decadent season?

Perhaps because this summer was shorter, I think we might have done a better job of making the most of it. I know I did. There were backyard barbecues and picnics on the beach, there were evening canapés while boating on the lake, and there were visits to some fantastic Okanagan venues. We picked cherries and ate them until we were blue in the face (literally!). My garden had splendiferous sunflowers and heirloom tomatoes. I cooked fried zucchini blossoms and am going for the world record in zucchini loaf production, and I managed to grow 3 crops of carrots and 2 crops of beets in the garden (good thing, since the pocket gophers ate half of my beets!) We actually had visitors at Rabbit Hollow too, and for the first time we got to feel the exhaustion of entertaining. It was wonderful!

Okay, so the entire season was not about eating, but almost. In a time of year when everything is growing and in a place where that everything is almost overwhelming, how can you not end up feeling a bit like Winnie the Pooh, always feeling like “it’s time for a little something”? I took it as my sworn duty to consume at least one piece of fruit on every morning’s walk with my dogs in the orchard. First it was golden plums, then peaches, and now it’s Italian plums. (And just so you know, I only gleaned fruit – picked the ones that had fallen to the ground.) Most days, the juice ran down my arm and made me smile. It was like swallowing sunshine – what a way to start the day!

We are blessed to have many foodie friends, and so our obsession for enjoying a meal is not lost on our company. They shared our delight in making custom pizzas in the oven we have in the back yard – everyone watching each creation cook as if it contained a magic spell that transported you away with its combination of flavours… We all hummed the same tune when we discovered the mastery of roasting huge marshmallows and then “skinning” them and dropping in grated chocolate before stuffing in the re-toasted interior. Nirvana, it was. Even breakfasts became an event, like the peach and cherry pancakes with game sausages we had one sunny morning as we watched our first hummingbirds drop in for a visit!

For those of you who may not feel comfortable engaging in food decadence at home, never fear - I have a few suggestions for you. Highlights of my summer were lunches at Silk Scarf Winery in Summerland on their cozy patio. There is no menu – you just trust them to cook a meal that will match with the wines you choose from their tasting bar. Chef Tara is young, but don’t let that fool you. She creates an amazing meal. The other unique and amazing thing is to sample the delights from Dana and Cam at Joy Road Catering, who cook at God’s Mountain on Corkscrew Drive. The setting is one of a kind, and the food stands up perfectly well to such a magical venue. Put both of those things on your list for next summer – just remember you don’t need breakfast that day!

As we take the leisurely stroll into autumn, I recommend making the most of the harvest. I am happy to share my zucchini loaf recipes if you like – send me an e-mail! Here’s to tomato salads and fresh arugula in my pasta for a few months to come. It may get darker on my deck as I eat dinner, but like Cat Stevens said, “I’m being followed by a moonshadow…”



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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

 



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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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