This week I spent an evening unpacking my summer clothes, as the rain pitter-patted on the windowpanes. I made porridge for breakfast, swearing to not eat the stuff again until the snow flies. And I am determined to finally plant my tomato seedlings outside in the garden. Time’s up, Mother Nature – I am willing the summer season to begin!
I realize that in the Okanagan we are spoiled, having a much better time of it than anyone else in Canada and much of the US. Unfortunately that tends to just make us even less patient. Don’t get me wrong, I love the majesty of autumn and the stark beauty of winter and I am a big fan of Christmas. But true decadence for me lies in summer, when the garden is in full bloom and the heat warms my bones all day long. As a foodie, summer is the easiest time of year to enjoy. You can be passionate and lazy at the same time when eating in summer. Our expectation is that the May long weekend is the first dose of summer. It's our "ready, set - go!" to the season.
So, more than the clothes that I haven’t seen for a while, I am excited about the fresh tastes coming out of the ground. I know that summer doesn’t officially begin for another month, but the radishes and carrots I have had from the farmer’s market have whet my appetite. I am already salivating for the cherries that will come from the blossoms on our tree outside. And I want to sit outside on our deck and look out at the fields without having layers of clothing and a blanket over my knees. Even in Canada, patio dining is not supposed to be an endurance sport when you get to the month of June!
We have friends coming by for a visit this weekend. I think I will prepare some tapenade and make fresh baguette sandwiches with radishes, tapenade and arugula. My veggies aren’t ready yet, but the flavours on my brain may help me visualize them growing faster, I think. I’ll open a nice bottle of my favourite Okanagan rosé and we can toast to the coming of summer.
I wish everyone a healthy start to the growing season (even if you are only growing a window box). Green things are good for your soul, whether to look at or taste. Here’s to all the joys of summer: iced tea instead of hot coffee, fresh local fruit instead of porridge, and salad with just a hint of hose water left after washing!