Dog Days Of Summer

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She says:

They call this time of year “the dog days of summer” because the dog star, Sirius, rises and sets with the sun. The ancient cultures thought this bright star (the brightest in the sky, actually) added heat to that of the sun and that was why this time of year was the hottest. I think it is because you feel like you should act like a dog, just lounging around and enjoying the moment. I seem to remember my old pal Mo smiled more in the summer than any other time of year.

This weekend is our one family trip, with the car loaded to the gunnels and the kid and dog in the back. It should be a relaxing few days in the country, away from the day-to-day routine. The only trouble is, now is when the yard looks its best, and the garden is finally producing results from all my hard work! What am I doing going away now?!?

We are looking forward to the break, so don’t get me wrong. Being away from home doesn’t mean I don’t still share my enjoyment. We have a goodie bag all packed up for our friends with fresh garden veggies and herbs. I love being able to share all the wonders of my garden with friends and family. Last night we invited for dinner the two young men who have worked the summer in the vineyard where we live.

Our dog, Simon, has enjoyed their company immensely for they are always ready to throw a stick or a ball for him. (Remember what I said about enjoying the moment??) He was thrilled to have them around for a whole evening and I think the guys enjoyed a home-cooked meal after a summer in their camper. They told me they thought I was courageous to plant flowers around the house in such a hot place (I think that was a polite way of saying they thought I was a bit touched in the head…) But hey, they were impressed, so I took it as a compliment.

Maybe you will think I am crazy too, but early on a summer morning to stroll through the garden and take photos of the nodding sunflowers or nibble berries is a magical thing. (No wonder Mo loved poaching the carrots and raspberries so much - that’s what made her smile!) I love the way the visiting bumble bees follow me from one blossom to another, and the marmots peep a morning salute as the sun rises over the mountains. I try to store that magic so that later in the day when Murphy camps out in my office applying his law to everything I do, I can at least still have a smile left over to make it through the day.

And when I come home late and think of what is for dinner, another stroll in the “south 40” brings me back to earth and helps me remember what is really important – taking time to smell the roses, and to pick the zucchinis before they get too big.

(For those of you who don’t have the luxury of a garden at home, Chef has some great recommendations below for you…)

He says:

I just wanted to give a reminder to everyone about the good food shops in towns. The small shops need our support to keep giving us great products and stay in business. Walmart is good for toilet paper and marshmallows, but 75% of your food should come from these shops or other small local businesses like them…

  • Valoroso is my favorite place for Mediterranean food.
  • Hooked on Seafood and Cod Father are the best places to find fresh fish and seafood.
  • The Asian market has great Indian, Chinese and Japanese food ingredients to help you create some awesome meals.
  • L&D Meats is my butcher of choice, and I sometimes give some of my money to Costco who has some good quality cuts of meat too.
  • Okanagan Grocery’s breads are high quality product at reasonable prices.
  • There is a new store in town for your kitchen gadgets: Gourmet Outfitters next to CRS Restaurant Supply.
  • Discover Wines and Central Park Liquor Merchants will hook you up with the perfect bottle to go with your meal.
  • Illichman's has some great sausages, especially the Hungarian Wieners.
  • The Farmer’s Market in Kelowna is a super place to get fresh veggies through the summer.
  • You can’t take it home because it is frozen in a special way, but Mini Melts have great ice cream to enjoy for a summer treat.

Most of these shops have been around for a long while. They provide Kelowna with good food ingredients that allow us to eat good wholesome meals.

Without them we would be eating food from Save-on-Food or Extra food only. SO please go see them and tell them I sent you.

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


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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