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Happy-Gourmand
'Vibrant colour' by Wolfe GTP - an entrant in our Spring Snap Photo Contest
'Vibrant colour' by Wolfe GTP - an entrant in our Spring Snap Photo Contest

Summer Explosion

by - Story: 18633


Every season has its flavours,, and with summer arriving overnight in the last week or so, all of a sudden we are all searching for the tastes that go with the heat.

As I rode home from work on my bike the other day, I tried to think of what we would have for dinner, but was distracted by the intensity of aromas in the air. It struck me that summer explodes onto the scene and assaults all of our senses the perfume of lilacs in the air is almost dizzying in the early summer heat, and the oppressive feeling of the sun’s closing distance is always hard to adjust to in the beginning of the season. The profusion of colour after the sepia tones of winter and the dullness of a Canadian spring is like spilled paint in an artist’s studio, and the sound of the birds as they celebrate the longer days can sometimes be just a bit too much exuberance. It is as if we are in shock from the silence and solitude of winter and so we are like any other animal emerging from hibernation – a bit grouchy at first, until we stretch and get warmed by the sun.

Well, the Victoria Day long weekend has long been celebrated as the first taste of summer, so this year we can really get in the spirit! Take full advantage of the heat and the exploding blooms in your garden and prepare an exciting meal to start the season off right. I have listed a few ideas below for you but let your creative self go and be a little explosive in your nature when you cook this weekend. Think of the contrast of colours and try vegetables that put a rainbow on your plate. Think of the heady perfumes of the flowers and try some fresh herbs in a pasta sauce or a salad vinaigrette. Think of the exploding flavours of citrus fruits and rhubarb and try a new dessert that brings these to life. Food gives us such a wonderful opportunity to live in the moment if we see what is provided in the seasons. After all, Shakespeare did say:

SHALL I compare thee to a summer’s day?  
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:  
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:


Life is short, and summer is even shorter. Enjoy every minute of it.

Salads
Try sections of orange or grapefruit, especially with mesclun mix or spinach
Try a vinaigrette with honey, lemon juice and olive oil and a handful of fresh herbs of your choice – especially good when the salad has radishes or cucumbers!

Appetizers
Try smoked salmon wrapped with grapefruit and cream cheese
How about crostinis with a homemade spread of parsley, olive oil and a bit of garlic – especially good with some local cheese!

Main Courses
Anything over the BBQ grill is really good if you haven’t used it in a while – even grilled veggies! (You can use leftovers in a couscous salad.)
Have your first picnic with leftovers – roast chicken is perfect with buns and some salad.

Desserts
Who doesn’t love rhubarb crisp? Well, Martin doesn’t so I make it for myself, but he does love lemon meringue pie!
Try homemade gelato or ice cream, or even go to the neighbourhood place for a cone!


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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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