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Happy-Gourmand

May is our warm up for enjoying summer

The darling buds of May

Mother Nature carries on her work as we flip the calendar pages.

We didn’t have many April showers, but the flowers of May are coming, nonetheless. Soon summer will be here. Can you feel the excitement?

People are in their gardens. The farmers’ markets have opened. Patio umbrellas are going up all over. We are hunting for flip flops and tank tops in the back of the closet in anticipation a few more degrees. And I bet you are either booking a B & B somewhere or getting your camper ready for the season.

Do you have spring fever? After having spent the last two years with bated breath about how to celebrate summer, many folks seem especially keen to make the most of the season. May is our warm-up, and it has been that way for centuries.

Have you ever heard of a may pole? Roman soldiers started the tradition of dancing around trees in early May to thank the goddess Flora for the coming of spring. In medieval Europe, young men and/or maidens were a part of festivities that heralded the joy of longer days and new beginnings.

Dancing around a pole or using it to signify the start of a parade sounds like a fine way to shake off the dust and darkness of winter. But in case you don’t have a pole handy with ribbons and a bunch of maidens ready to dance, here are a few other suggestions:

• Visit one of the farmers’ markets that are now open. If you want to check one out that is further from home, check out the list of markets in the Okanagan. Not all are open yet, but you can start making plans.

• Try some of the new spring releases at the local wineries, breweries or cideries. I offer a link for each to get you started, but please know there are plenty of resources to discover new places. Be an intrepid explorer when you support local businesses.

• Go for a hike and enjoy the many spectacular views of our region, not to mention some fresh air. Now that the weather is warmer, it’s easy to pack for a day trip. Make sure to bring water and an extra layer of clothing to account for spring weather.

• Try a bike ride, or even a walk. All the cities in the Okanagan have scenic paths to enjoy – usually with a cafe or ice cream shop nearby (wink wink). If you’re feeling energetic with your bike dusted off from winter storage, the Kettle Valley Rail Trail outside Penticton is lovely. The Myra Canyon trail in Kelowna that offers views from the old railway trestles will open later in May.

If you haven’t shaken off all the cobwebs of winter yet, or don’t think it’s warm enough for an outdoor excursion, then how about a taste of spring to celebrate the advance of the season?

Make my Lemon Pudding Cake and everyone at your table will thank you. It’s a wonderfully refreshing dessert that I think tastes just like spring, all fluffy and fresh and bright.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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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

 



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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