And the summery Flavor Journey around the world on the hot and spicy side of things continues~ Today’s matchup: the forests and mountains of central Europe in one hand, the gem-studded chili shrubs of Mexico in the other… CLAP~!
As Summer is slowly nosing it’s way in, the sizzling warning shots vigorously announcing its arrival usually send me into some sort of a panicky rush, reminding me of all those yummy things I should definitely cook once more before it gets too hot to even think about turning on the stove. This year though, blissfully moderate temperatures and cool nights actually made it possible for me to go about the whole thing with a bit more brainpower and prepare.
Friends, Romans, Countrymen… I have a problem. Or so it would seem. Only now that I’m sitting here, Iced Peach Tea in one hand and latest recipe notes in the other, ready to share the yumness with you guys I realize that this is the third recipe involving peaches and/or nectarines in a row. Third one for you guys, that is… lots more on my side of the screen. And it’s not even our region’s peach season yet! I’m so sorry! I’m not even sure where that sudden obsession came from!
Honestly… Three rays of sunlight and the mere idea of temperatures rising above single-digits alone are enough for all of the die-hard Big City BBQers to come out of hiding and fire up the embers, worldwide doom-and-gloom, pandemic or ravenous neighbors without the luxuries of a rooftop garden or balcony be damned. Most of the time, closing the windows after giving the whole situation the sigh it deserves does the trick.
So… as it turned out, I was right not to trust the suspiciously innocent-looking blue skies I mentioned last time – a serious case of November-in-March-ick, thunder- and hailstorm and massive amounts of… lukewarm drizzle being blown around (and under* any defense you might have put on/up) by the storm included came to pay us a visit since then to really, really get us into the right mood for Spring. Meanwhile, the first edible signs of Spring are popping up all over the markets, our first Asparagus, for example.
Minus 14°C. Snow. Windy. Did I mention the minus fourteen degrees celcius already? Well, what can I say… I’m absolutely extatic about it, jumping up and down in front of the window every morning these days~! It’s W.I.N.T.E.R for the first time in… I think it’s been at least 10 years that I’ve dug out a wool sweater during “winter” time and even longer since I’ve been woken up by the neighbour being massively displeased about having to shovel the sidewalk free of snow and letting the whole street know all about it at 5:30 in the morning.
You guys know I love our little weekly trips to the farmer’s market – and once more, I have a “Here’s Why” for you~ Amongst many other delicious little things, colorful produce, artisan producst and funky veggies and fruit you’ve never seen before, you might also discover the odd PRODUCE GUY, caps intended, of the mad-scientist variety. With his own greenhouse and parapenalia just waiting to either scare you and your tastebuds away or jump-start you and your winter-hibernating tastebuds into a madcap tapdance at a moments notice.
For the last 3 or 4 weeks, Mother Nature has given us her best Confetti Parade impression – an artist gone nuts wih a palette of yellows, reds, browns and greens… and everything in between. All the while, the sun was giving the scenery her best smile in support of the shenanigans below. Hiking through our put-professionally-photoshopped-autumn-postcards-to-shame forests has been an absolutely breathtaking blast, let me tell you!
September, golden September! Wine Harvest, anything involving grapes and related outdoorsy things you can do during these times, hikes, excursions and picnics – all asking for delicious little bites to recharge hike-depleted batteries or soak up some of the liquids that may have been sampled along the way!
For some reason, even after all these years, it still surprises me how people manage to make a whole city smell like a ginormic BBQ pit for weeks on end once the weather has found a stable routine during the Summer months without burning the whole town into a pile of smoldering ashes. After all, the use of open fires, coal-fired BBQs and all their gizmo’ish relatives are, at least in the densely populated areas of town, forbidden by law for exactly that reason.