The produce at our local markets has grown and multiplied from a few sparse punnet baskets and bunches of herbs to tables creaking and groaning under the plenitude and abundance of Summer Harvest; farmers groggy and bewildered by the weeks of harvesting, packing, selling, counting and chatting with the locals. Speaking of local, have you seen this? It’s a message I wish more people would take to heart and it comes from an unusual source; more proof that the message is sinking in to a larger audience and being picked up as a marketing tool by larger corporations. Nothing wrong with that, if you ask me. Let’s get this voice out there a bit, yes?
I’ve taken a little hiatus, so to speak, from the blogosphere to concentrate on various little projects that have kept me out of trouble over the warmer months. The last week, however, I’ve been a captive to my kitchen, a large quantity of jamming jars and boxes and bags of fresh produce that I’ve been slowly turning into the most delicious, tempting, multi-coloured jars of preserves, pickles, chutneys and jams. I’ve gone through all my aprons, tea towels, wooden spoons and dish soap in an attempt to keep up with the seemingly never ending supply of this wonderful season’s fruits and vegetables. I’ve stirred bubbling pots of sticky, syrupy jams until my arms have gone into spasm. I’ve washed utensils and sieves and strainers until my fingernails have become soft as jelly. And I’ve loved every hot, sweaty, sticky minute of it. I look at the mountain of red and purple and green jars growing larger and larger on the counter and think forward to the cold months coming too soon to meet us, and the joy we’ll all get opening up those jars, Summer springing forth again like a surprise visit from an old family friend as we dip into the sticky, sweet, sour or bitter preserves inside. But more about that later. It’s time for a little catch up.
While I have been absent in the digital sense, I’ve been far from quiet in the kitchen. In fact, as absent from or tired of I get of one thing or another, somehow I always have time for the kitchen. I find that the act of cooking in the kitchen metomorphosizes to suite my mood: from a comforting hug for a bruised or bitter soul to an outward expression of joy and happy energy, the kitchen shapes itself around my current mood, filling in the gaps, holding me upright, much in the same way as that personification of love, the ever supportive Mr P. And Stirring and seasoning and sieving my way through the last few months, I’ve made a couple share-worthy things:
Like a trio of Strawberry and Rhubarb concoctions not tried before in the Lick Your Own Bowl Kitchen:
Firstly, a Strawberry Rhubarb bread pudding made with an unopened, left over Panettoni from Christmas.
Then came a Strawberry Rhubarb Cookie Sandwich, using up a half batch of sugar cookie dough left in the fridge from a previous endeavor.
Finally, for a picnic with friends on the banks of Lake Ontario, celebrating Canada’s Birthday, tartlets of Strawberry Rhubarb Mousse with a minted Strawberry Rhubarb Salsa.