The Strawberry entry on Wikipedia claims that “strawberry flavor and fragrance are among the most popular hedonic characteristics for consumers”. Certainly nothing says summer quite like strawberries.
The Wikipedia article notes that the “ideal strawberry experience” has to do with attributes such as sweetness, fragrance and complex flavor. My ideal strawberry experience is predicated on the local attribute. This week, I ventured 10 kms down the highway to the Bélair farm for a flat of ripe, red berries.
I enjoyed them in a salad with cucumbers also bought at the Bélair farm, on mesclun purchased from McClelland farm – less than 10 kms from home if I were a crow – and topped by fennel sprouts from my own garden. Yummmm.
I enjoyed them sliced on baguette with Gorgonzola and the last of a strawberry-white wine preserve from 2012. The cheese is too strong for my partner, so I was grateful that our friend Jonathan dropped by to share the sensation.
To extend my enjoyment, I have been making small batches of preserves every night this week: Strawberry, Balsamic and Black Pepper spread; Strawberry and Mint jam; Strawberry Honey. As I listen to the satisfying ‘pop’ and ‘thuk’ sounds of the lids sealing tight, I ensure an “ideal strawberry experience” on even the coldest winter nights.
The beauty of the berry, preserved by sugar and heat, is captured by the camera in the rays of the morning sun.
Enjoying a day of fun and relaxation on one of Canada’s many waterways – the Gatineau River in south-western Québec – with my partner Steve and friends Jonathan, Audrée, Ben and Annie. Feeling so fortunate to have such good people around me and to live in a country with so many beautiful and pristine areas.
Happy Canada Day!
A shout-out to the Friends of The Farm volunteers for the wonderful work they do around Ottawa’s Ornamental Gardens. I had a second opportunity to walk around the grounds with my parents – in town on a visit from Halifax – and enjoy the flowers.
A very pleasant stroll around Mud Lake conservation area this morning while the van was serviced.
Gatineau Park’s P17 is the closest parking lot to my home. The trailhead to the Brown Lake cabin starts at P17, so it is not unsurprising that I am hiking this trail often and in all seasons.
As the trail cuts through woodlands, fields and a former orchard, there is always a wide variety of plant life and insects to see – especially this time of year (yes, some of the insects are the biting kind – but you really do learn to live with them too).
The cabin sits close to the water … a haven for birds and insects and a nesting ground for turtles. I had always thought this body of water was Brown Lake. Beautiful .. but full of reeds and not suitable for swimming.
But on a hike this winter, I followed a snowshoe trail (only marked on the winter maps and virtually hidden in summer) and found that behind the tall reeds lies the real Brown Lake. Wide, long, deep. And no reeds. Just beautiful!
It was warm, sunny and I was all alone. I could not resist a quick (skinny) dip. Hello June!
Red sand beach
Out with the crazy golfers!
Rainy days don’t stop the crazy golfers or walkers. Whatever form your relaxation takes … enjoy the day.
And yet I survived.
After a few rainy days, it was so wonderful to see the sun again. And what better way to end a perfect day, than to spend a few hours on a Cape Breton beach to watch the sun go down? And what’s a girl to do with time on her hands and rocks within reach? Build a few cairns of course!
Thanks to Diane for taking the top photo and sharing it with me. Diane and her friend Janet were also on the beach enjoying the fresh salty air and the sunset. Having worked in the oil sands of ‘Fort Mac’ (Fort McMurray, AB), Canada’s environmental disaster-in-waiting, they were both glad to be back home.