At the beginning of a new season I get so wrapped up in the possibilities of said new season, and do often declare that this said new season is most definitely my favourite season of all. So Summer is my current favourite. (Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever declared Winter my favourite, but for my northern hemisphere readers, I did write an article for Essential Kids about the things I love about winter, you can read that here, if you’re shivering your way through pre-Christmas celebrations).
I love the seasons and while I complain about the cold weather, I don’t think I could live in a climate that doesn’t have all four seasons. So, I say this very tentatively, because well… Melbourne. Four seasons in one day, and all that. But I think I can say it now:
Summer is HERE! It has arrived. I think the qualifier is a few days in a row over 30ºC, which we’ve had. It doesn’t matter that when the cool change comes through it drops 15º in an hour.
There is so much I love about summer: Gin and Tonic on my back deck, easy fashion of sun dresses and chic sandals, lazy afternoons lying on warm sand and dipping in and out of the sea, camping and my kids with dirty faces and feet.
Without a doubt though, what I most love is the food of Summer.
My husband is a green thumb and loves to grow his own food, and the bountiful yield from Summer makes it well worth all the work. And I am a happy eager recipient of the garden loot.
Here’s a little glimpse of some of the gorgeous treats so far.
Bruschetta on olive bread – the tomatoes are not our own, as it’s a bit early but the basil is grown in the garden and takes a tomato sandwich from pedestrian to sublime. The tomato plants start to fruit after Christmas, so there will be more bruschetta in store for us.
Fresh strawberries. Yes, these are from my garden, gown on my very own back deck. This is our biggest yield so far, and they were exquisite; soft, sweet with just the right amount of strawberry tang!
While I can’t claim that we grow our own mangoes (it is Melbourne, after all), it is another summer flavour that I can’t get enough of. This is my summer fruits breakfast parfait: mangoes, nectarines, raspberries with greek yogurt, and almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds roasted in the pan with cinnamon, coconut oil and maple syrup.
Another one I look forward to every year are the zucchini flowers. The flowers come from the male plants that don’t turn into actual zucchinis. Pick them in full bloom and stuff them with homemade pesto, ricotta or olive tapenade. Or whatever takes your fancy. A nice light tempura batter and into the deep fryer makes for a beautiful entree or summer snack.
There are so many other things I adore about Summer, but right now, especially with Christmas just around the corner, it’s ALL about the food.