Monday, August 8, 2011


So, it's August.  I'll admit that this might be my least favourite month, just because by this point the heat and humidity has begun to wear me down.  But this isn't going to be an entry of complaints.  Because what gets me through this month is the amazing bounty that is ripe for the picking.  Tomatoes come into their own this month.  So do peaches and plums.  There are late season strawberries, a second flush of raspberries, amazing greens, soy beans, blueberries, cucumbers, herbs, garlic, onions....  In short, August is a month of abundance.  And for me that makes the continued stretch of hot weather very close to worth it.

I've got a few events on my plate.  This weekend a dear friend gets married.  I'm making marshmallows for her reception.  If you read my "Of Strawberries and Artichokes" post back in June you saw the insanely simple recipe that I use.  I pureed and froze some strawberries for the sole purpose of making these again.  And just the other day I peeled and blitzed some just barely past prime, overripe peaches with the intention of trying a peachy variety of pillowy goodness.  A test batch with sour cherries taught me that in high humidity these treats will not turn out.  So if I have to put a dehumidifier in the kitchen, I will.  I am determined to have a few platters of these ready for the happy couple and their guests.  I will not tempt fate by attempting to also make Turkish delight style gummy candy, however.

In a couple of weeks I'll be hosting my ladies gourmet group here (weather permitting).  We'll be dining al fresco under the light of my freshly painted $5 Kijiji find chandelier, in the gazebo, on our newly laid patio (many thanks to hubby and his father).  The nine of us will be dining on a menu I'm calling "Eat Globally, Buy Locally."  Inspired by what's in season right now, I'm preparing a meal that circles the Mediterranean.  Thick spreads from France and Greece, a grilled vegetable salad from Tunisia, a sweetly spiced tomato soup from Morocco, leeks, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, fresh herbs... all starring in dishes that will showcase amazing food from an amazing part of the world, made with amazing ingredients from our own area.  And for dessert?  I'm thinking of a free form peach galette.  Happily the way these evenings are set up mean that each person brings their assigned dish and the hostess only needs to provide the space and the drinks, so it's not as much work as it sounds like.

During the Civic Holiday weekend I smoked an 11lb pork "butt" on my grill.  It came out wonderfully, and I have a large container of it in the freezer now.  It's too good not to share , so we're going to have some friends around on the Labour Day weekend, not for pulled pork sandwiches, but for carnitas tacos.  I'll take the unsauced meat, crisp it up a bit in a pan and set it out with fixings for a make your own taco bar.  I've recently become a huge fan of lacto-fermented salsa, and I'll make more for the party.  I'm hoping to try my hand at a lactic-fermented tomatillo salsa verde too.  I may make guacamole, though I don't know.  I've never made it before.  I am seriously considering making the corn and flour tortillas myself, though, if we can find my tortilla press.

For anyone who knows me, you can understand how big all of this entertaining is.  I'm something of an introvert, and having people over can be a bit of stress for me.  I really enjoy it once we're in full swing.  It's the actual inviting people that I tend to trip over, so gourmet night is perfect.  And my husband, who doesn't bat an eye at inviting friends round, is a huge help.  He doesn't have my issues.  LOL

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