Thursday, June 10, 2010

What a difference....

It is clear that Mother Nature does not use outlook nor does she carry around a personal data device that the rest of us might have access to. With just the first week of June having coming to a close I have already spied cherries!!

In the years that I have lived in this city, and been one of the devoted denizens of the farmer’s market I have never eaten a cherry before July 4th weekend. What a difference a year makes; last year the east coast got drenched with 28 days of rain and very chilly temperature giving us a never-ending April. All the while the residents of Seattle were sweltering under the constant downpour of sunshine.

After suffering a year without strawberries and under-delivering summer pleasure I am thrilled by the prospects of a season busting with cherries, superb strawberries and some the most fragrant lavender in years. Yes, I had to sacrifice an extended fiddlehead fern play-date but I welcome a bountiful summer harvest that requires more warmth and sunshine in order for it to make it to the table. Give me the heat; give the summer; give the earth the occasional cloudburst. Perhaps I will actually eat a sweet, juicy watermelon in August – oh, to dare to dream.

Before I get too ahead of myself I need to take a breath and enjoy what is potent right now, for as we know, Mother Nature could turn on a dime and send in a few hailstorms. All to remind all us that we need to seize the moment with humility but relish it with glee.

Strawberry Salsa - yields approx. 2 cups
2-pints strawberries - washed, dried and hulled; and cut into quarters
1 jalapeno - seeds removed to lower heat (if desired)
1 small red onion - finely diced
2 tablespoons lemon balm - leaves only
1 tablespoon lemon thyme - leaves only
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
2 scallions - finely minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the jalapeno chili very fine. Be careful not to let the inside flesh of the chilies touch your hands as the oils in this chili, as in most, is very potent. Roughly chop the herbs and then toss all ingredients together. Refrigerate the salsa 1 hour before serving. This salsa, as with many such fresh fruit salsas, has only a one-day shelf life.

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