Here for a good time… not a long time!

**Disclaimer** This post was meant to be out in early June – funny how springing  forward brings me to the beginning of August

Lately, I’ve been pondering the flexibility of eatin’ in season – does the far-reaching California or Florida avocado really line up with the gospel of the widely admired Michael Pollan? The temporal nature of vegetables, fruits and relationships all seem to be trumping any thoughts of summer shenanigans.  With a thoughtless neighbour dismembering my rhubarb plant and my hometown of Thunder Bay pounded with snowstorm after snowstorm, I have resorted to farmer’s markets and the local grocery store for my rhubarb fix. This year’s spring with its irksome constitution and wily ways has me feeling a bit discombobulated, a feeling I can’t seem to shake even now in August. Every which way I turn (Toronto, Montreal, NYC, Muskokas) I managed to get soaked, nearly blown away on the streets or alternatively frozen to the bone in some instances. Spring has a funny way of reminding us that even if for only a moment, everything will change.

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The promise of sun tempts us away from our desks and onto the streets or into our respective forests and inviting bodies of water. Trusting your gut and building up your spirit seem of utmost importance as we all wade into the depths of summer, the season of spontaneity.

As I waffle between seasonal versus local, vulnerable versus stoic, it’s hard to decide exactly what is “right.” For now I trust that my well-ripened avocados have a good place in my belly while the rhubarb is best laid to rest dancing across my tongue.

Standing behind your lifestyle can be just as testy and troublesome as dressing for the  weather (hot days, cool nights, rain-rain-rain!). Whether it is challenged by new relationships or a stressful set of circumstances, you must stand by your convictions and move through each meal and snack attack with purpose. The frenzied, anxious thoughts and enquiring folk will respect you all the more for this.

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The Western appropriation of “saving face” is a curious one. I once thought this kind of deliberation dissolved after a certain level of time, trust and comfort came to pass. Making every attempt to show strength to our immediate family or holding our grief too close to our hearts for our close friends and loves to decipher can be troubling in its own right. Be gentle with yourself – listen to your body. If the hard and fast pace of sweet summer has you down – take a nap and then jump at the next possible chance for you to eat, exercise and embrace.  These rhubarb muffins will soften the blow of the 5-ish a.m. morning sun, and this guac’? Any ol’ time you desire a silky punch of heat and zest to paint your mouth.

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Hopefully this will get you through until peach season or whatever else you are vying for in the superstore aisles.  As for me – I will be feasting on it all as I take this turn into an exciting temporary employment opportunity, cook and juice the scraps in the corners of my crispers and cupboards, and smirk and giggle my way through it all.

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Time to pay respect where respect is due…

A few great cooking and lifestyle books are about to grace my bookshelf and the stains of my cutting board. I give you the almighty Shauna and Danny Ahern and Meghan Telpner.

I based my rhubarb butter on this sweet offering from Meghan Telpner. Please do pick up her book, UnDiet – her wit is sharp and the creed is inspiring!

Smear the extra on the inside of the rhubarb muffins or lovingly swirl it into your favourite organic yogurt.

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Gluten Free Girl and the Chef.

Without her soft and pithy prose, I wouldn’t be half as confident of a gluten-free cook and baker. Shauna and her chef husband Danny will lead you to greatness and comfort you on any mishaps in the kitchen.

I made their beautiful Rhubarb Muffins with a couple of minor tweaks.

I took a lot more liberties with this recipe. I craft my own GF all-purpose blend based on the ratios suggested on their blog (sorghum, brown rice, sweet rice flours , corn and potato starch) *don’t quote me on that*. I ran out of teff flour so I chose millet for its likeness and ability to produce a soft crumb in baked goods.

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Tea’s Guac’

1-2 avocados

half to a whole pepper (jalapeno, habanero, thai chili – pick your poison, seeds in or out!) finely diced

2 ripe limes (look for a smear of yellow here, my dears)

a couple of hefty pinches of sea salt

chiffonade a handful of cilantro

Smoosh and taste for seasoning. For best results make at least an hour before – let those flavours mix and mingle.

I have big plans to make a quick one day getaway to Simcoe to source some gorgeous peaches for eatin’ and cannin’!

Until next time friends.

-T

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