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Summer Has Arrived

21 June 2006

For the past six weeks, we’ve been able to hold off on turning the air conditioner on until, oh, 5 o’clock on very hot days (some days we only needed to turn it on when we went to bed [if we leave the windows open at night, then the car noises and such keep us from sleeping deeply]). Don’t get me wrong, it would get hot (90 degrees and up); but our old house kept the cool for much longer than one would think.

We’ve also been able to bring our sandwiches outside at lunchtime and eat in the garden, and most dinners were eaten out back as well. This is the pleasant part of the year: the weather’s fine and the mosquitoes aren’t out yet.

But now; now that the Solstice has come, the humidity has arrived. This morning, it looked a bit overcast and gray (showers have been passing through), so I opened the window, to let some of the cool in. Nope. What greeted me instead was a sticky hot breath of “fresh” air. I shut the window quickly. We’ll stop the cool from escaping for as long as we can.

I meant to provide a good post today, but the humidity has wilted my resolve. Instead, I’ll talk about the red foods of June.

First, we have rhubarb. Our own stalks, plus some from the farmers’ market, provided enough to make some rhubarb fool:

The picture makes it seem too yellow, and too whipped cream-y. It was delicious, though. You just make rhubard compote (Peel and cut up rhubarb, add sugar, maybe a smidgen of water, some cardamom, and half a vanilla bean; cook until it’s a pink smush; scrape the bean, return the specks to the smush) and chill. Layer with lightly sweetened whipped heavy cream in tall glasses. Serve.

Then, there are the strawberries, with which I hope to make some strawberry shortcake. (And maybe some jam; it depends on how much there is at the farmers’ market).

Then, here we have:

Our first harvest of sour cherries off our tree. The Consort started two gallons of cherry wine, and I made a delicious sour cherry upside down cake. This recipe is definitely a keeper. You should try it; the recipe is here. I found it by reading the archives of yarn harlot, which I have recently discovered. (As an aside, does anyone else, when they come across a blog they find interesting, spend the next week or so reading the entries in order from the beginning? No? It’s just me? Oh well.)

Have you any red foods of June that you particularly like?

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