|Our dog, Carib, enjoys day in the garden beneath her favourite Oak Tree|
After living in England for four years I have come to have a greater appreciation for some of the smaller gratifications in life: warmth and sunshine.
One of the best parts about life in England are the seasons. Now the English will bemoan the fact that they really only have three seasons as summer always seems to be a cold wash out. I guess Mother Nature got tired of the whining populous as the past week in England, and most of Europe, we had a second chance at summer. Autumn arrived in July and has been pushed out in October.
The leaves are falling off the trees at the same time spring flowers are budding again. Birds don’t know if it is time to head south or stay put. Autumn and spring are criss crossed- but I’ll take my full serving of it! After all, I think the Brits and we, fellow expats, all deserve a scoop of warm temps. If for no other reason than to expose our pasty skin, break a bit of sweat and then have a moan about how hot it is.
Growing up in Houston I was not exposed to living- or more to the point- eating around the seasons. Take asparagus and strawberries. This beautiful green stalk with its flavourful crown was a regular vegetable at family dinners just as strawberries were contenders at most breakfasts— even if it was December. I never saw these as the “odd produce out” or ever realised that they had been imported from Peru and Israel.
The English are very proud about their seasonal produce. In recent years, there has been a big push to celebrate the “Best of Britain”. And for good reason as each season brings a palate pleaser.
Case in point: the asparagus. I’ve learned a lot about these mighty spears such as; it takes a crown of asparagus three years before it is harvestable. And, each crown has a lifespan of around 15 years. And after all that hard work, the season is super short- starting in late April and finished by end of June. So while the getting is good- I like to have this green gem on my plate most nights!
This week we bid a final farewell to summer. Our tomatoes have made one last courageous effort to ripen before temperatures drop and the sun is again masked in English grey. And with colder temps in the forecast we await the re-entrance of autumn and all the rich root vegetables she brings.
Hope the sun is shining in your neck of the world…