Summer is Here…and so is Scape Jam (almost)

So, it’s summer.  A concept I truly never appreciated until I began living year-round in the rather northern part of the northern hemisphere.

Living near the equator, such concepts as “Summer Solstice” are ridiculous at best.  Celebrate the longest day of sunlight?  Please.  Most people are trying to escape it under the nearest shady tree.

Fast forward eleven years into thugging it out through three hundred days of consecutive rain.  You know that line in Sleepless In Seattle where Tom Hanks’ best friend expresses chagrin about his impending move to the Northwestern US?  “It rains nine months out of the year in Seattle!”

Living just a little above Seattle, that quote has lost most of its humour.  Oh, and it’s true.  Maybe even a conservative estimate.

So when summertime arrives in my own little suburb of Vancouver, I sing my own hallelujah chorus from beneath the nearest strawberry shrub, wearing as little clothing as I can legally get away with and sipping a giant glass of something frosty.

I know it’s been a little tumbleweedy around here.  Are you like me?  I get grumpy when bloggers don’t post frequently.  “What could she be doing?” I ask, impatiently.  Well, now I know.  She (or he) is cooking in a frenzy that obliterates all hope of taking notes.  Or trying recipes that end in decidedly unepic (and unpoetic) failure.  Or grieving.  Or writing novels, or short story collections, or both.  Or picking strawberries.  Or eating uncreatively.  Or eating very creatively, but free-style, and without a camera on hand to document the fun.  Or knee-deep in garden-fresh kale.  Or busily compiling great recipes to share … soon.  Or, or, or.

I can say this: my absence has not been in vain.  Along with scavenging for strawberries and delving into the big bad world of growing chickpeas, and explorations into a kale salad (have you heard of massaging kale?  It’s bizarre, and entirely worthwhile), I’ve been introduced to a whole new type of yummy. The guy at one of my favourite veggie stores (home of the first honour box I ever met) introduced me to garlic scape jam/spread/jelly/heap of summertime delicious.  I bought a jar, and the last 36 scapes on the premises, and perhaps the last 36 of the season.  (Sorry, Ladner residents; I’m the one.  I took them.)  I came home, and made the most amazing semisavoury scape and balsamic vinegar jam.  So next post: my report on this jam (a Bernardin one: I’m hardheaded, but not hardheaded enough to wing it in my jam making…kinda), and why, if you have access to these long and curly wonders (i.e., live outside a twenty mile radius of me_, you, too, should buy up every last one on sight and whip up a batch yourself.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Ally says:

    Hi!
    Growing chickpeas? I’m intrigued.
    Are these scapes of which you refer, garlic scapes?
    I am only managing to blog once a week at the moment. I used to sit up late a few nights a week to write (when the kids are in bed) but it is so darn cold here. I just want to curl up in bed with a book.
    I love your photo. Those greens look delicious!

    1. Ally says:

      Ignore my question. I re-read the relevant section, and have my answer!
      I had never heard of garlic scapes until I read about them on another Canadian bloggers’ blog.

    2. I need to snap a picture of the chickpea pods. The flowers were much like most pea blooms (think sweet peas), but tiny, and the leaf structure is also a bit different. But the pods are hilarious! Tiny, fat, chunky and fuzzy little stumps. Absolutely loveable things 🙂

      Garlic scapes are the best things ever, too. They are just about finished for the season. I can just about forgive this, since it means local garlic is just about ready. I’ve turned into such a garden glutton.

  2. kyarul says:

    I need to know more about this scape jam. Get posting. Unless I’ve missed that one…in which case I apologise in advance for my impatience. Yes. Sigh! I never could understand the idea of sunworhip. Recall how we used to cackle at the prospect — until like you I was north of the equator and 2 summers in the lack of sun took its toll. Anyway, we’ve been baring skin and soaking up the rays while they are here (and they have been). Yay. The kids are getting their nice rosy colour and even skin tone back!! No more yellow hue we’re all nicely browned!
    Sadly, my kale is being enjoyed by the caterpillar of the cabbage white butterflies. I’m sad but next year I’m ready and will cover them on planting with my fleece bag so there’s more for us. (Sorry caterpillars!). I’m jealous of your bunch of garden produce!

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