How to make the most of your relationship with strawberries STORY BY JANE MACDOUGALL • PHOTOS BY ARIEL PATRICH
THE STRAWBERRY CAN BE A DISSEMBLING TEMPTRESS. Come June, you’ll see these ruby-red coquettes on every street corner, their incomparable fragrance promising every good thing that is summer. It is impossible not to be smitten. We’ve waited for this moment all year: local strawberries!
There’s a rule among gardeners that no matter when someone visits your garden, it always looked better the week before. The week before, the roses were in full bloom. The week before, the mustard greens weren’t riddled with flea beetle buckshot. The week before, the weeds hadn’t yet surpassed the growth of your plants.
Plump, sweet, and luscious spot prawns are just one of many reasons to be proud of (and excited about) our region’s bounty. While exquisite in this dish, they’re so flavourful that we also encourage you to try them prepared simply. Grill them on skewers, boil them briefly with a bit of salt, or pan-fry in olive oil.
I had a run-in with vegetarianism that started during tenth grade and ended, abruptly, in front of a fried-chicken counter in Athens. (It was carnival. There had been retsina.) Months later, back at university, I promised myself I’d once again forswear meat. And this time I’d do it right: I’d break my dependence on peanut butter and banana, mac and cheese. I’d actually eat—gasp!—vegetables.
Last summer, my family and I left our home of nearly seven years. Even though we moved only two blocks away, it was a big move. We left a tight-knit group of neighbours that had, over the years, become close friends. Although I was excited about our new home, I lamented the loss of that neighbourliness. Of being able to run next door in my PJs to borrow an egg or that proverbial cup of sugar. Of feeling comfortable exchanging keys, and asking the neighbour to feed the cat.
Edible Vancouver knows that you have two winter stories. There’s the one where you’re all dressed up in your finery, sipping from flutes of bubbly and nibbling on canapés, and maybe watching delicate snowflakes fall like sifted icing sugar. Then there’s the story where you slog home through a dark, soupy commute to arrive in desperate need of comfort. This is our prescription for the latter situation.
If winter is not your favourite season, perhaps you need to meet The Hermannator. Vancouver Island Brewinghas been making this seasonal treat for 25 years, a Bavarian-style Ice Bock that annually warms the hearts of beer lovers throughout our region. (When we purchased a six-pack at Brewery Creek Liquor Storewithin a day of the October release, the cashier’s face lit up with happiness, as if she’d just caught sight of an old friend.) We call this one big and beefy not just because it’s 9.5% alcohol but because it’s a chewy beer you’ll be tempted to attack with a knife and fork. Next time the skies open up, hunker down by the fire and count on Hermannator to offer all the comfort of a caramel bread pudding.
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