Finally, June has arrived! And with it, comes the first day of summer. This year, that special event happened at 7:28 am on the 21st of June. The summer equinox (as the first day of summer is officially called) is also the longest day of the year. Unfortunately, the longest day also heralds the descent towards the winter equinox. In other words, each day after the 21st gets shorter until we reach December 21st (the shortest day of the year).
But, before we look too far ahead and find ourselves putting on our winter gear in an effort to guard against the winter chill, let’s focus on long, hot summer days. Sweep the patio, wipe down the chairs and prime the barbecue. We’ve got a great June menu for you.
Depending on where you live, June is also the month in which most seasonal farmers’ markets open. I’m so excited about the one that takes place here where I live. Every Saturday morning from 7 am to 1 pm, cars are blocked from driving down the main street. The road has been taken over by people who meander from stall to stall, picking up a head of lettuce here or a bunch of green onions there. Those people fondle the fruit and vegetables. They inhale the aroma or reach out their hand to sample a slice of tomato that sits on a tray placed haphazardly on top of jars of jam made from last year’s fruit.
If there’s anything at all that bugs me about June is that it often can’t decide if it wants to hang back in spring or dive right into summer. Am I expecting too much? The weather can still vacillate between sweltering and frigid in June. Ok, so I’m exaggerating … but only a little. I just don’t think the thermometer should ever dip below 20°C. And my fruit and vegetable plants? They’ve just started to poke through the soil by June. I want them to be big enough so that I can cook with them. The farmers’ market offers only marginal relief. Strawberries, asparagus maybe garlic … oh well, the slow maturation just gives us more time to enjoy the produce that does come up.