It truly feels as if summer has arrived. With a vengeance. Suddenly, everything that has been soaked by rain is starting to dry out. The level of the Céou River is dropping. Afternoon temperatures are now regularly in the 30s (that’s Celsius). And there are these additional signs and portents:
Tanning alert. The sunshine is now steady enough, and I am on my bike often enough, that I now remember to take off my wristwatch and fasten it to the bike’s handlebars when I’m going for a ride. That way, I won’t end up with a light stripe around my otherwise tanned forearm. (Because of biking gloves, pale hands are another matter.)
Apéritif alert. My business mentor, the late Tommy Jones of Dryden, Ontario, used to tell me that only the finest people drink Campari. Since by then I had developed a taste for the bitter Italian drink, I found it easy to believe him. However, I tend to think of Campari as a summer drink — so when my wife Jan suggested that we have a Campari and Perrier as an apéritif today, instead of a kir or an Aperol Spritz, I was only too happy to comply. She likes hers without ice; my drink requires lots of ice. Both of us require a slice of lime (citron vert). Delicious and refreshing; more tart than an Aperol Spritz.
Strawberry alert. We began the early-strawberry season this year with Gariguettes, which are delicious, and have munched our way through several other varieties, including Charlottes. But today at the weekly Cénac market, Jan bought the first available container of Mara des Bois. They are yet another sign that summer is well and truly here, and for the record, here they are:
She didn’t stop there, by the way. Jan also bought a few kilos of fresh tomatoes, and has already puréed and strained and spiced a bunch of them, to make cold tomato soup. It’s for tonight, with crème fraïche. Excellent fare on a hot summer’s evening; even better with homemade parmesan crisps.