Archive for August, 2013

Pear and fig grilled cheese

pear and fig jam grilled cheese

I once lived in a house in Victoria with fig, pear, and plum trees. I was a university student then, studying art and English literature. Thinking back, I’m wistful for all the picking, poaching and preserving I could have done, should have done. I didn’t worry about things like that, though. I just sat in the sun, ate fruit from the trees, and leafed through thick books.

That was the year The Riverside Chaucer came into my life, thickest of all the thick books. I’m not sure what that has to do with figs, except that here it is, fig season, and I’ve been seriously regretting my decision to donate that book to the library book sale lately. Somehow the two must be related.

I’m sure I’ll understand why some day. In the meantime I’ve got sandwiches and nostalgia for the fruit trees of old to pass the time.

Pear and fig grilled cheese
Makes 1 sandwich

This sandwich is the result of some delicious leftovers from our local cheese shop. It is delicious made with sliced fresh figs (if you are lucky enough to have them) or fig jam.

Butter two slices of multigrain sourdough bread and spread thinly sliced figs (or jam) jam on the other side of the bread. Layer on thin slices of aged cheddar cheese, pear and red onion, and grill the sandwich in a frying pan until golden brown.


August 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm 2 comments

Summer garden

climbing roses 3

Somehow it is already the August long weekend. I’ve been dipping into a book of poems by T.S. Eliot this weekend and thinking about the “still point” in Burnt Norton, the idea that past and future can gather together in the present, creating a sense of meaning and solace, of something more permanent than time.

The still point reveals itself more often in the summer months when there is more slowness and reflection, more space for being instead of just doing. As I write this I am on the patio. The dog is sitting beside me in the shade of a plant, positioned so there are tomato leaves resting against her forehead and nose. I’ve just fed her the last few snap peas from a waning vine in an effort to distract her from what has become her latest game, nipping off the buds of my string beans (she should at least wait until they are fully grown if she’s going to be the one to enjoy them).

2013 tomatoes

Eliot’s poem takes a walk through an imaginary garden, and I hope whatever you’re doing this weekend feels a bit like that. In my garden, the roses are mostly gone, but the tomatoes are thriving, lavender is about to rebloom, pole beans are winding their way up bamboo stakes and the mint and oregano plants I have scattered throughout the garden have sprouted tiny purple flowers. Life is still as it’s going to get, I think.

There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat,
through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.

strawberries and roses

lavender 2013 3

mint flowers



lavender 2013

balloon flower

climbing roses

August 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm Leave a comment

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