There’s a building in downtown Vancouver right between West Georgia and Alberni. On one side, there are several large colourful glass-blown flower sculptures encased in an enormous glass cabinet overlooking a series of fountains and shallow step pools. I’ve probably walked by it a million times to and from work, but it took me years to realize that this was artwork by Dale Chihuly.
Occasionally, I’d come across one of Chihuly’s fantastical glass installations; at the lobby of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kew Gardens a few years back and recently at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Bright and captivating, his creations were unlike anything I’d seen before.
Knowing he’s a native of the Pacific Northwest, I usually feel strangely proud whenever I chance upon in his stunning artwork in far off places. It also felt a little like “a prophet in his own land” situation since I’d never seen any of his works close to home. Well, except for the piece on that building downtown.
A friend and I went on a fun berry picking adventure a few months ago when summer was still full of promise.
The trek out to the farm took us through bucolic country roads in Ladner, over an old green wooden bridge and onto a charming island with green farmlands and I hear, a bird sanctuary.
We got to work in the field picking strawberries and raspberries, and a few tayberries and black currants for good measure. The strawberries were the sweet tasting kind that bruise easily and stain your fingers. It was too early in the season for other berries, but the few raspberries we picked too were delightfully sweet.
Later on that afternoon we had our first picnic of the season out on the beach; I spent the whole time thinking about the berries and the pies, icebox cakes, salads, crisps, strawberry sauce and all the other ways we’d celebrate this season of berries.
We’ve been a little obsessed with corn lately. We go to the farm market diligently on weekends and cart home ears and ears intensely sweet sweetcorn. In essence, this summer will go down as the one where we rediscovered corn! I made creamed corn for breakfast last weekend; this time with fresh corn, custard powder, coconut milk and lots of nutmeg. I sat out on my breezy little balcony and enjoyed it while watching the street come to life.
Lunch on Sundays is usually a salad, made with whatever produce we’ve managed to grab from the market. Since it’s summer and corn is at its peak, there is likely be corn in our summer salads; It never gets boring.
I was thinking of a fresh hearty and vibrant seasonal salad with this roasted potato and cranberry bean salad. I’ve always liked the idea of beans and potatoes as the herbivore’s version of meat and potatoes.
The last few days I’ve zoned out of real life, quietly engrossed in a novel. Does anyone else do this sometimes? The book is not particularly great, but the description of scenery and setting is so vivid and mesmerizing, I was lost in this beautiful imagery of a sublime faraway place.
This herbed green rice recipe was supposed to go up last weekend, before I started reading and drifted away. I felt a little guilty until I read the recent report on reading and longevity.
Following our week of rice and beans, I’ve been thinking of rice; about how much of it I eat and how I don’t post enough rice recipes on here to reflect that. Maybe we’ll make salad this weekend, with green rice, black beans, roasted okra and tons of vegetables; it’s just a thought for now.
I’m due for a visit to Seattle; there’s a sweet baby boy I’m dying to meet and three young ladies, a little further east, I’m hoping to hang out with. I wanted to go this past BC Day long weekend but alas, life got in the way. Instead, I spent Saturday running errands all over the city. On Sunday we joined the Pride festivities, and I spent the Monday off watching the entire season of Stranger Things. It was a satisfying weekend, but I still need to go to Seattle.
A few months ago on my last visit to Seattle, we popped into Elm Coffee Roasters during our coffee break and loved it.