Alive in Abundance

— By Camille DePutter

July is when summer really becomes alive. And with it, our taste buds.

Suddenly, the scarcity of local, fresh fruits and vegetables fades away into distant memory – replaced instead with rainbows of choice. Admittedly, this season, the weather has caused some delays; a few of your favourites might be harder to find. But there is still a sense, as I drive through the country, roam the farmers’ market, or survey the little green grocers that line the city streets, of abundance. 

To me, that sense of abundance rekindles a ‘kid in a candy shop’ feeling. Yesterday, my husband and I were driving through Grey County and passed a “U Pick” strawberry patch. I could hardly contain my delight, as we knelt in the fields, gathering up oodles of bright red berries. Like little red rubies had been scattered all through the green plants. An overflow of treasure. 

While we picked, I have to admit there was a bit of adrenaline running through me. As though I needed to scoop them all up before they disappeared. So much goodness to pick! Here’s one! And another good one! And another! More! More! More!

It took me back to picking strawberries as a kid with my mother and grandmother. We picked, and picked, and picked in the hot sun, and then, with my grandmother as the leader and teacher, turned that abundance of berries into an abundance of jam. Sweet, strawberry jam that tasted incredible on buttered white toast. Sugar and white bread were standard no-no’s in my healthy household and the temporary lift of this ban on such treats made it all feel extra indulgent. I felt like such a lucky kid – and so I was.

Sometimes, I think, we just need things to feel plentiful. To put a hold on restraint, and just drink in the abundance of what is good, what is lovely in life. 

The truth is, I don’t have to take home everything from the farmers’ market to feel this way. That same ‘kid in a candy shop’ feeling applies: you can’t get all the sweets… but it sure feels good to be surrounded by them! At the market, it’s the same. A simple bunch of crisp carrots or colourful radishes can do it.

That said, there is something special about having, say, crates of strawberries, almost too much to handle. And what you do with that abundance – perhaps it’s a dinner party, or making preserves, or experimenting like a mad man in your kitchen – well, that just extends the experience, and hopefully, passes along the plentitude you’ve enjoyed. 

This month, the Withrow Blog will explore some of these themes. We’ve also added some awesome new bloggers to our mix, so stay tuned for an “abundance” of great posts. 

Enjoy July, everyone. 

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