Hot and Cold

— By Camille DePutter

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In this past week, I  enjoyed a wine and cheese get together with colleagues on a quiet rooftop, complete with an Astro Turf picnic blanket. I dove into spicy tacos at a tiny, local El Salvadorian favourite. I ate my first summer sweet corn (from a farmer’s market of course), which I grilled on the BBQ and slathered in a compound butter made with chile, lime zest and cilantro. And I got completely soaking wet in yet another thunderstorm.

This is summer.

Between heat waves, cloudy coolness, and lots of rain, it’s hard to know whether the day will be cold or hot. Given that I start each morning unsure as to what to wear (and whether I need to pack an umbrella… seemingly my answer from now on should always be yes, advice I incredulously routinely ignore), I wasn’t quite sure how to set up this month’s Withrow Park blog theme.

Should I write this post about beating the heat, I wondered. Maybe about embracing the warmth and spicing things up. Or ideas for cooking fresh food indoors when it’s wet and swampy outside?

I guess I’ve decided to open up the August theme with my own personal approach of embracing “what is.” Of going with it. Because that’s not just true for the season – it’s true for many things. Sometimes we’re feeling on fire, full of energy and spice. Other times we need a break – maybe that’s where a good little summer getaway comes in handy. Sometimes dinner is full of fresh veggies, and other times all I want is a good old fashioned cheese burger.

So whatever you’re feeling, whatever inspires you, whether you’re indoors or out, enjoying the heat or trying to avoid it, just go with it.

The truth is, I believe resolutely that variety is the spice of life. Literally – because I love tasting new things. A little of everything is always my option, should I have a choice. So why not extend that to weather, and to all the other little details that make up our days, and that keep surprising us, shaking up our regular routines.

Fortunately, we have a great group of writers contributing to this blog so in the coming month you’ll keep getting a ‘tasting menu’ of our own unique servings and interpretation of the hot & cold theme.

So there you have – my summer advice. Enjoy an August that is full of hot, and cold, and everything in between.

And, may I suggest, once in a while, taking off your shoes and getting completely, utterly soaked in a summer rain. Because secretly, at least to the kid inside, it actually feels kind of awesome.

(Above: A scene from our rooftop wine & cheese which was, miraculously, not rained out and instead provided a view of a spectacular sunset.)

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