We just passed Victoria Day, the Canadian long weekend in May that typically delineates when it's safe to feel like winter is gone and we can scoot ahead to summer. Spring usually gets lost in the shuffle, here, because it's such a fleeting season for us...most years.
Most years, spring is marked by more winter interspersed with almost summer. Temperatures can drop well below the freezing mark one day, and shoot up to high teens/low twenties (degrees Celsius) the next. Most springs we receive at least one heavy snow fall, and I have had many blisters over the years from cracking and clearing ice on the sidewalk that resulted from repeated snow melt and refreezing.
Most years, a few people succumb to the gardening itch and plant early, only to have their hearts broken by overnight frost. Most years, spring (outdoor) soccer means cheering on my sons through rain/snow/biting wind, battling fierce clouds of mosquitoes, or getting sunburned.
Spring in the Edmonton, Alberta area is like every season rolled into one.
This year, spring started really, really early. I took a walk through the river valley on March 5, and our river was almost completely free of ice and snow. I have never seen that before. We waited for the usual snow storm or blizzard, but it didn't happen.
Combined with a very low snowfall from the previous winter, a significant lack of rain in the region, and significantly above average temperatures, in early May our relative humidity was sitting at just 10%- the same level as the city of Fort McMurray, which has been battling an out-of-control wildfire of epic proportions for the last 4 weeks.
The forecast calls for more rain and thunderstorms today and tomorrow, (the louder and more violent the better, in my books!) and then later in the week a return to sunny summer weather. You'll find me out on the deck reading or in the river valley walking, enjoying every moment of the sunshine and birdsong as possible. It's time to start thinking about foods that scream "spring" or "summer", so we don't have to heat up the house. Here's my shortlist. What's on yours?
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, friends!
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I was blessed with some fresh garden raspberries this week, and I have a bumper crop of mint, so naturally I thought about a yummy drink I was mixed for my birthday- a raspberry mint mojito. However, I wanted to play with the flavour combination and make a refreshing, healthy summertime sip rather than an alcoholic beverage.
My husband made such a face when he first tried this, so I drank his and took mine to a friend's place to sample for me. I frequently like things my husband doesn't, so I like to have a third opinion because otherwise nothing would pass the test.
She said her first thought was "that's tart!" but right away drank some more and was sad when it was finished. It's got a bit of a seedy texture, due in part to the raspberries, and in part to the chia seed gel. The best part of this drink is the nutritional boost you'll get from drinking it. Just some of the goodies you give your body are Omega 3 and Omega 6, Fiber, Calcium, Vitamin C, Iron, Vitamin K, Manganese, and Magnesium. If you feel a summertime cold coming on, this might be something you want to try to soothe that throat.
Not too bad for an afternoon treat! Hooray for the #testkitchen!