Summer Fruits

Hello Summer-Here I Come!

I know that summer has arrived when my coconut oil turns into a clear runny liquid-when I can actually pour it out of the jar and not have to jab a spoon into it with all of my strength (like I had to do 2 weeks ago), to get out some coconut oil. It is also a clear sign that summer is here when the chocolate of my shelf begins to melt.

I will really have to use them up very quickly, so watch out for several chocolate recipes coming up soon! I actually had planned this weekend to make my last batch of chocolate pralines and chocolate bars before the heat came in. I was one weekend too late. Now, I shall have to wait until the fall.

As I write this, I am basking in the sun on my balcony in 25C-degree heat. Yes, summer comes and goes, come and goes, and yet I feel as if, once the heat kicks in after a long and dreary winter, I am experiencing it all over again as if it were the first time ever…and I can never get enough of it.

I have noticed that Berliners love to talk about the weather. They will comment on if it is a pleasant day or dreary, or just drab. I honestly think that my first German words were those, which related to the weather. My “non-German friends and I would always laugh about the weather-complainers-as if they had nothing better to talk about!

Whenever I meet someone who comes from warm regions, I always mention how lucky they are to experience the sun the entire year round. Over Christmas, while my brother and I were hanging out at a café here in Berlin, an American lady who was visiting from LA came and sat next to us at our table. She was chatting away with my brother as I just watched them exchange words.

My head was turning from left to right as I focused on whomever was talking at the time. Being tired of being a mere spectator, I decided to jump in and asked the American lady her how she could possibly bear the grey cold of Berlin. I mean, to my mind, LA is about sun, warmth, and beaches (not that I have ever been there before, mind you). I smiled at her, waiting to hear her complain about the weather as we all do here. She took one look at me and said it was a welcome change.

That was the end of our conversation.

It was then that I realised that I had become one of those weather complainers!

Now, recapping her words, I think that I understand what she meant. Perhaps I would not appreciate the summer as much, if I did not experience the winter months. And indeed the winter does have it virtues-from a purely culinary perspective of course! Only in the winter can I appreciate a warm bowl of oatmeal, or a delicious cheese spätzle, or hmm…I am not really convincing myself here at all.

No, No, No…I love the and now and always!

To welcome the summer months, I wanted to make something bright and fruity. So, I opened up my summer season this weekend with rasberry ricotta pancakes, lemon-rosemary shortbread, tomato jam and my first batch of ice cream for 2008.