Sunday, June 29, 2008

flavors of summer

Yesterday, a week after the “official” start of summer, Hannah and I joined in one of the quintessential summer activities in Ithaca: we went strawberry picking. I feel like we managed to join some kind of club, too, because whenever I have spoken with other friends who go out and pick strawberries, the ones who get the largest amounts almost always come back and say they picked 18 pounds. And so did we, this time. Hooray! We went out with one of Hannah’s friends from church, then went back to the friend’s house and prepared all of the strawberries, cutting off all of the tops and freezing eight quarts’ worth in the large freezer at the house. The rest we brought back and made into a wonderful strawberry-basil soup for a potluck last night. I recommend this dish highly. Take the strawberries, boil them for a bit (don’t add much water, if any, as the strawberries will produce copious amounts of liquid on their own—this is a technique we learned from cooking squash). Then add some heavy cream and chopped basil. Puree the whole thing. We put in sour cream and a small amount of sugar; some recipes we saw also suggested milk. We chilled it for a couple of hours, and served it with fresh (non-sweetened) whipped cream. Yum. It seemed quite successful.

In other exciting news, this year’s Ithaca festival was moved back two weeks to be held last weekend, so I got to attend it for the first time. Melanie was in town, visiting and working, and we went down to the parade on Thursday afternoon. Lots of local organizations participated: schools, housing programs, the Ithachords (barbershop singing), the SPCA (puppies!), and so on. There was an (apparently traditional) Volvo ballet: several Volvos dressed in tutus and dancing around each other in the street. That was bizarre. The commons were in a fair-type atmosphere for the next couple of days, with food stands and performances and boutiques in tents. There was rain at some points, of course; the theme for the year was “I am Ithaca”, and I suspect the rain felt it needed to make an appearance. In fact, the rain arrived on Saturday afternoon just as we were supposed to be folk dancing in Dewitt Park, where there are no shelters of any kind. One dancer/musician pulled out her pipe and played some familiar tunes as we danced very simple steps under our umbrellas. On Sunday, crowds in Stewart Park made an immense human peace sign, in an attempt to set a world record for the largest such sign. We didn’t make it to this event, but you can see videos of it on YouTube. We did go down to the park on Sunday evening to see a circus and walk among the crowds. It was a beautiful day.

1 comment:

Leon Estes said...

Joshua: DO NOT STOP YOUR BLOG! Keep writing! I have enjoyed it immensely! Even your discussions about Math (which I can follow as your explanation, but not necessarily understand the higher math.) I especially have enjoyed your references to hymns and discussions about God and The Bible.