Seaside Picnic

Summer vacation has finally arrived. This leisurely pace brings impromptu trips to the beach for picnics with friends and family, and for inspired musings on Canadian literary fare.

There is something about sharing a meal in the open air—with the sand between your toes and the pages of poetry turning in the ocean breeze—that makes the food all the more tasty!

I recently sampled Alisa Gordaneer’s book of poems Still Hungry (2015), which is thoughtfully subdivided under the headings “Salt,” “Sour,” “Bitter,” and “Sweet.”
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By the Lake: Sardines and Cheese and Chutney Sandwiches

 

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We are at Wacousta Lodge this week. Ideally, cottage meals are simple, to leave time for other things: reading in deck chairs, paddling in canoes, affairs in boathouses . . . that sort of thing. Margaret Atwood knows this. And for this reason, she feeds her “Wilderness Tips” characters a lakeside lunch of sardines and cheese and chutney sandwiches.

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Dandelion Season

In the summer, one hears homeowners cursing the dandelion. This pervasive plant easily takes up residence in lawns and gardens. Even in tinder-dry conditions, this hardy yellow flower finds a way to blossom.

Whereas most people see little value in the dandelion, two of Canada’s pioneer writers, Catharine Parr Traill (1802-1899) and Susanna Moodie (1803-1885), tried to reform the public’s perceptions. Having emigrated from England in 1832, the two sisters revised their categories of “weed” versus “flower.”
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In the Garden: Radishes, Roasted Onions and Cold Cucumber Soup

Recipe Notes (by Alexia Moyer)

Summer has arrived, and with it a plethora of potential literary recipes, most of which can ‒ and should ‒ be enjoyed al fresco. This season, we’re eating seaside with Audrey Thomas, lakeside with Margaret Atwood and hillside with Alice Munro. We’re hosting picnic luncheons and backyard barbecues. Socks are optional. Sandals are not.

This week, we’re gardening with Lorna Crozier, from “The Sex Life of Vegetables” series.

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