East meets west—steamed bok choy and English peas and their shoots, dressed with an ume plum vinegar, shoyu, and sesame oil vinaigrette. Hai!

 

Still catching and riding the asparagus wave while they are still in the markets. We throw the spears into a pot of salted boiling water then scoop them out a few minutes later and anoint them with a nice oily vinaigrette while they are still hot. Along with a piece of French feta piled with chopped parsley, we crown crunchy toasts with crisp bacon to round out our lunch.

 

We are eating spoonfuls of a refreshing ice cold, tremblingly soft, tomato-water gelée with a Meyer lemon mayonnaise on this hot steamy 91° summer day. We’ve been traveling for three weeks and have just returned to our beloved Canal House. We are so happy to be back. We’ve missed you.

 

We found these strawberries at our farmers’ market yesterday—the very first berries of the season and almost a month early. They are as sweet as candy with an aroma to match. We are making cream biscuits, whipping  a bowl of heavy cream, and settling in for the afternoon to enjoy an early taste of sweet summer.

 

Time to start watching our waistlines, we are coming up on bikini weather. But it’s easy to say no to a burger with all this lovely young produce—little potatoes, a handful of green beans,  baby leeks, chives with their blossoms, and some lettuce we picked from the garden this morning. All doused with some really good extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

 

Today’s afternoon tea of our homemade melba toasts with potted crab, blue cheese with black pepper, smoked salmon butter, and anchovy & lemon butter. We are slathering it on!

 

Look what we pulled up from the little Canal House kitchen potager—the first radishes of the year. Guess it’s bread, good Irish butter, radishes, and a little Maldon salt for lunch. (If we get hungry later, we’ll head upriver to Dilly’s and grab a burger.)