This is the time of year when a little rain now and then makes all of the plants and flowers blossom as if they lived in a tropical climate. It's hard to believe in a few months this landscape will look entirely different.
Our summer vacation this year was Montreal, Quebec and Vermont. We put off this trip for years. Chris decided to go up through Vermont to Montreal. We found no traffic at all on the way up. We stopped and took a break to have lunch in St. Albans, VT which is close to the border. This is a great little cafe in the center of town.
This is the view approaching Montreal.
The first day we looked around the city and then got busy going to see all the sites. One of them was a stop at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I LOVE monkeys so this is one of my favorite exhibits.
Typical photo of the streets of Montreal.
The food was delicious. The servers in Canada are professional, well paid and it's their career so we experienced fantastic service all the way through. The shopping is great. We could have spent a lot more than a day at the underground mall. We hit the jackpot on all counts except the calories!
Entering the gate leading to the Old City.
Le Chateau Frontenac is one of the most beautiful hotels I've ever seen. Inside is just as gorgeous!
A ride down the Funiculaire to the old city.
This part of Quebec was crazy busy but the rest of the city was surprisingly quiet. I guess every tourist who comes here is here.
Beautiful art and architecture abound all the way through.
The views are breathtaking.
The French Canadian people we met were wonderful. Both Chris and I took French in high school. We prepped for our trip to France years ago and thought we would be rusty for this trip but we did just fine. All you have to do is greet everyone in French and try a little and they will automatically go with your cue and speak to you in the language you prefer. They even treat their cats well!
We came home to an abundance of fresh native tomatoes and peaches. I love this time of year but unfortunately it's way too short. As soon as the first frost comes it's all over and those hothouse tomatoes in the store are nothing compared to home grown.
My mom used to make squash flower patties. I never tried to make them but I came across these flowers a few weeks ago and decided to give it a try. I was never interested in cooking when I lived home but I was always in and out of the kitchen when my mom was cooking. Somehow through osmosis I remembered this recipe.
My mom was a really good cook. However, she didn't follow intricate recipes. She made everything from scratch and used native fruits and veggies when she could. She would be called a "purist" today. My style of cooking is very much the same. There is no recipe for these patties but you really can't go wrong. Wash and drain the blossoms a few times in cold water and then cut them into small pieces. In a bowl, add 1 to 2 eggs depending on how may flowers you have. Add grated cheese, fresh chopped parsley, salt, pepper and flour. Stir everything. The key to judging if the batter is ready for frying is if the consistency is like thick pancake batter. I never fry anything but I have grapeseed oil on hand just in case. This oil is very light and doesn't burn food. Let the patties get nice and brown on one side and then flip them and do the same on the other. When you take them out of the pan put them on a paper towel to get the excess oil off. They're wonderful the next day too. If my mom had left over cooked cauliflower or asparagus she made these patties and Chris' father made these patties with canned corn. I'm sure there are a lot more variations. Nothing beats these in the summer with a glass of cold white wine.
We always have fresh strawberries in the fridge and some of them were getting over ripe so I asked Kristen to bake something using them. She found this recipe and again it's a keeper. On a hot night sitting outside these tasted amazing. If Labor Day is as hot as the past few weeks this will be our dessert!
Strawberry Lemonade Bars