My fondest memories of writing are out under a walnut tree in the backyard of where I grew up, the wind rustling through the branches above, ants cautiously exploring the tarp I'd place over the grass. With sunlight filtering through the leaves, a novel and notebook by my side, I would sit, think and write. Since this is my most vivid memory of a writing spot, I associate the foods of summer with my overall creativity.
On the farm we ate a diverse number of fruits and vegetables in the height of the growing season. My favourites were spinach, strawberries, asparagus, zucchini, squash and tomatoes. My preferred summer dishes were cool and consisted of these key ingredients. Examples are tomato sandwiches with pesto, mayo and red onion; zucchini fried with butter and garlic; asparagus steamed with butter and lemon juice; squash baked and either scooped from the skin or eaten skin and all. Finally, spinach and strawberries I would pick straight from the garden and munch like a famished rabbit.
As we gradually move into spring, thoughts of homegrown food and the tasty meals made with them become more prominent in my mind. Below is a short passage I wrote about a book-lover and aspiring chef who open a cafe together. Thus far, this is the only part of the story that exists but, perhaps as my appreciation for the connection between food and literature expands, I may nurture the concept into fruition.
I’d failed to anticipate the results of serving poached eggs with Hamlet. We’d had a gang of University students in on break and each had left their own breakfast contribution smeared across the pages of my Classics. That was when I began laminating works - until Carol pointed out it would be easier to make eating and reading separate activities. So we split the café in two and hoped the appeal would remain. Carol and I put together a Literary Luncheon menu combining unique, worldly dishes with recommended literature on the side. I tacked inspirational food-related versus on the boards, under the glass table protectors, in dinner rolls and servers’ button holes. The adventure nearly killed us.