For every season, there is a reason — or so the saying goes. Summer is my favorite time of year; I’m one of those rare people who actually loves heat and humidity. When questioned about my preference, I will confess that I was a plant in one of my former lives, perhaps a fern. I start looking forward to the lengthening days in February, when I feel the early stirrings of spring’s arrival.
By the time that the summer solstice arrives in June, it is actually mid-summer according to the agricultural calendar and many European solstice celebrations. The summer solstice marks the longest day and the shortest night of the year. It is one of my fondest dreams to visit Stonehenge during the summer solstice and get my inner druid on. But until then, I’ll host summer-solstice parties while my guests puzzle over the significance of the day. As we drink mead (ancient honey wine) and eat a bountiful garden feast, I’m all too aware of the fact that, from this day forward, the days will begin to shorten. I embrace the attitude expressed by Nat King Cole in the song, “Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer,” while I “dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of good cheer.” This refreshing chilled blueberry soup was featured at my latest solstice supper.
- 64 oz. (2 large containers) of plain non-fat yogurt
- 1 pint of fresh blueberries
- 1 cup skim or soy milk
- ½ cup Chambord Liqueur
- 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
Place yogurt, milk, Chambord, powdered sugar and washed blueberries into the main vessel of a food processor or blender. Do not over process/blend the blueberries; little bits of them should still be visible in the mixture. Add more powdered sugar to sweeten the mixture, if the blueberries are more tart than sweet. Tip: Powdered sugar dissolves more quickly than granulated sugar when ingredients are cold. Serves 8 to 10.
Louise Gray, of Shadyside, is a home cook, avid cookbook collector, vegan since 2002 and vegetarian since 1974.