On fire

Some people shy away from the kitchen in the summer, but I've never lived anywhere hot enough for that to be necessary. Paris is typically a few notches steamier than Vancouver this time of year, but we live in an old stone(?) building with a good cross-breeze. It's more the prospect of toaster-oven cuisine—not to mention the superior pastry options on every corner—that has kept my cake baking to a minimum.

Not one to avoid the kitchen, I've been dabbling in stovetop creations. Pickled things mostly, although yesterday I made some dead-easy vanilla apricot jam with killer flavour. Back to the savoury side for a moment though. Don't let fear of canning keep you from salt-induced bliss. Instead of squirreling your pickles away for colder days, just halve the batch or share them with friends.

Now, let's get pickling:
p.s. In case you were wondering, that's not some kind of fancy distressed paintwork going on up there on that chair. It's the natural kind that happens when someone leaves their non-weatherproofed chair on the rooftop for a few days too many. It was like that when we got here, and I must confess that I kind of like it. A pristine white patio chair could be stressful—exactly the opposite of what summer's meant to be.