Forget this weekend’s so-called Supermoon; while it sure was pretty to look at, another celestial event has taken hold of the season.
We’re truly in the dog days of summer. The term refers to the period when the star Sirius — also known as the Dog Star, the brightest star in the sky — ascends to its position of prominence in the sky, typically around this time of year in our part of the world.
Unlike the unusual behaviours that often indicate a full moon, the dog days of summer signify a distinct lack of activity: people are away on vacation or hiding out for staycations, and the typically snappy pace of our town slows to a crawl.
I’ve realized that in this space over the past few weeks, themes of relaxation, escape and summer fun have reoccurred. From canoes to cotton candy, playground fun to produce picking, I’ve been in a dog days — nay, dog month — state of mind. This weekend was no different, except that it kind of was…
Whenever Charlotte spends the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa in Woodstock, Andrew and I try to cram in as much activity as possible. It started on Friday night with the sparsely-attended yet much-enjoyed tennis court good-bye party. A dance didn’t materialize, so tennis broke out instead. All the kids had a blast, and I hope that Mayor Grose remembers the lessons I gave him once the new courts are finished.
Then karaoke happened. A late addition to the event, but well received, especially by Andrew and me. Once upon a time, the group of Toronto funeral homes Andrew once worked for had a monthly outing so beloved by attendees it was known merely by its acronym: FDK. A slew of respectable funeral directors, plus associated staff and significant others, would hit the town to blow off steam by bellowing out the great hits — and, arguably, misses — of popular music in a raucous evening officially called funeral director karaoke.
Whether talented singer or engaging performer or none of the above (hi, my name’s Andrea), the night was a hit because everyone’s efforts were encouraged and supported by the crowd. And that’s the way it was Friday night; what happens at the Sportsplex stays at the Sportsplex, but a fun time was had by all.
Just as supportive but perhaps more frustrating was our Sunday afternoon. After licking our wounds and doing copious amounts of yardwork on Saturday, we borrowed some clubs and headed down to the St. Marys Golf and Country Club for 18 holes. Neither of us could be classified as golfers — in fact, it was actually my very first time on the links.
The course was gorgeous and so was the weather. I can see why its devotees both love and abhor the game. Golf seems to be an interesting mix of go-carting, scavenger hunt (those balls sure know how to hide sometime!), and geometry on an expansive scale.
Despite nursing a sore back from scrubbing down the garage door on Saturday, I think I may have potential. I was able to hit the ball toward the hole and mostly keep it on the course, which is more than I expected. I do need someone to explain what all the clubs do: after driver and putter, it’s all Greek to me. This person, however, should not be my husband, whose usually infallible patience cracked around the sixth hole and didn’t return until we pulled out of the parking lot. Amidst the nerves, cursing and jokes, we had fun overall.
I still have a sore back, but thankfully no sunburn. My voice remains hoarse, but there’s a little smile on my face. What’s on tap for the next supposedly quiet weekend, I wonder?
Here’s an easy, delicious dish featuring local ingredients from local holistic nutritionist Sara Bradford. Her site, www.nourishrealfood.com, is a great source of delicious, healthy recipes.
Asian Shredded Chicken Salad
1 chicken or turkey breast
1/2 head Napa cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, diced or grated
3 green onions, minced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed, chopped
Large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut aminos (or tamari soy sauce)
1 1/2 Tbsp. mayo (optional)
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. Sriracha (optional)
Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a cast iron pan. Stir-fry chicken until no longer pink inside. Alternatively, grill chicken and shred afterwards.
Toss remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix dressing ingredients and pour over salad ingredients. Add chicken. Toss well. Serve immediately or chill awhile to let flavours infuse.