School holidays mean disappearing to the country for extended periods of time - summer is finally upon us and the weeds and grass is growing so fast that you can HEAR it growing if you stop and listen. Nightingales and cuckoos are singing in the woods beyond the house, and the perfumed air is soft and warm, even when you wander out into the permanent dusk that is "nighttime" in midsummer in this part of Europe. Midsummer eve is but a week away, and the fields are full of wildflowers of all description. The other day I needed to race back to Riga to do some folk singing, and managed to make a traditional wildflower wreath for wearing with my folk costume rather than the dour headscarf I usually wear in the colder months. Gotta love the array of blooming plants to choose from!The boys have willingly taken to the great outdoors, and disappear for hours into the yard, playing fantasy games of riding on magic carpets (the hammock), or finding bewitched swords (sticks) and going on magical adventures (bashing through shoulder-high weeds). We bought the boys pocket knives, and they have been very responsible so far, proudly clipping them to their belts, and using them to scrape bark of sticks and cut this and that. Back to Riga next week, sadly, to do a bit of work and such. Being in the city at such a glorious time of year is no good. No good at all. The beer gardens in the old town make up for it a little, I guess, but we will definitely be racing back to the country asap!
It's also the perfect season for making salted cucumbers - not marinated - yummy, crunchy, salty. A total no-brainer to make, even I can get the recipe right. Cucumbers in a jar. Dill, garlic. Pour over water with salt + a bit of sugar added. Voila! In about 5 hours you've got salted cucumbers.