The ONLY things you should be doing at this time of year, if you live in Latvia, are:
1) Be walking to the market to buy strawberries;
2) Eating strawberries;
3) Making strawberry jam.

Work be damned.  The beach be damned.  Blogging, forget it.  It's all about the berries.

The strawberry aroma hits you before you enter the market; the ladies beckon to you with red, berry stained hands - and get you to try all of the strawberries before you buy.  If you ask me, price isn't the best way to choose them - I take dark berries, almost mushy ones, that are super sweet and melt in your mouth.  Nothing like the strawberries back in Brisvegas, that came out of the crisper section of the supermarket and crunched like apples when you bit into them.  I was completely bewitched by strawberries when I first visited Riga in 1991, when the Russian market seller folded a big paper cone to pour the berries in.  That day I ate a whole kilo in one sitting and decided to move to Eastern Europe.

Ok, one thing that's not berry related that you should also be doing this time of year is celebrating the summer solstice.  This year we gave organizing our own celebrations a miss, and visited with friends who have their own country place.  A great night was had, especially because a bunch of revellers arrived who are really into the lifestyle of 9th century pagan Latvians.  You can't get better than hand-crafted leather moccasins and bronze ring-decorated woollen shawls for party gear.  Another highlight was family from Laos arriving for the celebration - and us meeting one of the newest members of our family.  

Wreath making for the crew

Home-made cheese - round like the sun.  Pity my attempt this year turned out to be spreadable.

Smedes boys

We love you, Gabe!


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