So I may be a few days late in wishing y’all a happy June but I truly believe that it’s better late than never. Happy June! I’m not sure what the weather is like in dear ol’ New York (which I miss TERRIBLY) but it is hot hot HOT in Beijing. And dry. Uncomfortably so. And when it’s not dry, it’s as muggy as the swamps of Houston. All in all, the weather in the Middle Kingdom at the beginning of summer is no reason for celebration. However, what a new season does bring is, new food!
The average American tends to forget that produce has seasons. We can find fruits and vegetables no matter what time of year because we import so much of it. However, the rest of the world is not like us. Take Germany for example. I happened to arrive in Munich just in time for asparagus season. White asparagus, to be correct. That stuff was everywhere! It seemed to be the only thing they were selling – spargel, spargel, spargel. In China, it seems to be the same way. Even when we eat out, my relatives will say, oh we’ll order this dish because leeks are in season but not this one because spinach is not in season. All of sudden, fruit stands are overflowing with sweet, tangy cherries and vendors on every corner are selling corn-on-the-cob. My friends, it is officially summer.
Of course thinking of fresh produce can only make a person do one thing – look at recipes. I mean, that’s normal right? So I spent this entire morning, going on afternoon, pouring over various food blogs I haven’t visited in quite some time and then I decided that I needed a cake stand. So now I’m all over the internet searching (yet again) for the perfect cake stand. Which also makes me want to buy the yogurt machine I’ve been dying to get. And some mason jars to use for homemade jam. Oh online shopping and my obsession with cookware, how you seduce so. But considering the many weddings I shall attend this summer, maybe I will be strong and save my money to buy my lovely friends (and their soon-to-be husbands) more awesome wedding gifts rather than buying more cookware than my NYC
dorm apartment can hold.
Another thing about summer is that it makes me sleepy. All I want to do is sleep because it is so unbearably hot. Of course, I think I say the same thing about winter except that it’s so unbearably cold – all I want to do is snuggle back in my bed and sleep. But lucky me, I work at a public corporation in China where napping after lunch is not only accepted, but actually encouraged. Ah how refreshing it is to wake up after a 15 or 20 minute nap, ready to
blog work! It’s really quite adorable, walking around at 1 PM and seeing all the middle aged men and women napping in their cubicles. Some have pillows that they put on their desks, others scooch down on their chairs and rest their heads back. Some people even snore. No matter how you do it, it’s great. Napping = 100% satisfaction. I may not have facebook in China but I’ll trade it for napping.
One of the drawbacks of summer: I feel terrible turning on my oven to bake. Here I am, running my air conditioning, adding to the already growing carbon emission, and then I turn on a HOT oven in my COOL house? It just sounds ever so wasteful. I would like to draw your attention to this article. I found it to be quite scary not only because of its implications but mostly because its so true. Did you know that we are one of the only countries that uses a dryer? Yes, it’s convenient and I agree nothing feels as good as pulling out a fluffy warm towel fresh from the dryer but is it really necessary? I’ve visited many countries now and no one but us uses a dryer. They get by. Now, I’m not going to spend this post ranting on about global warming but I do think that it’s a good idea to think about our actions. We often think that we are just one person, it’s just one can we’re not recycling, one additional car on the road but it really DOES matter. I could do a bunch of research and list some numbers but I don’t feel like it. I think that all you need to do is think logically. Of course what we do matters. You think that can just magically disappears? (The answer’s no)
So I am going to do two things this summer. Well, I’m going to do many things but I will work on two projects when I get home. I am going to buy some clothes pins and set up a neat little system to dry my clothes outside (at my parents’ house, where I’ll be staying this summer). In addition, I am going to build a compost bin. Yes, I am going to use a hammer and build something using wood! Or maybe I’ll just go to Home Depot and buy one. But either way, by the end of the summer, I will have these two projects complete. And I hope that through my actions, I will make the world a better place. Even if it’s just a little bit because we all know, a little bit does count. After all, isn’t it a straw that breaks the camel’s back? No one ever says, it was the 20 pound dumbbell that broke the camel’s back. Right?