In little more than an hour of flight time, Porter Airlines has deposited me in downtown Toronto. Traveling by streetcar, we wind our way through the city, arriving at the new digs of Sibling Sister and family. In the light-filled kitchen, I can’t help but notice a basket of Red Haven peaches resting on the counter. Mentally forecasting their destiny in a circle or two of pâte brisée, I turn my attention to an abundant platter of cheeses and crusty bread. My brother-in-law, AJ, knows his way around the local Portuguese markets. He is also a stellar mixologist. Soon we are singing too many choruses of Cracklin’ Rosie followed by a painful medley of 1960s bubble gum pop. Regaining a semblance of normalcy with a quick switch to Journey, we segue into REM followed by an enthusiastic rendition of Roundabout by YES. It has been eight months since my last visit to Toronto.
I am desperate to return to the St. Lawrence Market. On a weekday in late August, the market hums as summer rolls into fall. Unlike the somber root vegetables of January, the stalls of the market are abundant with gorgeous berries and stone fruit. The produce is a study in gravitational wonder; fresh figs, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries, each basket painstakingly arranged in artful pyramids. Within arm’s reach of Sweet Ontario maple syrup, tiny wild blueberries vie for attention beside their highbush counterparts. Clusters of deep purple concord grapes tumble out of corrugated baskets, their fragrance conjuring visions of sandwich bread, peanut butter, and a jelly by Welch’s.
Unwilling to acknowledge September’s entrance, I breeze past baskets of early Pippins, McIntosh, and Crispins. In a blaze of red and yellow glory, the last hurrah of summer peaches wave farewell. Dragging my feet at Billy Bishop Airport, Porter Airlines beckons with a complimentary latte in the lounge and a glass of wine on the plane.
The end of summer always seems to arrive without warning. How can it possibly be apple season when we just enjoyed our first taste of peaches? Once Labor Day rolls around, it is a rapid downward spiral from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas, ultimately crashing into the New Year. The retail bakery clock waits for no one. I am seriously considering the idea of following the Canadian calendar. Celebrating Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October sounds terribly civilized. It just so happens that Mondays are my day off. Kismet.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm