Gathering wild fennel

It’s the end of August which means the end of summer is here. The reign of warm sunny days is beginning to lose it’s hold over the seasons as intense storms usher in the autumn and eventually winter.

The ancient culinary rites which once symbolized the preparation for the harsh winters have already began. Tomatoes have soaked up the summer sun, egg plants have been preserved in olive oil together with stuffed peppers and the first batch of porcini mushrooms.

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Now with the first rains the wild fennel flowers are in bloom which means they will be collected, dried then ground to season fresh or dried pork sausages later on in the winter or sprinkled over winter vegetables like sliced boiled potatoes fried to add flavor and create a warm sensation to keep you snug on dark winter nights.

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The tastes of summer are always so lovingly preserved to remind Sicilian’s of Hade’s promise to return Demeter’s daughter Persephone to Sicily saving the ancient world from an endless winter.

The kidnapping of the goddess of fertility’s only daughter saw the earth cast into eternal darkness with Demeter’s grief. We thank Zeus that he was able to persuade Hades to return Persephone for a six month visit, where Demeter gives us the joy of spring and summer. Unfortunately having eaten from the forbidden fruit Persephone is destined to be Hades’ spouse and live out the rest of the year in the afterlife.

Here’s to holding onto the summer until Persephone’s next visit to us.


Images from Google images