This is my most waited for event in Spring- Lilac blooming time (followed closely by Peony blooming time). Anyhow, we have a couple of Lilac Hedges at our place, and they produce a lot of blooms, for only a couple of weeks a year, and I love that about these hedges, they seem so luxurious, and special, and yet they are present on even the most practical of Manitoba farms. They make great windbreaks you know, and lovely hedges, and they really do provide ample amounts of privacy once they get growing. But I can just see the first farm wives coming here to this tree-less, utterly practical and remote place, and craving something just like this- some sort of pretty balm for their poor winter weary souls.
I am always somewhat surprised to realize just how harsh our climate is, even though I know it- even though I know all through winter that for most people -20 is not only moderately cold. Even though I sit at my computer and read blogs of people who are eating produce from their garden right now- in May, I still sort of harbour the fantasy that our climate is kind of lovingly hard to survive in. But that's truly understatement- and one that is only fostered by the existence of Insulation, Manitoba Hydro and Sorel Boots.
It is a harsh climate most of the year, and it must have seemed like a miracle to those first Pioneers that something like a Lilac hedge or a Peony could survive and thrive here. The colour and scent must have been so needed, after a winter of woodsmoke and darkness, smelly bodies, and freezing winter air, the Lilac must have just hinted at the wealth of abundance that was coming.
Anyhow- today N and I picked some Lilacs to try out a recipe for Lilac Sorbet I've been saving since April, I didn't know you could eat Lilac- and am determined to try it- the base is getting cold now- and I'll let you know how it all turns out. It's a bit hard to tell with my summer cold if it's tasting like anything at all really. I also tried to make some Lilac water- but so far the water just smells to me like boiled herbaceous matter- maybe it's my cold- or maybe it's the method, I don't know, at any rate it afforded me a chance to take some lovely photos of the flowers in the bottom of my canner sprinkled with water drops.