Sumer Is Icumen In

‘Sumer is icumen in’ is, we were told at school, the earliest non sacred song known in the U.K. If you have not grasped the lyrics, here is a link giving the original and the modern translation.

We learned it as one of the many ’round’ songs like ‘Frere Jacques’ and ‘London’s Burning’ and I think of it now that the bods at the Met office have officially declared summer in Costa Rica.

Glad to hear it.

I have had enough of large rocks descending on the roads….

enough of said roads collapsing….

enough of landslides taking out the telephone lines….

in short…


We have been organising for the heat to come. The fans are in working order and we are well supplied for cold drinks.

I have found a new recipe for lemonade with fermented lemons……..reading that it took some time to be ready I started early, and celebrated the first day without rain by trying it. I shall be making more, a lot more, so just as well that we have a glut of lemons to make both that and ordinary lemonade.

The stand at the weekly feria supplies me with fruit drinks straight from the lady’s finca. Orange, watermelon and guanabana – soursop – ready to put in the freezer for the week ahead.

There is, of course, beer. Made in Spain by a German firm, given a Czech name, exported to Costa Rica and currently on offer in the local supermarket. At that price I filled the car boot.

Roll on the cold soups – vichysoisse, the gazpachos, cold minestrone……..

Roll on the tabouleh, the melon, mint and feta, the cucumber and tuna……

Roll on the cold trout in orange juice and vermouth, the fish pate, the red snapper salad

Roll on the ham – thanks to the Italian deli on an industrial estate, found when lost – the cold chicken galantine, home made terrines, the pickles…….

Roll on the cheeses – thanks again to the Italian deli – and the puds……. burned cream, Eton mess with strawberries from Volcano Poas, fruit tarts…….

We shall sit on the balcony with a G and T looking out across the Central Valley to the mountains beyond and relax in the balmy weather, rain gear packed away at last.

Dogs shall sleep.

However, I have more than a sneaking suspicion that anticipation will be better than the reality.

Most of these delights involve cooking as part of their preparation.

And who will be doing that cooking?

In a hot kitchen in summer?

Muggins…that’s who.


36 thoughts on “Sumer Is Icumen In”

  1. Wonderful! I’ve always thought “gazpacho!” was a very rude word that some poor Spanish woman said when her fire went out in the middle of cooking. “Ayee! Gazpacho! Eat the damn’ soup COLD or light a new fire.”

    1. That sounds all too accurate! Perhaps I can substitute ‘gazpacho’ for some of my more sulphurous exclamations….drop the meat which is snaffled by a dog …’Aye gazpacho!’

  2. Dear Muggins,

    One thing bothered me, the idea that ‘Dogs shall sleep.’
    I suspect this to be false, especially when muggins is in the kitchen and the master is raking about in the cupboards for whatever.
    With the boiler temps set for winter, the extra blanket on the bed, the window closed at night because of the draft, and the rain that lasted most of the day, I am somewhat jealous of the heat, and the Gin and Tonic view.
    Having paid an enormous amount for a small slab of organic cheddar in Tesco I am also jealous of all these shops and stalls you find hidden away. Brexit has raised the cheese prices, as has the energy required to produce them.
    It is good that you will have some time away from the cookhouse, another cold cactus soup might encourage a response.
    Enjoy the G&Ts and the hams and cheeses. You deserve them.

    1. Ah, you are referring to the cucumber and avocado disaster, I surmise! Banished by order of Higher Authority.
      Coming here all those years ago was just like when moving to rural France even more years ago. A culinary desert. Things have improved as Europeans have moved in but finding interesting shops is mostly a question of luck – or getting lost..
      The dogs will, of course, be on the ‘qui vive’ during cooking operations, then, exhausted by their labours will return to their beds…or ours

    1. I used to like a cold winter when in europe…killed the bugs…..and I do prefer the rainy to the dry season here normally, but we have had such torrential rainfall this year that I shall be glad to see the sun.
      For a while.

  3. What a view. If I were there, unless my kitchen had a window with that view, I’d slice a few tomatoes and cucumbers, mix that G&T and settle in on the balcony. Even gazpacho would be too much trouble.

    1. Mr. Darcy? Move? Not unless carried in a sedan chair! Probably want peacock feather fans as well.
      How the other dogs tolerate him is beyond me.
      Good to see a pic of your two bookends recently. Love to all.

    1. Gets a bit browner as the dry season takes hold….but we have been reforesting on part of our finca so with a bit of luck we will still have greenery to see, not just parched grass.

  4. Summer eh? But a distant and blurry memory here in Ingerlund in November. I too usually have my fingers arranged for a good, cold Winter but this year? With yonder black manufactured stuff doubling in price these past two years (as have most other things, this in spite of His Kingness’s Gubbermunt’s lies, damned lies, and ONS statistics), well – I may break out the extra extra extra thick socks and get used to wearing a bobble hat at all times!

    I remember the first time that I discovered that Gazpacho was supposed to be cold. I was sitting, for the first time, at the Captain’s table, and I called over a waiter and sent mine back with some stern words asking for it to be properly microwaved…

    1. All you need to do to pass the winter warm and cosy is to do what the government do and lie to yourself and others that the weather is, in fact, tropically warm because Imperial College have a model which says so.

      I gather that this 50 billion black hole in the finances is because they have changed the way they ‘model’ the predictions….if they used the ‘model’ they have been using up to now there would be 14 billion surplus….
      Bring back Alec Douglas Hume and his matchsticks.

  5. Oh yummy! You must open a restaurant and do overseas deliveries. Here’s your first order: Ten portions of everything except the ham, please. Let me know how to pay.

        1. None of them have anything on Herve from Brussels…..when the family brought it down to us in France it was wrapped in paper and put in a sealed tin.
          By the time they reached Paris the kids had been accused of taking their shoes off and all the car windows were opened, nomatter the weather.
          Leo released it, we kept it in a cheese safe whence its penetrating aroma slowly engulfed the house. By popular request – visitors – we ate it early in their stay with us.

          1. My first introduction to Camembert was out of a tin, in Kenya, many moons ago. There was a cat sitting next to me, and when the tin was opened I thought the cat had a gas problem. It almost knocked me off my chair.

    1. Nicaraguans think it is…..they speak with scorn of people who eat yucca flowers – flor d’itabo – and leaves of trees – chiqasquil – and, even worse, eat black beans! How can such people be civilised, they ask?

      Equally and indisputably, Nicaraguan beer is better than that of Costa Rica…both Tonia and Victoria. However as the eurotrash stuff on offer here is good and distinctly cheaper, eurotrash stuff it is.

  6. Looks like WP did the same thing to me as it did to you. 😬 Gawd…one could easily add miscreant technology to the list of ‘enough.’ Stay cool, at the time of this comment, it’s 17F and more than a touch crisp. Both dogs are enjoying their toasty dog beds and seem happy to warm my lap with their heads. Then again they may just keep putting their heads in my lap as a way to get me to pet them. 🙂

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