The days have gotten longer and the sun is out. It's finally summer. As long-time readers will know, this means it was time for my annual Summer Solstice Dinner Party!
The solstice is a time for celebration, to honour the universe and to spend time with those who are important to you. It's a wonderful spot in the calendar to bring new energy to ideas or projects (or, you know, start a business). Or to rejuvenate old relationships. The warmth of the sun and longer, hotter days also remind us of the importance in finding balance between intense activity and lazy, blissful hours of doing nothing.
Last year, the solstice was an opportunity for me to honour the people in Toronto who have helped make this city feel like home. This year, I brought it back to its roots of bringing together a small number of people and celebrate the impact they've had in my life. This also meant a return to cooking the meal myself - which, with the addition of Smudge, wasn't easy!
I also changed things up a bit by grabbing my blankets and turning the dinner into a picnic in the park! Getting out in nature during the solstice was a great feeling, and it was nice to have the grass in my feet.
This year's menu included a vegetarian poke bowl with smoked tofu, a boozy-minty fruit salad, vegan pinwheels, and a veggie platter. I picked up an assortment of juice from Greenhouse Juice to mix with my favourite bottle of bubbles from Back 10 Cellars in Beamsville, Ontario. I also provided the 'gift of mindfulness'. Each gift bag contained a candle for lighting and mindfulness cards to help inspire a mindful moment in the every day.
It was nice to return to the low-key, simple dinner party that started my summer solstice tradition. Plus, it proved to some of my Toronto family that just because I don't cook, doesn't mean I can't!