Summer is almost officially here, although it’s basically felt like summer this past month with the weather we’ve been having. The sun is out, the flowers are blooming, and the rain clouds have stayed away for the most part. While this is incredibly enjoyable, it makes one remember what else comes with sunny, dry weather.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, since April 1st of this year there have already been 242 fires, with an area of over 37,000 hectares affected. And that number is only going to grow. Just last week the historic Ladner Creek trestle bridge went up in flames from a simple, discarded cigarette butt. I will never forget the wildfires from three years ago that caused smoke to hang like a pall over our beloved valley, mixing with the 40°C weather to create an uncomfortable miasma. I imagine that most of you, like me, feel some trepidation when hot weather lingers, and look to the horizon with dread for signs of smoke.
But thankfully, unlike the old adage, smoke doesn’t necessarily mean fire. If you are heading up Reid road to Mosquito Lake this summer and happen to smell smoke, don’t panic. It’s probably coming from our house, and it’s not a fire.
My boyfriend’s birthday was this past week, and I gave him a new digital electric smoker. He’s over the moon. Visions of smoking everything from bacon, salmon, trout, and even mac n’ cheese are dancing through our heads. Our first creation was this beauty, smoked pork shoulder, and it couldn’t have been easier. A simple spice rub, a five hour stint in the smoker with some apple and hickory chips, and the occasional spritz with an apple cider vinegar and apple juice mix, and voilà. And yes, it tastes just as good as it looks.
This summer, I sincerely hope the only smoke I have to reckon with is the kind that produces delicious results like this.