Thursday, March 17, 2011

The First Spring Day in New England

Spring is sill a week away, and I never dare get my hopes up until end-of-April, but when we drove back from getting a bite to eat at noon, the temperature was 62 degrees and it felt so balmy one needed no coat or jacket, maybe a light sweater, but at Patriot Place there were lots of folks in shirt sleeves.

The winter heath is blooming (the flowers are really too tiny to photograph) but the wild ginger is green and therefore alive, and it looks like the daffodils I planted last fall have thrust their noses above the ground.  The beds are mostly till covered with leaves, and I will leave the leaves alone.  

Birdsong?  Did I mention birdsong?  The seed and suet are all going fast.  We still have a pile of snow in the front yard where the plow deposited it.  I got in there with a shovel to throw it about in order to help it melt faster.  A smallish Christmas tree branch appeared from under the snow  in the front yard, and the neighborhood whippets chewed tennis ball added to the bizarre still life.  Of course some of the curbstone and pavement from the street is lying about the yard, too.

It's going to be the cleanup from hell, but I noticed the chives are 1/8 inch out of the ground.  And some of the oregano close to the ground is green. The first rhubarb appeared in the grocery store.  I have lots of rhubarb recipes, but it's hard to beat rhubarb sauce, just rhubarb, sugar to taste and a very small amount of hot water.  Nothing could be easier and it's a great spring tonic.

I made a dynamite salad dressing last night with spices and oregano, also parsley, oil, vinegar and feta.  Served it over baby arugula and naval orange slices.  This was a keeper.  The spices were coriander and fennel seed, toasted then smashed in a mortal and pestle.  I use a real apothecary mortal and pestle to grind small amounts of herbs.  For larger quantities, a coffee grinder reserved for the purpose of herbs is a good idea.  Do label it! 

A friend sent this picture of a fox who seems to be living in the deserted stable.  He thinks it might be a new mom.  Isn't that bushy tail something?  What a handsome creature.
The Fox from the stables. He/he  likes rabbits.

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