We had our first 75+ day here in Western Massachusetts, & it was pretty sweet. There's is just something about being actually hot...outside in the early evening walking a hound dog beside a river with a breeze promising warm rain, wearing a t-shirt & a skirt, bare legs, bare arms (but cowboy boots of course). The water expectant with future swimming, the air carrying smells of grilled meat & green things growing. I can't help it, I love hot weather. Living in New Orleans totally ruined me, I like sweating.
Having the windows open after all these months of winter is a joyful experience. I slept in bliss last night because there was a constant breeze through the open window. & tonight, sitting in the kitchen after having fed the animals, drawing at the kitchen table with a glass of chilled white wine, hearing the random music from the Community Music Center next door, various conversations on the street, smells, & the feel on my skin of that warm, soft breeze. I love air. The worst part of winter is all that time inside.
Oh & the lack of fresh food possibly grown or gathered by oneself! Hey fresh food, you are almost here! Ramps, lettuces, fiddleheads, morels, oh yes!
& now it has begun to rain. Perfect. One of life's great pleasures=the sound & smell of warm rain with the windows open.
In a spring mood, although the garden is just beginning & the farmers markets haven't started & fiddleheads will be a while yet, I give you three green moments of early spring anticipation.
4.3.11: Cilantro/Almond Pesto with Hot Italian Sausage & Peperoncini over Pappardelle.
I really love Cilantro Pesto. Very spring tasting, even if it's too early to grow it yet. So what, at least the bundle I used cost a dollar at the Asian Market. But Cilantro Pesto, check it out, made just like any Pesto, use any nuts, any cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper, a bunch of cilantro, you're there. & like Arugula Pesto, this is a good one to make spicy & add peppers or hot sauce. I wouldn't make it for my Grampa though.
Green #2: Recently buried in the back of the fridge I found several large Mason Jars of Spicy Green Tomato Pickles we pickled last fall at the end of our huge garden tomato crop. I guess they got forgotten back there in the fridge, but wow I just found them the other night & they are delicious.
We just mostly pickled them like they were cucumbers: sliced green (unripe green, not green heirloom) Mason Jar, allspice, mustard seed, garlic, coriander, cumin, whatever, salt, pepper & vinegar, & added some habaneros we also had in excess from the garden. These guys are really pretty great, also coming in handy for my new project, Bento Box Lunches For Work, inspired by this fabulous blog. (stay tuned).
September 2010-April 2011: Spicy Green Tomato Pickles From Last Year's Garden.
& finally, Green #3:
April 2011: A Sketch of Our Future 2011 Garden.
We have an additional plot there this year, so if all goes well, twice the food (If only we could somehow fit in chickens & a goat, maybe a sheep, maybe a cow, we could realize our dream of not buying food). We have tiny radishes, beets, & cabbages growing there. Chard & carrot seeds are planted (Bright Lights for the chard & Purple Haze & Atomic Red for the carrots). A gentle spring rain is falling on them right now.
We will be eating radish & lettuce salads from the garden before we know it. & drawing them, & swimming. & sleeping with the windows open all the time.