Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Now and then a little cream improves your day

Not being a cream user, more of a skim milk and homemade yogurt person, once in a while oh well, it's nice to have just a the sour cream I got to make the cucumber sauce long ago, which went over very well, still some left over.

And I've found it goes a treat with a slice of homemade banana bread, or a slice of homemade, warm from the oven chocolate cake.  

As here, in this Viennese vignette!  coffee cooling while I get the pic organized, on linen napkin, wedding gift back in the dark ages, on a nice little teatray a friend couldn't use.  Couldn't use?  no kids to slide downstairs on it?  no afternoon or late evening tea to serve on it and save a lot of trips?  seemingly not.

I had a friend long gone to the great pastry shop in the sky, who was from Vienna and who served coffee and cake that well, you just had to be there. Officially we were playing music at her house, but she insisted on being a hostess complete with broderie anglaise apron, and who were we to argue..

Anyway, the sour cream is now history, but not before it made a wonderful series of adventures, including stuffing baked potato, making a great egg salad, stuffing a baked potato WITH the egg salad, this sounds like one of those 15 piece wardrobes you dress in for three months using different combos..and today making salmon croquettes, with an egg and some breadcrumbs.  That little container went a long way.

Speaking of limited wardrobes, have you caught onto this new fad of dressing the same way to work every day forever?  One outfit, probably multiple versions, but the same items.  People say they love it, saves decision making and all that in the morning.  

All I can say is that they must never have gone to a school where every stitch of clothing was enforced with military precision and terrible consequences for failing to have every item, such as being thrown out of school, for seven long penal years...after that experience I think nobody thinks it's a trial to pick out different clothes for each day.  In fact I find it a treat.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Water's Edge. aka The Island walk

The Island is the old name of this park, dating back to when it almost was one, before the bridge and the connecting path were built, safe place to let your dog run.  I had a dog who accidentally ran right off the end of it, and into the water, to his amazement, and promptly learned to swim.  But Toby never willingly got wet again in his long life, didn't trust that water stuff. Nowadays it's gone posh and has an official name of Water's Edge Park.

Today was a great day for firsts: out without a jacket, sightings of barn swallows, tree swallows, redwing blackbirds, catbirds, turtles out sunning themselves on fallen trees over the water, lovely big Malamute out for a walk with his owner, water reflections, wooden arbor bench, revisiting the Monet style bridge and the waterlily beds.  Anyway, just look and enjoy. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Boys and Toys, nth iteration

Once again, the power of Pulling Stuff out of the Ground with the Use of a Pickup Truck and Dumping it In the Woods,  enthralled the men of the block today, as an ugly bunch of shrubs met their fate, after the landscapers had butchered them to the point where it was a zero sum game. 

I introduced this concept last year to a friend in despair over a giant and really ghastly forsythia, way too big for its location, way out of control, and probably riddled with poison ivy.  

After I explained how he could hitch his truck to it with towlines, and drive slowly away, his eyes lit up and he was totally on it.  In fact he was so excited he tore out the offending forsythia without letting me know he was doing it, so I missed the drama.  I gave him a hard time about that, and this time around, he came to the house, and shouted up stairs to where I was working: :Liz, Liz, come quick, I'm about to yank out some shrubs!  so I came running with my tablet to get pix.

This was the first house friend G. took care of, with the assistance of homeowner R., before moving down the block to remove several other eyesores left by the "landscapers."  I started to wonder if we should tag which shrubs to leave alone, after a while, but it was fun for all, and now real gardening has a chance to take place.

My part in all this is very easy: stand on the sidelines issuing commands and giving advice when requested.  Really leisurely form of gardening, consisting of pointing, for men to get busy digging...but in my own defense I do know more about how to proceed than my assistants, and I do give away a lot of plants to start new gardeners off with easy care perennials and groundcovers and the sort of thing that busy people can deal with.

I notice that neighbors, city men, bankers and accountants from South India, who have mostly never handled a tool before, get with the program lightning fast when it comes to wielding chain saws and fastening stuff to pick-up trucks.  It must be the Y chromosome at work.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Box finished. Dollivers? "it was nothing..." 6WS

So the box is now in action, two views here

and amazingly it does fit the kleenex box it was destined for, and Bette Davis and Dreads decided to take credit for it.  In a humble way, of course.  After refusing to pose until a black satin backdrop was put in place.

What you might call the Box Populi...

I must get back to stitching before I start making doorknob cosies.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Celebrating Arbor Day

The state forestry folks celebrated the day, and Earth Day, with a giveaway of native tree whips. right at the local library. Crowds of excited people, many with kids, to show them how a big tree starts and all that.

So I carried home a wild cherry, which will grow ready to take over from the aged one, what's left of her after many years of service. She provided shade for dear HP when he was out on the patio, food for birds and other critters all year long, between fruit and the little thorns which birds and squirrels are mad for, and a wonderful place for bees in early spring,as well as shade for my houseplants all summer.  

The forestry folks  pressed two more trees on me, too, a black walnut and a chestnut oak.  These will either go to a friend or be a subject of a bit of stealth gardening on  my part.  Quite a while since I did any, but it's not very stealthy to go about with a big spade.  Looks a bit suspicious, in fact.

Anyway, the Dollivers, since they are All Green, sent out a team of hardy foresters to run the event once I got home with the trees.  

They came with little leaflets of explanation, I love the forestry guys, and here they are, reading left to right, well, I forget...I do know the cherry well, though, since it has that lenticular form on the branches even at this age.  And the identity of the others not so important, since they won't be fitting onto my patio.  

Anyway, I bet if Quinn our total blogista expert on all things tree, can tear herself away from her new goat twins for long enough, she'll set me right. And in case you wondered why the black walnut does not have a spot on my patio, here's a view, over the roofs, of mature black walnuts and friends, and you see the size these fellers can get.  The framing branch you see is what's left of the old cherry.

Black walnuts are not friendly to some other plants and shrubs, so it's better they're over there on their own turf.  But they're wonderful for harvesting to make black walnut ink, a la van Gogh.  We lost a lot of trees from Sandy so that might be a destination for the two spares.

Here's the future home of the little (well, it will eventually be big) cherry.  And here are the laborers posing for Dolliver Gothic and ready for action.

And here's New Cherry in place, bravely standing up and taking notice.

The  laboring Dollivers explained that they needed to sit down and take care of the other trees, which involved resting after the heavy job of forking out a ton of pachysandra,  and digging a big enough hole, and setting up the tree, and patting down and all that is required to establish it. 

And they reminded me to keep the other roots nice and damp while they rest up.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Teatime, outside, first of the year, with Barbara

Wonderful afternoon, warm and just right for afternoon tea outside, first of the year, accompanied by Barbara Pym.

Tea laid out -- gingerbread with a lemon sauce made from mayo and lemon juice, then lemon zest sprinkled on -- tea being English Breakfast with a slice of lemon.  This is from the same old batch of lemons I froze eons ago, and still going.  All very Pym!

And the reader's view.

Gingerbread footnote: it was in fact a whole lot better after a day of being kept airtight.  So there's that.

And sauce footnotes:  the corn, crab, cilantro fritters were great yesterday with the sauce I made with the cucumbers, so today I tested them with the tamarind sauce and with the plum sauce.  Tamarind okay, but the plum overwhelmed them.  So probably the creamier sauce is better for this purpose.  Just fyi from your Test Kitchen Chez Liz.

Suddenly, all Spring, all the time 6WS

Never fails to stun, the way one day it's a few green blades, and the next it's all cherry blossom and daffodils.  

These are a few of the Handsome Partner memorial daffodils, and there are others blooming again, their fourth season, on more than one continent, and several countries, thank you all who did that in his honor.

And our own local cherry blossom festival, my cherry bushes on the patio, moved from the front yard

The Russian sage returns, its first spring here, making a natural bouquet with the daffodils and the veronica, which is officially a weed, but I love it and won't pull it out

My neighbor's brand new cherry tree,  its first blossom since planted last Fall.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Yorkshire Gingerbread and an impossible dream

Yesterday, amid the blogista meeting and other events of the day, and the sheepnip excitement at home -- second installment of this took place when Duncan showed up and found the toy, and went ravening all over the furniture and floors in catnip joy --I also baked a Yorkshire Gingerbread from the Two Fat Ladies cookbook.

Tremendous fuss and bother, I think I might go back to my much simpler and perfectly nice recipe from my Simple Sort of Cookbook, but anyway, I tried it.  And after the time elapsed for an early look at it, found it looked sad in the middle, so I left it for a few more minutes, figuring it would rise like my regular recipe.  Which didn't happen, and though it tastes fine, it's not exactly handsome.

Which reminds me of how poetic the language is.  Sad in baking means heavy, sunken in the middle, usually not quite cooked.  Heavy as in sadiron, those massive solid iron irons you used to heat on the fire before attempting to iron with them.  But our use of sad meaning the emotion, is a wonderful metaphor though we hardly ever think of it that way.  And we talk of the opposite, light as opposed to heavy, when we think of joy, as in Duncan and the catnip toy.

Just a digression for a trot about on one of my hobbyhorses, Etymology, his name is. He's back in the paddock now. Anyway, I gave the gingerbread a bit longer, and it was still sad, but now it was a bit dry, dangit.  Should have taken it out, sad and all, earlier.

And then the Two Fat Ladies, Clarissa to be exact, instruct the cook to leave the gbread in an airtight "tin" for a couple of days before sampling.  What? lovely smelling from the oven, and you put it away for two days before you even find out if you like it? on what planet are they cooking? well, they're no longer on our planet, but she was at the time of writing the cookbook.

                          See, full disclosure, sad in the middle

So this cook took a hearty slice, to test with afternoon Vietnamese, that is not a typo for Viennese, coffee, and very nice it was.  Spicy, not too sweet. But not sure it's worth all the bother they go to.  And I'm puzzled about the sadness, since I followed their lead meticulously, right flour, right butter, right sugar, all that. All the stages of beating and mixing and folding, all that.  I even had the ingredients at room temperature for once, having set them all out before I went on my expedition. I mean, I went over and above, and it shoulda worked better.

However, in the course of this perusing of their cookbook, I finally found a way to use up that shredded cucumber in the freezer, from the surfeit of cucumbers last summer.  As in "the king died of a surfeit", Annie, how I miss you, you'd have got that reference in a flash.  Sellars and Yeatman, anyway, in case you're not Annie.

What I was saying before I interrupted myself, was that I am going to make a nice cucumber sauce with sour cream and mayo, lemon juice, and fresh chives, which I have growing away on the patio, to go with some of the corn, crab and cilantro croquettes currently in the freezer, for lunch today.  Watch this space for updates on that.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Princeton Farmer's Market last indoor one for the year

Princeton Library not being a regular destination for me, I did get in there today to meet Kris, the writer of the blog from Winterspast Farm, a lovely account of her life and times with sheep and wool and all the accompanying family and activity that goes with it. 

You can catch her here and the sheep and wool connection is her reason for taking part in the Farmers Market today, in the community room of the Princeton Public Library.  I had met her mom, who led a workshop for our embroidery chapter last Sunday, and when she mentioned that this might be a chance to meet Kris, as near as we ever get geographically, I figured I'd get in and meet her.

Here's the event, with tables like this mountain of lovely smelling greens, and spring flowers and mushrooms and all kinds of local fare

and here's Kris fixing up a toy, a Sheepnip ball, for my cats, with a great display of her yarn and felted soaps and all kinds of yarn related toys for people, too. 

What she's doing here is making sure that the hole through which catnip was inserted gets covered over with the felting.

She's wonderful!  what a warm and engaging person, and her display of yarn and felted items was a treat. 

Hearing that my cats don't play much with toys, she insisted that this one be a test toy.  So I did bring it home, happily, and left it up on the kitchen counter.

Not long before Marigold came sniffing and looking and wondering, since toys may not be high on her agenda, but catnip is and it's been a while.  So I tossed the ball for her and she made a total fool of herself, rolling and biting and throwing and generally getting all glazed over.  

 Where'd it go? can't see properly now

 I know it's around here, but can't seem to....

 Ah, got it!

Kris, I'd say this is a success! I let Mara have first play, since she gets bustled out of a lot by Duncan who's twice her size and a Big Important Male Cat, so this was a ladies' quiet afternoon party.

And it was so good to meet you, after reading you all this time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Twp Fat Ladies and this rather small one work together

Two Fat Ladies, that comic turn, combined with music hall act, and serious food historians  in the television food world, both sadly now gathered to the great Aga in the Sky, are out on DVD, and I've been watching them with great amusement.  

I borrowed their cookbook, too, though very little of what they cook would actually make an appearance in this kitchen.  It's a lot about meat and lard and butter and other such stuff. But now and then there's an item that's worth pursuing.

Before I do that, though I wonder if you noticed the 88 on Jennifer's motorbike registration number?  did you know, I didn't until just now, that in Bingo 88 is called Two Fat Ladies! just a little footnote to the panoply of Western history here.

Anyway, I decided to make a brave attempt at using up even more of the corn in the freezer before the new farmshare year starts, and made their Corn, Crab and Cilantro Fritters.  

 Left Clarissa, right Jennifer the owner of the motorbike and sidecar in which they tootled all over the UK cooking and having adventures.

Great fun to make, and not sure they were quite worth it.  Next time I might go easier on the cilantro and jolt the crab a bit with Old Bay Seasoning, if there's a next time. Canned crab, nothing else available.  

Anyway, I now have several meals' worth of them in the freezer as well as the lunch I had today. They don't look as pretty as in the magazines, because my food stylist once again failed to show up, but they are definitely very edible.

What Boud Did, aka My Life and Hard Times

Another in the long chapter of self inflicted foolishness happened this morning.  At the PO, with my sportsac, needed to rummage in it for various items, as I posted off a little parcel and bought stamps. Then as I gathered up my wallet and keys and receipts, there it wasn't.

 The culprit.

Oh, panic, my purse gone...asked the staff if anyone had seen it, checked the counters, ran out checked my car, came back and asked again if it had been seen.  Whereupon the patient lady behind the counter who has her own personal opinion of my cognitive abilities, pointed to my shoulder and said, what's that, then?  
Yes, it was the sportsac, now very light because the parcel was gone, and which I'd evidently hooked onto my shoulder and forgotten.  Sigh. So I burst out laughing and thought oh well, comic relief for the glum people waiting in line, and left quickly.

Got home, check email and find an article from a friend in the medical field, all about how making art and making craft and getting out and being connected and using computers and all that might possibly stave off dementia and incapacity.

To which I say, oh, based on my track record with cellphones and glasses and now shoulder bags, I greatly doubt that.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

First daffodils, broken but rising above it

So the earliest daffodils came into bloom and were promptly knocked flat by wind yesterday, so I rescued them from the groundcover and installed them in the house.  I usually prefer to leave flowers in place, but they needed a rescue.  I did leave all the foliage, so as to feed next year's flowers.  The witch hazel in the same vase only appeared yesterday, so I picked a branch right away.

 Tiny doll, permanently installed on her crystal bench, is clearly happy to have company.  Her hair is silk roving, only the best around here..

Witch hazel is usually a January phenomenon here, and is often a great lift to pick and bring home, actual flowers in winter, complete with scent. This year who knows, they were probably encased in ice until this week.  But late or not, good to see them again.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Vital Kitchen Tools with Reference to Cezanne

I do like to read about what cookbook authors think is vital in the kitchen.  Especially when I notice what they leave out.  Such as a small tack hammer for those occasions when you can't get the knife started in the melon. Or the saw for opening the pumpkin. Or, as in my own kitchen, the handy slipjoint pliers.

These have now permanently left their friends the tools, and come to live in the kitchen drawer along with the winecork puller outer.

The reason for this goes back in history, to when the vintners cleverly got away from corks made of, well, cork. They then adopted these new corkoid plastic devices, which grip the corkscrew in a death grip, get the cork out okay, but then it's the cook's own job (old joke of my Mom, God sends food, the divil sends cooks) where was I, oh yes, the job of getting the cork back off the corkscrew.  

Why they don't just get with it and go to screwcap tops, which everyone in the industry knows would work as well, we might ask. Before we realize the screwcaps might just have that aura of likker in a brown paper bag, and not command the price of a bottle you really have to work to get into, well, it's marketing, that's why.

So we home sommeliers, who don't even have that little cup thing hanging on a chain proclaiming our status, well we resort to the slipjoint pliers, when they're not helping tighten drawer pulls and getting needles out of tricky situations, and they do a nice job of tackling that industrial grip the cork has on the opener.

The pic is what Cezanne might have set up if he'd had to do this. But in his day, even if he could afford wine, they had real corks which are not so hard to deal with.  He would have had a problem with the design of the still life setup, well, so do I, but this isn't art, this is an industrial demo pic.  I rest my case. And my pliers.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

White Flower Farms comes through as promised

My Golden Showers climbing rose arrived today!  with an apologetic little note from the growers explaining that, conditions in New England being a bit chilly this winter, growth is slow, but it will in fact happen in a couple of weeks.  

Since I live only about a hundred miles south of White Flower Farms, I wasn't surprised, and in fact glad they didn't send this earlier anyway, since I couldn't have planted it.

Tomorrow we have a milder day forecast, and the ground is already nice and damp, so Digging will Happen.  Yay!  watch this space for interminably dull discussions of how Rosie Golden is doing, and how she's feeling, and if she likes her new surroundings, and if the fence is to her liking and so on.  No, I never personify my plants, no.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Return to the Labyrinth

Finally, after months of delay from storms, kneedeep snow and ice on the labyrinth,it's all cleared up, and today I was able to keep a number of labyrinth promises, for two departed people and their families, and for various other intentions.  

This included the life of Oliver Sacks, who wrote recently that he was nearing the end of his life.  I had the joy of being part of a book he wrote a while back, after we had an email correspondence, and felt that this world famous thinker and neurologist and totally gentle man, was himself still so open to learning that it was a joy to cross paths with him even briefly.  So, wherever he is on his journey, I walked for him, too.

Always at some point on the slow pilgrimage around the labyrinth, there's some tiny object waiting for me to pick it up and see its significance and add it to the center of the circle.  

Today it was a little ring of blue plastic stuff, very narrow, which fitted on my finger, and was so emblematic of the various points in life of the people in my intentions, and the unbroken whole of us all, that it was the center of thinking today.

This is it, lying on that rock in the foreground.  Never fails. Always find an inspirational object, always get answers to my own puzzles, while the birds sing unconcernedly and there's street noise, all part of the day.

Over the winter the storms and the squirrels have made inroads into the Tibetan prayer flags, but they're still there, more or less.As are we all, in one way or another.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Friends home from India with good news and not so good

Shabnam from next door arrived back today, well, early this morning after a 17 hour flight, then straight to work, battling jetlag. I had sort of kept an eye on things while she was away a couple of weeks, and she brought me back my downfall -- box of Indian sweets, oh dear.  No idea what's in them, but some are covered in edible silver, a lot of them have various nuts and spices, and all of them suit me just fine.

You see inroads in the foreground, with edible silver bitten into...and the fruit on the left is my first try at a fresh guava, hand brought for me.  I've had them canned only, so this was a great idea to offer me.  Another food adventure.  I'll open and explore it tomorrow.

It's become a joke with Indian friends who keep feeding me special treats to let them know if I don't like any of them. Up to now, they haven't hit on anything I don't like..

She also brought the news that the relative the other friend went to see at his last, died very shortly after she got there, with some family in attendance.  Sad journey home.  I'll walk the labyrinth for the departed father tomorrow, and for the family.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter, or Spring, or Passover!

And a comparative day of rest.  Yesterday too busy even to blog, which will tell you something.  So this is a kind of six word Sunday instead.  With good wishes to all, whatever the significance of the day and the season.

Much happening yesterday, involving buying another gallon of paint since the free paint, as expected, was two walls short of a studio.  The studio having a kind of entryway, the place has six walls, and I've done four of them. This involved moving furniture and art materials yet again, but the nice thing about painting is that you can see what you accomplished, unlike other domestic labors.

And here's an incredibly transformed window area, after genius handyman Mike, heretofore referred to as GH, replaced the entire sill which had been flooded years ago in a dramatic spill in the course of making art despite cats, and rounded off the front edge, very nice detail, he's good at this.  

It looked too desperate to picture before, too depressing, I hate before pictures, so here's the lovely result.  The paint looks pinker in pix than in life where it's a softer shade, but still very nice as you see, as a backdrop to the art and ideas that get put up on it.  

Here's a handmade paper piece and a wire and found metal drawing.

And there were numerous other vital errands, such as getting the prosecco to celebrate Easter with HS today, kitty litter and new boxes for the cats, they're thrilled to have new bathrooms, DVDs for our viewing pleasure, the humans that is, the cats don't care as long as they can sleep on top of me while I watch, and various other items that kept on occurring to me as I was out.

All in all, I was in three towns shopping yesterday.  I went specially to a hardware store that is not the hated big box type place which shall remain nameless, but a real one, complete with people who know what they're selling and actually talk with the customers. And give advice, and know how to match paint from a little board I'd painted to show them, and how to figure out an equivalency since their paint is not the original brand I had, and how to advise me on the most economical way of doing all this.

In the space of less than five minutes I was complimented three times on the hat and scarf I was wearing, each time to say that the color was very good on me -- these are paint specialists, very tuned in to color -- which cheered me up no end.  

One of the wonderful features of having your hair turn silver and grey is that you can wear different colors.  This color didn't look half as good on me with very dark hair.  I pointed out, too, that the scarf was a mix of string from the hardware store and yarn, and they were amazed to find that they sell art materials.  

I dyed the string after all the knitting was done, and was happy with the result  It's surprisingly warm on those nippy spring days where the wind is not your friend.  Recognize this, Mare? it's like the one I made for you.  Just right for crisp Bay Area days, too.

It's knitted on big needles to create the openwork effect, with tapering ends. No idea where I got that idea.  I can't remember what pattern I used for the hat either, but it's somewhere in my Big Book of Saved Patterns I've Knitted.  The yarn was a gift of Stefi, so all in all, this set doesn't owe me much!

And now the table's laid, the scalloped potatoes just need to finish cooking, the ham ready to slice, Danish canned, since I think their farming practices are somewhat better than ours, politics gets in everywhere..the corn and peas and carrots to gently cook, separately, that is, with a chunk of thyme pesto, lovely springtime flavor. The mustard and the plum sauce and the tamarind sauce all set out. Tea tray is set up. Handsome Son will bring the cheese and crackers and the Easter chocolate and jellybeans for dessert.

All set to enjoy a lovely afternoon, sunshine today, maybe a walk  later, always a good feature of time together.

The Easter setup all ready, too, despite spirited attempts by Duncan to play hockey with the painted eggs.  And Dollivers dolled up to wish you a good day, too, before squabbling over who gets which egg.  Greensleeves, a model resident, never fusses about new dresses, perfectly satisfied with her outfit, what a contrast. Bunniver, having brought all the eggs, looks on wisely and lets the Dollivers argue.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Just maybe Spring is arriving.

To wit: a sudden urge, after painting another wall of the studio and moving all the furniture ready to do the next wall tomorrow, then a long walk in a newly opened park with a walking trail, just to explore, then home to riddle out the condensation outlet pipe for the air conditioning system.  One of those days where you wonder where the energy came from.

The last, mysterious riddling rite, is a spring thing that you have to do to make sure that the pipe which for reasons best known to themselves and their yacht builders, the home builders installed several inches below ground, where was I, oh yes, and which is what gets the condensation in the summer outside and not pouring through your living room ceilinganyway, that pipe, needs to be relieved of its winter's buildup of leaves and debris.  

This means finding it, and digging enough around it and removing debris so that the condensation won't just try to travel right back along the pipe again, and then back up eventually into the pipe above the living room ceiling, given that gravity is being defied by their design. Neighbors have found this out the hard way, when they've sat in that nice sunny corner and found they were getting a surprise shower. Of water and of ceiling bits.

And it's vital to do the cleanup, but only when the season changes does the urge come over me to
1. find the *(*(* thing,now buried partly by wind and weather and partly by the *(*(* landscapers blowing leaves and debris onto the patio as fast as I can sweep it off, and straight into the pipe.
2. find the little weed cutting thing that works a treat to pull out debris and you always hope not small dead animals  

3. move all the items that got put on top of that area in the course of moving containers about in the fall, and then 
4. actually get down, find the pipe, dig around it and then clean it.  Working several inches below ground level is not advisable for your back, but it's only once a year.

But today there was an instant springtime reward for this virtuous labor -- a couple of the pots in the way of the digging had new green growth.  I tasted, I swooned.  Chives, sharp as only the first spring ones are, now some of them snipped and ready to eat this evening.

Like this:  snipping of chives 

over helping of homemade soft cheese (dead easy, boil milk, sour it with lemon, collect the curds, drain in cheesecloth, put in bowl, save whey in freezer for soup) 

and this is the stuffing for a nice baked potato for dinner.  

Along with a glass of merlot.followed by a strong cup of Vietnamese coffee, current craze, and more viewing of Vicious this evening.  I hope they get cracking and make more seasons of it. These guys are getting up there, seize the day, fellers.