Sunday, June 9, 2013

Change - Stress - Happiness

Life’s upheavals and unexpected turns takes you to places you may never imagined. I have gone from an urban forager of daily markets to a backyard garden on the outskirts of a congested metropolitan area to now, a resident secreted away in a bucolic setting of rolling hills where horses lazily graze on rich pastureland. I cannot wrap my head around the idea that this town has less people in it than the apartment building I use to live in.

I made this move just around the time my seedlings needed to be set free from their incubators but the move delayed their ability to take root in the earth. Everything is a bit off schedule and nothing is benefitting from a known routine – change is grand but the transition is stressful.  The dogs are not sure if we are just visiting, and continually sit by the car waiting to go “home.” My spouse and I are still searching through boxes and organizing never finding enough hours in the day to get what needs to be done. A first priority for me was tilling a spot and getting those seedlings to ground. I hope I have not over-shot my timing and the increasingly intense heat does not fry them. Those seedlings carried along in their earthen padded cradles, which they clearly had out grown, have been the first to settle with love and generous soakings will flourish and provide me with the happiness I get from fruit laden plants – however, in the interim this pastoral surrounding provides enough access to farms and a myriad of markets dotted throughout the region, and I am grateful for all the others who till some land. For me, nothing can surpass the pleasure and excitement I feel when I present a table resplendent with the gifts of my own tending. While the peas, radishes and strawberries of spring maybe of someone else’s touch I hold on to the promise that the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and watermelons will be from those later started newcomers. 

Spring Salad – yields 4 to 6 servings

1-pound baby beets – boiled and peeled
½-cup fresh shelling peas
¼-pound baby carrots – thinly sliced
4-scallions – thinly sliced
1-teaspoon chopped Texas tarragon

½-teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
1-teaspoon chopped lemon verbena leaves
¼-cup chopped loveage leaves
¼-cup Balsamic vinegar
¼-cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼-pound baby lettuce leaves

Tossed all the ingredients together, correct seasoning and serve.


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