Friday, April 20, 2007

Only in New England

I remember making Ken stop the car so I could take this picture. We were in New Hampshire. I'll always regret his not agreeing to stop the car that time in Vermont, when we drove by the wallpaper, paints, upholstery, and funeral parlor place. Such a New England tradition -- a little bit of everything, just to get by.

Today, finally, finally, some spring. Real sunshine. Real warmth. I woke to birdsong, even. We got some yard work done, some deck chairs out and scrubbed, and the swings on the swingset. I drove over to our local zoo this morning to register Dean for summer camp; as he plans to be a zookeeper when he grows up, it was a mission too important to leave to the post office. The man himself wasn't up to going with me; the sudden arrival of spring today brought forth his allergies in full bloom and it will take another day or two for the doctor to call in his prescription to the local pharmacy. He was feeling up to soccer practice tonight (not that he was given a choice) and has headed out with Ken, who is loaded down with tissues and water bottles, etc.

Helen has been good enough to chide me, as she promised she would, about work on my quilt. I hope I don't come across as feeble in saying I've just been doing some practice on my machine piecing on yet another old WIP, so I don't make my mistakes on the real thing. I also need to round up all the fabrics I'd been using and while I know I still have them, I haven't quite zeroed in on where. Can I blame spring fever, by any chance?

On the weather note I'll just say how very much I enjoy when bloggers mention what's going on outside near them. I've never felt as close as I do now to the opposite season as it works out in Australia; those Australian craft bloggers are prolific, talented, and always doing great updates on the seasonal changes. I love that no matter where we live, whatever big city we might be in or however technologically advanced we are (or think we are), that what it's doing outside matters deeply to us -- it is always a wonder and a mystery and is our connection to our human-ness, I think. I love that the weather cannot accurately be predicted -- even when I'm frustrated to be caught by a surprise snowstorm or a day 20 degrees hotter than expected, I still love that nature guards her secrets and then totally runs our lives with the hands she plays. This little quilt that's demanding to be finished is a quilt about the sea and sky, and it too is still a little mysterious to me.

OK -- last thing. A quick recipe. Again I've not gotten around to my UK/European translations, but this really doesn't need much measuring. We had it tonight alongside some baked steel head trout -- that's a fish that has a lot in common with salmon, which would make a fine alternative.

Spinach and White Beans

Wash and chop several large, billowing handfuls of fresh spinach
Heat some olive oil in the bottom of a large saute pan
Add the wet spinach carefully, and stir it gently as it breaks down
Add a standard size can of white beans (canelli, if you've got them) that have been rinsed and drained
Add several shakes of dried basil, some celery seed, and some garlic (chopped, or even dried powered)
Heat through and serve -- goes nicely on top of couscous

[edited to add: there's a free download available right now from itunes (not sure how often they change them so if you're interested, go now) -- a piece called Philosophia, by Guggenheim Grotton. It's folk music, kind of sounds Simon and Garfunkle-ish -- for free, it's worth a listen. You know you need the itunes software on your computer, right?]

1 comment:

Helen Conway said...

Just so you know, we have blue skies with wispy trails of cloud, a fine, equable temperature and a breeze not strong enough to require a cardigan but enough to shake the boughs of our cherry blossom tree and have tiny pink petals shower me like confetti while I sat under it for lunch earlier.