March 20th has come and gone. It’s the International Day of Happiness, World Sparrow Day, International Astrology Day, World Storytelling Day, UN French Language Day, Independence Day of Tunisia, Liberation of Kirkuk City (Iraqi Kurdistan) and the Vernal Equinox or First Day of Spring. It seems snow and cold are hanging on and April showers are a bit more akin to monsoons. Weather be damned I see a lot of shorts and sandals. It seems most everyone is ready to come out of hibernation, dig in the yard, enjoy pretty sparkling cocktails and frolic and play…preferably not in the Eskimo way.
Edward’s farm is trying hard to burst forth with New Growth Green. The weather man is making it a little bit “one step forward and two steps back”. However, Spring is doing it’s best to burst out all over.
The ancestral pear tree is broken and crippled. Yet, it still welcomes Spring with blossoms eventually providing the cows with juicy fall treats.
Spring of ’16 we added the first new plants to the farmhouse surroundings. The White Chocolate Akebia was to camouflage the carport. We’ve learned that Akebia is a descendant of Jack’s beanstalk. Oh, it was prolific but at the top of the carport. We’ve done an aggressive prune and thankfully it’s Springing forth beautifully. We hope to be a bit more diligent in the trellising it’s new growth. Additionally, the Creeping Jenny is vibrant and the “surprise” viola is bursting forth. “Surprise” because we bought Crocosmia and while it was vibrant for a season this prolific Viola which somehow came in the same pot, smothered it out and lives proudly. It’s so interesting to think about twenty or so small blooms standing up to the one big strong bloom Sound familiar???Hope…there is hope!
Speaking of hope…this miniature Japanese maple is in a dish garden…a gift from sweet friend. Last fall it got so hot we really thought we’d lost it. But, no. Spring brings new life and hope Springs eternal.
Last Spring we decided to celebrate Brandt’s birthday on the farm. We added a few more items and they’ve come back to us this year. The forsythia is ablaze with color. The elaeagnus is working hard to grow into the dramatic umbrella type bramble I know it can be. The sedum held on until early January. Finally, winter’s chill shriveled it to a crumpled mess. Yet, with the arrival of March bright green springs burst forth beginning the path to floriferous summer beauty.
Speaking of birthday…that time has come around…yet, again.
We enjoyed the company of sweet friend’s in celebration of Brandt’s special day. Should you ever be near Nashville take the time to drive an hour west to Burns, TN. Like Loretta said, Catfish Kitchen will do you proud everytime. They greet you with not one but two kinds of slaw…yes, both of them are very similar to my mom’s numerous slaw recipes. They offer two kinds of fried catfish and we highly recommend the hot and spicy…MOUTHWATERING…along with more hushpuppies, fresh cut fries and Navy beans. We ate way more than we should and left wanting more.
It was a happy birthday and a good time was had by all!!!
Continuing the birthday thread…we like to celebrate big when both numbers change. We traveled to East Tennessee to celebrate a double digit birthday with the owner of Little Downton.
The evening started with Berry Cherry Sparklers garnished with sage and viola. The appetizer was a Cornbread Fritter with Signature Pimento Cheese topped with Applewood Smoked Bacon, Heirloom Cherry Tomato and Micro Mustard Greens.
The birthday boy was born on Easter Sunday. Bunny rabbits have always followed him as well as a love for all things bright and beautiful.
Dinner began with a Fried Green Tomato Salad with Comeback Sauce and Spring Pea Soup with Pickled Shrimp. The entree was Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce, Melange of Roasted Vegetables and Rosette al Forno di Fontina. Eddie Miller and Eddie Henson created a Hawaiian Wedding (Birthday) Cake…quite possibly the best cake I’ve ever tasted.
We continued the celebration on Sunday with a Palm Sunday service at St. John’s, Johnson City, brunch at Cafe Lola and yet another dining opportunity created by yours truly. Once again, a good time was had by all.
I guess it’s obvious Spring gets me excited about being in the kitchen…and the Farmer’s Market is not even open yet.
We know Spring is nigh when this little baby comes shooting up. Brandt’s family home was built in 1947 but the property has been in his family since it was purchased by the Federal Government from Pa She La Cha and purchased by Brandt’s ancestor’s circa 1832. We have no way of knowing how long this narcissus has lived on the property. However, it bursts forth every Spring to give sign of a fresh start, hope for a bright tomorrow…
And many more good times to be had by all.