S.P.R.I.N.G

This morning I sit on the sofa with the door open allowing the 59 degree temperature to fill the room.  The heavy rains of the night cause a chill to linger in the air. However, it’s the fifth day of Spring…my favorite season of the year.  It’s the season of New Growth Green, the color which invigorates me. Oddly enough, in this odd climate that’s seeming more and more normal signs of Spring have been around since shortly after PunxsutawneyPhil appeared.

The farm has been ALIVE with new growth. Using a yard service last year allowed us to enjoy the emergence of vintage jonquils and narcissus not seen by me and vaguely remembered by Brandt.  The remains of a diseased and weathered pear tree still joyfully blooms forth in Spring brilliance.  Last week we saw our first robin. Even though they forage as if they’re starving it appears they wintered quiet well.  I also spotted some “volunteer” muscari…never seen before.  And, the most special sign of Spring is a precious baby bull born last week.  He’s quiet precocious.  Initially we thought he was compromised but it seems he’s just taking his time to adjust to his new environment.  The week before last we lost a calf.  Now that calves mother is tending to this calve as well as his own mom.  There is a fence between them but she stands watch over him like a Centurion watching over the Centuria.  While Spring sun is interspersed with the remains of Winter chill we celebrate new growth in a myriad of ways.

The loft…well, the loft is a different story.  There is small garden and it does show some signs of Spring but this weekend we brought Spring to the loft in the form of The First Dinner Party of Spring.  Several of our friend’s have experienced challenges and loss over the winter month’s.  It was time to gather and love on each other…to celebrate our friendship with a cup of cheer and a bite(s) of Spring goodness.

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What says spring more than saturation of New Growth Green and tulips.

Last November we enjoyed our Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant in Orange Beach, AL.  The only decoration they had on the tables was “slips” of various lettuces and herbs.  Simple plants…roots and all in simple shot glasses.  As we were seated I said to Brandt, “you’ll see this again”.  Clearly these are not slips but I have a new relationship with the hydroponic grower at the farmer’s market.  We’ve enjoyed fresh lettuce all winter and in the back of my mind the entire time…this.  I’ve been doing asparagus and tulips for years. Many years ago a friend asked me to assist him with a benefit party.  We did all the decorations with vegetables.  Spring makes that especially fun.

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The Hester and Cook Cabana Stripe table runner, “Bird Bonanza” placemat and “Peep” place card add a touch of whimsy to the table. The candle is floating in the only dishes my mom had to remember her mom by. The green depression sherbet cups have little collectible value but they are priceless to me.  Mom only had seven of them and I cherish each one.  Somehow I feel my affinity for the color started long before I was born.

We called the evening a “Covered Dish Supper”.  It’s a very Southern Term grounded in the church social genre.  Robert and Brandt did the appetizers and Delia brought a beautiful Brut Rose’.  Linda did a masterful job with the salad.  I made the entree’. Gary and Delia contributed a vegetable side and bread. And, Kirk finished the meal with the perfect sweet finale.

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Critchfield Meats Beaten Biscuits with Country Ham is the perfect bite.  Then, one of our favorites is Robert’s Mortadella Mousse.  Click on the link for this amazing recipe.  I did a bit of quick pickling to accompany…Spicy Radishes, Green Goddess Cucumbers and Curried Carrots.  Sorry, no recipes…it was all to taste.

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The Make-Your-Own-Cobb Salad was an interactive joy.  We all loved making our own.  I ran out of room but think I got most of the offerings on the plate.  It was both Spring Fresh and delicious.

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I was recently introduced to a Food Network recipe for Cape Cod Pot Pie….click for the recipe.  I didn’t use the recipe as much as the idea.  I did use Cod but I also added Lump Crab and Scallops. Because it was spring I also added Spring Peas, Asparagus Tips and a mix of Wild Mushrooms from Bluff City Fungi. I did use the Boursin Cheese the recipe calls for…it’s the magic.  The creaminess and herbs was really on point. The recipe called for a cap of Puff Pastry but we had Fresh Baked Focaccia which paired beautifully. Buffet Beans…a family recipe was a delicious vegetable combo of Italian cut green beans and fingerling potatoes to accompany the richness of what I now call New England Pot Pie.

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Kirk is our family pastry chef.  He never ceases to amaze.  However, he is going to have to work hard to compete with this one…Lemon Buttermilk Pudding Cake<<<Click for the recipe. It truly was the perfect finale to a wonderful evening.

So, raise a glass to Spring.  Here’s hoping Spring at your house is lovely and a good time is had by all.

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