Sunday, April 19, 2009

Activity is everywhere

Fading tulips in the morning light

It's been a busy week filled with spring chores, wildlife sitings and emerging leaves. Each day the leaves have pushed out a little further, closing in the view little by little, a solid haze of lime green filling the spaces between the tree trunks.

Around and about the land over the past 10 days I've seen a fox, a wild turkey, giant carp, blue-headed vireos, baby cows, five yellow fluff ball goslings and an orange cat named Toulouse. It's been pretty active.

We have almost completed a ho-moaner job from hell, the scrubbing and cleaning and refinishing of the 4 porches/decks around the house and studio. Yes we have four porches, the really bad news is that all together there are about 120 pickets in the railings, all of which have to be painted by hand with a brush. Argh- but they do look pretty spiffy and we have vowed to clean annually and refinish again in 3-5 years instead of the 7 years its been since we touched them. All that is left is the small back stoop at the kitchen door, which has no railing- it will be quick and then we'll be free of that project that's been hanging over us for about 3 weeks! Word to the reader, if I had it to do over, I might consider that plastic wood and a different kind of railing.

In the gardens the peas are reaching for the sky, lettuce is big enough to pick, leeks and asparagus are being harvested by the armload. The tulips and daffodils are finishing, the columbines and iris are beginning and we eagerly await the opening of the first peony, but that won't be for a couple of weeks. We take daily tours of the garden to see what's new, what's grown, what's opened since the day before, it's a wonderful time to exist.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Last Onion

To think that there might actually be a last onion- in the whole world I mean, would bring tears to my eyes and not just as I chopped it. I LOVE onions, who could cook with out them? I know some people are allergic to members of the onion family, a very sad state of affairs indeed. I'm glad I'm not one of them.
So many to choose from, such variations in flavor! The bite of raw white onions is perfection minced into salsa fresca, yellow's simmered in oil till sweet and brown are the base for almost every sauce or soup we make, purple sliced to brighten salads, scallions in eggs with cilantro for breakfast tacos, leeks in soups and pastas. Sweet vidalias crown a perfect burger. I just couldn't live without these foundations of culinary delight. And therefore- I planted another 200 this February and here they are, growing strong and green out next to the peas.

I'm pretty tickled that those we grew last year fed us from July through March. You can see them hung in giant braids in my posts from July 08'. We've now got leeks and scallions to tide us over till the next batch matures. Life is good.

Pablo Neruda in his Ode to the Onion said:

Throughout my days,

I've celebrated the onion.

In my eyes

you are more lovely

than a bird with blinding feathers.

In my eyes

you are a celestial globe, a platinum cup,

the quiescent dance

of an anemone in the snow

I couldn't agree more