BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘spring

False Spring

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The shocking pink flowering quince have blossomed.

This shaggy shrub needs pruning.

Just when we thought spring had sprung, near freezing temperatures plunge us back down again. But apparently that’s typical for Oregon in March. I’m finally learning the rhythm of her seasons.

We had balmy weather this past month, making it hard to fathom the snowpocalypse that descended on our loved ones back East. But then snap! it turns cold here and Mom’s on the phone from Virginia, talking about her beautiful, seems like the upper 60s, spring day.

It’s hard to figure out how unpredictable spring affects one’s garden. Survival of the fittest, right? I was concerned about the rhubarb and strawberries and peas growing most vigorously, so I threw some plastic bags over them. Maybe I’ll build a plastic hoophouse for protection, oh, one of these days. For now, I’m a laissez-faire gardener. So I fitfully sowed tiny carrot, radish, lettuce and spinach seeds, allowing them to come up where they like. With them and the onions, I tend to oversow seeds too tightly together. It’s just so hard to fathom each will become a full-size vegetable. I’ll just have to remember to thin when they sprout. Now if that cold would only kill off those ubiquitous garden slugs I tend to murder almost daily.

The window treatment.

Speaking of cold, we finally got some much-needed weatherization work done on our 1939 house today. I’m most excited about scrapping the drafty aluminum sliding basement windows, which were replaced with much more insulated (and easier to climb out of in case of fire) vinyl ones. We care because we sleep in the room. We also had insulation blown into the attic. I have only kind words so far about Total Comfort Weatherization, which is also supposed to help us with paperwork for all the state and federal tax credits once the work is done.

Lucky to live next to master gardeners.

Written by baltimoregon

March 10, 2010 at 1:21 am

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Dining Al Fresco

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Our yard

Our yard and cut flowers from the garden

We finally dined al fresco at home tonight, on our new recyclable resin (ie. cheap) table and chairs from Bi-Mart. Don’t let its small Wal-Mart appearance deceive you. This worker-owned store is a wonder of the Pacific Northwest. Bi-Mart is where I purchased my shellfish digging license, got waterproof boots, the lawn furniture and supplies with which to preserve food.

After my recent interview with Ivy Manning, I keep turning to her Farm to Table cookbook for inspiration. We made her refreshingly zesty Watercress, Snow Pea and Shitake Mushroom Stir-Fry. I substituted peppery mustard greens for the watercress (since they both have bite) and added tofu to make for a more substantial meal. We also had a springy salad and served the brothy dish over short-grain rice studded with millet, a trick I learned from Chef Naoko. Our friends brought a growler of oatmeal stout from local microbrewery Block 15 to chase down the meal. (Note to self: take advantage of Block 15’s special Sunday $7 growler refill rate). Then rhubarb bread, coconut ice cream and “blueberry teas” for dessert (a McMenamin’s-inspired concoction of Amaretto, Grand Marnier and hot Earl Grey tea…which is surprisingly evocative of the fruit). Ah, spring.

Mustard Greens, Shitake, Snap Pea and Tofu Stir-Fry

Mustard Greens, Shitake, Snap Pea and Tofu Stir-Fry

Written by baltimoregon

May 25, 2009 at 12:40 am

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