Spring notes

After warming moderately for maybe a week, it turned cold again and snowed another four inches Friday – this winter just doesn’t know when to quit.  But I was down in Pennsylvania for business last week and the grass is greening up, forsythia starting to show, etc – so it’s inexorably working its way north.

I received my seeds from Fedco Friday, and yesterday I started some tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, broccoli, and cabbage on a heat mat under a grow light in the kitchen window.  It’s good to have the clock started on that effort.

I’m happy to report that my uncle Geoff and aunt Susan have joined the blogosphere at http://hornbeammountainfarm.wordpress.com.  They live on an old farm in Mt. Vernon and keep a team of oxen – in this case Jimmi and Eric (Hendrix and Clapton) for working in the woods.  They also have a big vegetable garden, and they’ve experimented with wheat and oats.

This afternoon I’m taking my fiddle across to Vermont, where accordionist Jeremiah McLane holds contra dance music classes at his house in Sharon.  Recently we’ve been working on a couple sets of reels (Reel des Menterries/Brenda Stubberts/Return to Chernobyl and Rannie McLellan’s/Father John Angus Rankin/Seamus Conley’s), and today we’re going to play a jig set (Timmy Cliffords/Gallowglass/Calliope House) and a tune of Jeremiah’s called Honey Bee.

Yesterday I did a pile of cooking – 3 loaves of the usual Sherwood Inn Dark Bread, plus I made a couple pans of bread pudding with scraps that had been accumulating in the freezer.  Bread pudding is one of those great foods that’s somewhere between meal and dessert, especially if made with skim milk and healthy whole grain bread.   I also made a double batch of homemade bean burgers – these are much tastier than the store-bought variety and perhaps 1/10 the cost.  I froze a couple tubs of them for later use – I’ve taken to eating them in a bun with melted cheese and a couple leaves of savoy cabbage.  Every winter around January or February I rediscover cabbage, and end up eating a lot of it (in stir fries, as salad, etc) all the way through spring.

It’s hard to believe, but the new batch of Fedco trees should be showing up in Maine in a couple of weeks – then spring will start in earnest.

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