It was SO cold and gross on Sunday. We woke up in the morning, and all I wanted to do was stay inside and bake. M went to the grocery store to pick up a few things, and I spent the next hour making a couple of batches of blueberry scones. Later that afternoon I headed out to an afternoon meeting / work session, and after that was through, I picked up groceries for the week. Again, I felt like baking. But mostly I felt myself longing for spring / early summer. Consistent warmth. More sunshine.
I remembered seeing a reference to strawberry shortcake on Design*Sponge on Friday. I looked up the article and decided that sounded perfect. I had almost everything I needed, I just picked up a lemon and some heavy cream and berries of course – no farmer’s market beauties yet, but I was okay with making do with grocery berries.
The recipe is simple and delicious. Not overly sweet – the most sugar is on the berries, and once local berries are in season, you could probably cut that in half or more. M’s mom is here, so we ate five of the nine cakes, and I decided this morning that I wasn’t going to let them go bad on the counter. So I had one for breakfast. The sun came out. It’s supposed to pass sixty today. Maybe my plan is working…
Posted in let's eat
Tagged food, seasons
I’m starting to emerge out of the fog of illness, but I’m not firing on all cylinders quite yet. I always check to see that the memory card is in my camera, but I forgot to yesterday morning, so when we arrived at the garden on one of the most gorgeous mornings of the season, my camera was a no-show.
Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I kept seeing interesting things that I wanted to photograph. I took a few shots with my phone, but it’s not the same. I appreciate the convenience of having a camera on me all the time in the form of my phone, but it’s never really felt like a camera to me. There’s something different in carrying around my “real” camera when I’m in the garden. My phone is tucked away – I only check it occasionally for the time.
It’s pretty dark now at seven when we leave the house. We drive east to the stop sign just a few feet away, before turning north. The sky is so gorgeous every morning, streaked with watercolors. We cross a diagonal thoroughfare, and catch a brief glimpse of downtown silhouetted against the sunrise. M used to work in a corner office on the nineteenth floor of the tallest building downtown. He was always there before the sun went up, and had the best photographs of it.
We’ve gotten into the habit of stopping for breakfast on the way to the garden instead of making something quickly at home. I tell myself each week that I need to be better at making a portable breakfast ahead of time that we can grab and go, but I never seem to get around to it. Sleeping as late as possible always seems to win out, even if “late” really means that the alarm sounds before the six o’clock hour. But I’ve let her add steamed apple juice to the breakfast tab, and she adds a little whipped cream. She never finishes it completely, and she doesn’t need it. It pushes our modest breakfast tab beyond the threshold of modest for a weekly occurrence, and each Wednesday I consider whether it is worth it.
But now they recognize her, and they steam it just right – not too hot – and make the whipped cream into a funny little tower before squishing it down with the lid in front of her. She drinks it in slow sips on the way down the street to the garden, and then bigger drinks as we head off to school an hour later. When I finally pull into the parking lot at work, I pick up the cup, now cold, and feel its weight. I take a drink and it tastes like fall, but sweeter. Too sweet to drink any more, but just a taste to carry our morning with me for a few more minutes.
Well, it arrived, and it’s lovely.
It was chilly enough this morning to put on a jacket and sweater before we headed out. I took about eight photos before my battery gave up the fight. We walked to the right this morning, past the sheep and through the newly restored prairie garden (prairie area, because we like rhymes).
Our first plan for the morning was to find signs of fall, so we liked the start of red on the trees and the still-tightly bound mums. But by the time we got the back of the demonstration gardens, we were laughing because our signs of fall were all the empty beds where the summer flowers had been removed. We walked out to the main sidewalk again, and had to decide on the rest of our route.
We decided we’d try to take the unbeaten paths as much as possible, so we wound our way through the woodland areas on the stepping stones, and played hopscotch on the pavers by the mausoleum.
She groans and complains every Wednesday morning when I force her out of bed a few minutes earlier and rush her through the routine. When we rounded the last corner back to the entrance, she told me this morning was “the best walk ever”, and I believe her.