Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I'm currently involved in a race against growing grass. The moment that I win I have to start weeding furiously. Next week I'm going to try to stay at home as much as possible.

Lilies of the valley are coming up next to the front porch.

I need tools. A post hole digger, a saw that works, and a string trimmer.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012


making nests by oyabakamama
making nests, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.

Not so long ago it was stlil winter. Back before the daffadils popped out and the grass started growing wildly I pruned our grape vines. I read a few articles on the internet, and then just went out and did it. I felt like a was cutting away a lot, but that it what you are supposed to do. I don't think anyone has pruned them in many years.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

the force that through the green fuse drives the flower

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

Dylan Thomas 1934

Monday, March 19, 2012

up through the grass

up through the grass by oyabakamama
up through the grass, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.

hyacinth girl

spring reveals

grape hyacinths by oyabakamama
grape hyacinths, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.

We moved into this house in the middle of winter. We could see the shape of the vegetable garden and some flower borders, but now March reveals borders from many years ago. Across the front of the front yard is a long row of daffadils, tulips, and bluebells coming up and blooming in the grass. In the side yard is a wide patch of grape hyacinths. The girls can't stay out of them, and I have several bouquets in the my kitchen window. I think there are peonies coming up in the front yard.

The man down the road at the Christmas tree farm told me that a woman named Lake used to live here and that she was a wonderful gardener who grew all kinds of flowers and vegetables. Maybe there are Lake's hyacinths, and she planted them in front of the root cellar at the house her grandfather built in 1876.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

filling the raised beds

filling the raised beds by oyabakamama
filling the raised beds, a photo by oyabakamama on Flickr.

I'm going to have these raised beds filled with dirt in a few days, but I'm starting some seeds on the back porch. I thought I'd start off with greens, onions, and some herbs in here. I need chives, dill, parsley, and cilantro. It looks like the lavender made it through the winter.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Monday, March 05, 2012

meatless pecorino meatballs

Meatless Pecorino Meatballs

8 large eggs

3 cups fine dry breadcrumbs

1 cup freshly grated pecorino ( or half pecorino and half Grana Padano or Parmesan Reggiano for a milder flavor)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 T. finely chopped basil, about 20 large leaves ( out of season, use pesto)

2 plump garlic cloves, minced

1 cup vegetable oil

2 batches (6-7 cups) Tomato Sauce

Fresh basil for garnish

Beat eggs well in a large bowl. Heap the bread crumbs, grated cheese, salt, chopped basil, and garlic on top of the eggs, and mix everything together well, first with a big spoon or spatula and then with your hands. The dough should come together in s soft mass, leaving the sides of the bowl. If it is very sticky, work in more bread crumbs a bit at a time.

Break off tablespoon pieces of dough and one by one roll them in your palms into a smooth ball. Place the polpettine on a board or tray covered with waxed paper or parchment – you should get about 60 balls.

Bring 1/8” oil in a heavy skillet and set over medium flame. When the oil is hot enough that a test ball starts sizzling on contact, lay in as many polpettine as will fill the pan with clear space around them. Turn balls to brown on all sides. When they are evenly browned on all sides, lift them form the pan, let the oil drip back into the pan, and then lay them on paper towels to drain.

Fry all the polpettine this way, adding more oil as needed. As a snack of hors d’oeuve, serve each freshly fried batch while hot and crispy. Keep warm in a warmed oven.

To finish and serve the polpettine, heat 6 cups of the sauce to a simmer; Drop in the balls and return the sauce to a simmer, gently turning the polpettine so all are submerged and coated. Simmer about 5 minutes. Serve atop pasta with more cheese. The longer the balls stay in the sauce they will absorb it and become more delicate, so serve as soon as heated.