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thinking pink, feeling gray.

May 8, 2012

A few weeks ago, we planted a dwarf plum tree in our front “yard”, a gift for my birthday in late March, and I was lamenting , rather loudly, that I was needing to water it, and our wee vegetable garden, three times a day to keep it from drying out. April was dry, and unseasonably warm. I tried to look on the bright side, and imagined an early CSA and growing season, dreaming of soon standing in fields of strawberries with sun warmed shoulders, blissfully filling baskets with tender ripe fruit. Alas, May arrived, and with it, rain. Dismal days dressed in layers of wool, so much crueler after the teasing warmth of April. Today ws our “at home” day, baking day, and I would have been perfectly happy staying in my pajamas and puttering around the house. At the kids insistence, however, we got outside early, during our  bread’s first rise, and while it was merely gray and dull, rather than the blacked torrents that came later. We walked to “our spot” along the river, where we watched the sweet, piping goslings follow their surly, honking parents everywhere. We saw red winged blackbirds and sneezed at the lime green dusting of tree pollen coating every surface and drifting up our noses and down our throats, but the kids had spring in their step, help buttercup after buttercup to each others chin, ran around and delighted in it all. I had to drag them home as the rain began to fall, and we arrived just in time to have missed getting caught in the deluge. I brought the blankets and towels in off the clothesline, all only slightly damp, and tumbled them in the dryer. We drank tea, and waited out the second rise of our bread, big kids working on their Greek mythology main lesson, and little one swinging in the hammock and singing softly to herself. I perused my cookbook shelf and some back issues of everyday food looking for inspiration, as I have been having such a hard time with meal planning lately. After coming off a long stretch of sick kiddos wanting nothing but soup for every meal, despite the warm weather, I find myself craving soup after a gray day like today. When I look at my meal plan, I’m hardly inspired to make and eat tempeh tacos with lime slaw and avocados, despite having all the ingredients on hand and it being “taco Tuesday”. No one else is in the mood for soup, at least not for dinner, so I cobble together a pot of sweet potato corn chowder for lunch while I preheat the oven for bread, basking in the temporary warmth of the kitchen, and devour my soup, standing in the kitchen while the air is thick with the smell of baking bread. I will suck it up and crunch on tacos for dinner later, as the familiarity of the meal plan is something of a tether for our family, providing rhythm and, even, excitement—taco Tuesday! Pizza on Friday! Cook-out on the weekends in months without “R”s! It is May. There will be color again, more than todays endless gray and the row upon row of greens in the garden—the kale, chard and cabbage being joined by spinach, salad greens, radish and beet tops. Our farm order today includes rhubarb, our radishes are almost ready for harvest, and tomorrow’s plan includes making chive blossom vinegar, so despite the cold, the rain and the gray, tomorrow, there will be pink! I hope the pinks bring some meal inspiration, i’m ready to feed a spring fever, especially after “starving” this cold.

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