Saturday, May 28, 2011

No Ordinary Kiss

Is This Rhubarb Love?

When we moved into our home 24 years ago there was a rhubarb patch (20' x 4') bigger than anyone could ever need. I didn't get it, what was it about rhubarb that enticed so many pies, jams and stewed stringy pots of slop compote. Over the years we scaled the patch down to a manageable 4' x 4' plot. Granted it is the first harvestable vegetable fruit in the garden and one of the first green shoots to make a showing after our long (extremely long) and snowy winters. Agreeably, that is of measurable value in these parts. But come on, the only way it's really palatable is to add it's weight (almost) in white sugar. And more often than not, combining it with another fruit like strawberries to help it along.

2011 produced record breaking snow. Many of us were certain it would be June before the ground was visible. However, weeks before the last of the snow had vanished the rhubarb patch had busted out and by the middle of May was ready for cutting. Out of the oven came the pie and crisp. Okay, it does have a pretty pink glow and with enough added sugar to curb the tartness it's quite nice with a side of vanilla ice cream (yes, more sugar).

Then I received an email from my best friend. He'd heard a segment of the NPR show The Splendid Table and was intrigued by a recipe for Rhubarbaritas by Katherine Whiteside and forwarded me the link. Rhubarb and tequila... now I'm interested. It calls for making rhubarb simple syrup, which I did (truly simple). It's beautiful, soft petal pink, knock your socks off bright and simply sweet. This clearly brings rhubarb to a new level. Take a look; better yet, take a sip. I promise you'll like it, even you, Lauren. :)

So have at it: rhubarb-ade (share it with the little ones), pink mojitos or you can try our new favorite late spring cocktail. Tall glass, shot of rhubarb simple syrup, shot of vodka (or the bf's favorite, white rum), juice of half a lime, fill with ice and top off with seltzer water... a Rhubarb Kiss. Is it 5 o'clock? I'd like a kiss please.

My rhubarb patch is picked clean. I get it now.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

While The Sun Shines

It's not raining!

Hurry, we've a brief moment to catch up on the outdoor chores before it starts up again. This has been our wettest spring on record, over 16" of rainfall recorded in Burlington so far this season. Not today, according to Roger Hill, weather forecaster, meteorologist and Weathering Heights blogger, today should be a holiday (it's rain free).

Ready, set... garden. Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, carrots, onions, beans, peas, cucumbers, squash, rainbow chard, weed, rake, top dress, rake, plant, trellis, and mulch. Forget anything? Tomorrow morning looks good and then a potential for heavy rainfall (again) thru Sunday. Back to work, soybeans, spinach, sunflowers, basil...

Almost done!

And no, I didn't forget
From bud to blossom to petal confetti.

It was a beauty of a day, though it didn't quite feel like a holiday.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Filled to the Brim

And Spilling Over

I woke up this morning excited to be outside. The apple trees are in full bloom and the blossoms have filled our yard with a delicate scent... so sweet. A photo would have been nice, but soggy blossoms are not very picture pretty. However, the pond is quite proud of all the rain.

This one's for my pocket. I'm saving it for a dog day in August, just in case I need a little refreshment.

The sun may come out tomorrow, I'll be waiting by the blossoms.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

We're Stepping Out

Now and then we have reason to venture outside of the valley and today two of our grandkids, Janie and Oliver, are along for the ride. It's our annual trek to Randolph Center to visit Louie Warlick of Peak Pond Farm. Louie is a Vermont trout farmer, one of a handfull licensed in the state. He specializes in raising native Brook and Rainbow trout and our pond is Brook trout empty.

Here we are, a picture perfect hillside dotted with a seemingly endless series of cascading, ice cold, fresh water ponds filled with caged boxes and pipes directing water here and there (watch your step). Little fish, not so little fish and even bigger fish are everywhere.

I love this place.

Into the trout greenhouse, the hub of operations. Not to worry, the electric current is off while we poke around the nursery. Simply fascinating.

These little ones are already spoken for, Louie has some 6 - 8 inchers in an outside pond we can purchase.

A dozen Brookies to go, please. With a shot of oxygen injected into the bag along with the fish and water, they are ready for the journey over the mountain.

Coming down off Roxbury Gap: the Valley looks pretty swell from here. 

Back at the pond and all twelve have survived the adventure, yeah! Popi gives them a welcoming toss into their new home. Head to the bottom little fish, where it's nice and cold.

Janie and Oliver are certain they will like the neighbors, wouldn't you?

Monday, May 9, 2011


Ostrich ferns are breaking ground and you know what that means... we're having fiddleheads for dinner.

Quick...grab a knife and a basket and gather up a bunch of some scrumptious wild greens. These young fern fronds are the perfect size to harvest.

Hold on now, before you head back inside take a another look around. 


Squirrel Corn

Dutchman's Breeches

Painted Trillium

Sweet aren't they? Back in the kitchen and rinse, rinse, and rinse some more, all that brown paper like chaff off the fiddleheads.

I'm thinking...a fiddlehead pie. How about you?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Time Out!

Put down the brush.

Take a few moments and wander into the woods. There's a delightful little show underway starring Vermont's very own wild darlings.

Trout Lilly / Dog Toothed Violet / Adders Tongue (Erythronium americanum)

Red Trillium (Trillium erectum L.)

Yellow Violet (Viola Pubescens aiton)

Cinnamon Ferns (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum)

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

More Spring Beauties

and special guest star... Wild Ginger (genus Asarum)

Don't be afraid to get your knees and elbows a little dirty (no one's watching), most of these pretties are nestled low in the leaf litter and you'll want to get close for a good peek.

Who's performing in your neck of the woods?