Spring, that is. Yes, dear friends, spring has finally arrived here in Downeast Maine. The huge snowbanks are melting quickly these days and wee bits of green are emerging from the soil to greet the sun ever higher in the sky.
And the sleepy plants aren't the only ones to enjoy the warmer days. Even though there may still be snowbanks surrounding us, we Mainers take every opportunity to sit outside on sunny days.
A couple of days ago, we had a 50 degree, sunny day and I took the opportunity to do a bit of cleanup in the perennial beds. I raked piles of leaves out of the sunny side, but they were still frozen in the shady side. There is still so much work to do!
I've begun starting a few seeds. I saved all of the cardboard egg cartons over the winter and use them to sprout seeds. These have Italian Parsley in them and the directions said to keep them in the dark until they sprout, therefore, they are sitting in the closet as I write.
The Genovese Basil has already sprouted!
Whenever a bit of Jade plant drops off, I can't bring myself to toss it into the compost pile and now, I've got another "orphan" to find a home for.
Last year, I trimmed the Schefflera at the Clinic and rooted the trimmings. I gave all the ladies in the Clinic one and kept the runt of the litter for myself. The "runt" has grown quite nicely!
I over wintered the tradescantia "Purple Queen" in the background and it will be ready to set out around June.
Since most of the days are still chilly and rainy, I've been doing lots of baking, as well. I had a bunch of bananas in the freezer, so it was time to make Banana Bread again. However, since I like to experiment with recipes, I deviated a wee bit and added some good Ghiradelli cocoa, substituted dark roast coffee for the water, whole wheat for half the flour and voila!, I had a luscious Mocha Banana Loaf.
I was going to put in some grated orange rind too, but I forgot. Oh, well, maybe next time.
I also made pita bread for the first time. What fun that was to watch the dough puff up in the oven.
The recipe is from the "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" book. I then cut the pita breads in half and each half into triangles, sprayed them with olive oil and baked them til crisp. Sprinkled with Seasoned Salt, they made a wonderful chip for dips!
The boys have been very good all winter long, so we got them a little surprise the last time we went to the pet store. They love their new perch and so far, have been sharing the top seat quite nicely.
Life is Good!
2 months ago