September 1, 2014

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Spring in Illinois PDF Print E-mail

It’s Sunday morning and a beautiful sunrise is beginning over the pond. The first two ducks of the season are swimming around. I’m fixing breakfast for my dog and myself, so I don’t stop to get the binoculars to see what kind they are. Last week after the pair of Canada Geese, who come every year were here, a second pair came and took up a spot on the other side of the pond, across from  our regular pair. They got quite vocal with each other, probably discussing just whose pond it was. It’s fun to watch the seasonal wildlife come and go.
I was watching the news Monday, and saw the report on the mudslide in the state of Washington. That reminded me of one year after we moved over here. We had a wet winter and a very wet spring, and when you walked through the orchard you could hear the water bubbling underneath your feet.
We were working in one section of the garden and it was quite wet and I started sinking. You do get the idea you’re in quicksand, so I tried to pull my feet out but they just sank more. My left foot was really going down fast and I stumbled backwards and sat down in the mud. My husband stood there and laughed. I said, “This isn’t funny, get me out of here.” He finally gave me a hand up but by that time my left foot was down in the mud to my calf and my shoe had disappeared. My right foot was sucked over my other shoe, so I had to leave both shoes in the garden as I held on to husband’s hand and crawled backwards out to the edge of the garden. We had to dig for my shoes, good thing they are plastic clogs and wash off in the hose, but that was a scary experience.
That story this morning reminded me I don’t want to do that again, and now that I’m in the garden alone most of the time I don’t know who would get me out. The man reporting the story from Washington said its just like quicksand, and to swim backwards to get out. I can’t swim, but I guess falling backwards like I did helped me, along with my husband’s help, to get out. It was a while before we could work that spot. I’ve always believed we have an aquifer under our ground, since this was coal mining country.
The plants in the greenhouse are coming along just fine. It’s just too wet to get the garden ready and there are some cabbage plants not too far away from being ready for the ground. Timing is everything!!
Here is this week’s recipe.
Baby Spinach /blue cheese: 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar; 1/4 tsp. salt; 1/4 tsp. pepper; 1 tsp. Dijon mustard; 1/4 cup olive oil; 1 lb. baby spinach; 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled; 1/2 cup shelled, toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped. Combine vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard. Gradually whisk in oil. Toss with spinach in dressing until coated; Divide among eight plates, top with cheese and nuts and serve. Enjoy a taste of spring. See you next week behind The Garden Gate.