Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tarrying Over Tea, Talking Turtle Beans . . .

. . . and Remarking the Remarkable Rhodies.

These days flow with an ease I could live with forever. The sun has peeked from behind the rainy clouds, now dancing in full blue splendor and bathing us in promises for a sunny weekend.

I applied sunscreen with hopefulness today, though I have savored these late rainy days of spring. We have lingered long over steaming teapots, sharing ideas for more garden beds, plots for new writing projects, and ever and anon new things to do in the kitchen. Just today the canning insert arrived for the pressure cooker – mmmmm . . . the ideas sprout afresh.

While Elizabeth invents new ways to wrap pastry and provide a meal (last night we dined upon veggie pasties with a cheddar cheese crust – YUM!), Rachel has taken it upon herself to research every bean we could possibly hope to cultivate, harvest, and then pop into the pressure cooker; she has even sprouted a good number of them in her windowsill with jars and wet paper towels. She experiments daily and often messily – thankfully this has been a relatively clean test.

“I’d like some turtle beans,” she piped up recently in a conversation revolving around food. “They are more commonly referred to as ‘black beans’ in our region,” she added with an instructive tone. I laugh, my heart flutters with excitement over her growing knowledge and love of whole foods, and I picked up a sackful of bulk turtle beans on my last journey to the market. Tonight we may see some of these black beauties peeping from the folds of a sprouted corn tortilla.

Speaking of sprouted corn . . . I sprouted some. Why? To enjoy that delicious nutty taste we enjoy so much in the sprouted corn tortillas that I buy by the caseload. The result? AWFUL!!!! The mealy, pithy, tasteless mash in the mouth was not at all enhanced by that sprouted tail of a root. It looked plain weird and tasted worse. (and I wonder where Rachel gets her experimental nature from?) Into the compost bucket with the corn sprouts! (I wonder if the compost pile will sprout corn stalks now . . . hmmmmmmmm . . . if they do I sure hope the corn tastes better than the sprouts did.)

And so go the languid days of late spring around Wisteria Cottage. At twilight I wander the gardens to enjoy the burgeoning beauty of blossom,

making sure to carry a glass of soapy water to gather nasty munching pests (rose weevils top the list of devils in my rose beds and those pesky green caterpillars that descend from the oak trees on trapeze tendrils of silk eat far TOO MUCH for my liking). The ladybugs

and darling beetles (known as soldier beetles in the bug world, but I adore their voracious “bug-nivorous” appetite so much that I call them “darling”)

flourish and grow round in my organic beds of beauty.

I know I should be doing “spring cleaning” (or writing down and posting those recipes I promised, but which is proving infinitely more difficult than I imagined as I cook from “feel” and can’t quite get it right on paper or keyboard, as the case may be), but I have chosen to enjoy these fleeting days with my girls, as I know all too soon they will have grown and have spread wings to find their own dreams in cottages and gardens and kitchens filled with savories smells and chubby faced babies – I know . . . it seems just yesterday I tripped over sippy cups and duplo castles while trying to get supper on the table. Nowadays I bump bustles and share aprons with my growing girls. Each stage has delighted me with its precious togetherness. Keeping a home, raising children, serving as helpmeet – it’s a wonderful way to spend a day . . . or a lifetime.

Ahhhhhh . . . the sunshine beckons and the rose madder wafts in each time someone comes in or goes out the cottage doorway. I cannot resist any longer – I’m off!!!! (but I shall return with more pics.)

* * *

Do all you can to live a peaceful life.
Take care of your own business,
And do your own work as we have already told you.
If you do, then people who are not believers will respect you,
And you will not have to depend on others for what you need.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NCV)


Becky said...

Debbie, it is all beautiful! I can't wait to venture down that fragrant path. Perhaps today ;-)

Becky said...

LOL, your man just drove up as I was commenting. I was hoping to see you get out of the car. Oh well. ;-)

Flea said...

Its a wonder you come near the computer at all! Enjoy spring!

Karen Deborah said...

I'm grateful you do come near the computer because this is sucha wonderful way to keep in touch and "visit". So which closet did you turn into a pantry? Great idea! Your bread looks perfect.
I''m going to be figuring out my grain order tomorrow, only one purchase this year.

Karen Deborah said...

ps have you heard Susan Boyle yet?

FancyHorse said...

These days with your girls are precious. I love reading about them!

sukipoet said...

your garden is so lovely and how wonderful you have so many enthusiastic cooks in the family. i love black bean chili and black bean soup. lovely quote too. enjoy.

Joyce said...


I loved this post.

I feel the same way about every precious moment spent with my dear family. Five of the children are grown and on their own. Only four are still at home. Our family dynamics have changed, but I am so thankful for the love for one another, and the love to God that remains.

Oh! I enjoy alliterations, too. Yours were fun. :P