Monday, March 12, 2007

Meet my doppelganger, Stepford Jamie

[author's note: the following entry was written in the lazy days and hazy daze of Springtime. Brace yourself for a syrupy sweet meditation on gardening, worthy of someone's gramma or a Junior League cookbook. It's hard to realize your own frivolity at writing such a post when the world's in such a sorry state. But I suppose it's nice to know a sunny day can still bring happy satisfaction from something so simple as gardening.]

Previous plans for yesterday’s sunny Sunday in the ‘70s included a trip to Petaluma for the first annual artisan cheese festival and a stop by a friend’s art show at Eos. But when it turned out to be The Most Beautiful Day Ever (or at least in recent memory) I decided to skip the afternoon of eating and drinking to till the soil and prep the veggie garden.

Every year around this time, I spend an afternoon or two pulling the weeds, cursing the crabgrass, befriending the earthworms and banishing the snails from my little veggie kingdom. And yesterday’s weather was a sign that the time had come to perform this annual ritual so that I can begin planting in the coming weeks.

To date, my mix of plants has been experimental, with the only staples being arugula, butter lettuce and tomatoes. The mint is there year round, growing like a weed and keeping us in mojitos through all four seasons. The chives are also pretty robust residents. Everything else is determined each spring according to my fancy on seed-buying day. I’ve played with radishes, carrots, zucchini and peas, but none produced memorable results. This year, I also intend to grow flowers solely for cutting. I figure, buying blooms can get expensive, so there’s no reason I shouldn’t be growing my own.

That said, I believe this afternoon’s activities will include a trip to the seed store and a subsequent planting. So there’s no recipe to share today, but my outdoor effort will bring plenty of edible inspiration in the coming weeks. And there’s nothing so gratifying as tasting a recipe you’re concocting, realizing it needs a little something more and trotting out to the garden to snip it right then and there.

And with the last keystroke I typed in that paragraph, I realized how quaint and cloying and “Martha” it sounds. I apologize. I think the arrival of Springtime and the added hour of daylight have me positively giddy. So much so that if I belched right now, it would probably manifest as a little spritz of perfume on a cloud of cotton candy, wrapped up in ribbon and carried from my rose petal lips by sweetly, singing birds…..

Hm. Well OK. I checked and it’s actually nothing like that.

Good to know it’s still me under there.


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