Signs of Spring

The weather has been nice to me and my anxiety lately. Remember not so long ago it looked like this outside:

All that snow on top of snow on top of snow, and it seemed like it would never go away. Well it has. Apart from a tiny patch in a northeast corner of the yard, the snow has gone and the temperatures are rising. During the day I try to step away from the computer and go outside for oxygen as often as I can, to walk around and regroup and see if anything has emerged from the ground since I went outside 2 hours ago.

The Lenten roses (Hellebores) never let me down. They are an expensive plant if you buy them full-sized at the nursery. I bought a bunch online a few years ago. They were cheaper but they come as babies—one leaf on a stem, and it's taken this long for them to put out flowers. But so worth the wait.

And then it's St. Patrick's Day, which heralds the official time to start seedlings. Actually, the date truly only applies to peas, which are direct-sown into the ground, but I've adapted it to suit my own needs and I start my broccoli and tomato seedlings indoors.

In case you are wondering, that is the original 60-cell Bio Dome sold by Park Seed, available here and a terrific investment for any avid gardner. Mine is like ten years old and in great shape, I just buy the sponge refills every year or steal them from my friend Jen (she hates that).

So all this has contributed to me not reading a damn thing, and dinner being scrambled eggs and pizzas the past few days. I managed to throw together a 3-bean salad tonight and now I'm exhausted. But I thought I should at least explain my whereabouts.  My friend Stacie is keeping the ERT dream alive by cooking everything I ever blogged about, bless you my child.  Her friend in Germany made the black bean fritters the other night. International exposure, how cool is that?!

Springing Forward

Always fun to put the clocks ahead on a night when you're partying hard. Makes for an exhausting Sunday but I do love the extra hour of daylight.Between hangovers and lost time, we were all hitting the wall around 5:00 tonight. I knew it wasn't going to be anything more strenuous than toasted cheese and tomato soup.

Now, that gap that the spoon is lying across was supposed to be filled with something. See, I was jonesing for something toothsome like a slaw, and DeCicco's had these really cute bunches of easter egg radishes—white, pink, red, purple. I remembered seeing somewhere a recipe for radish-celery slaw. I had celery. I also had a bulb of fennel.

In the spirit of "don't make a lot of what you haven't made before," I sliced thin 4 radishes, and the very interior heart of two bunches of celery, leaves and all. Then half a bulb of fennel, core removed and sliced thin thin thin, then I chopped up some of the fronds as well for flavor. I tossed it all with the 1/2" of vinaigrette that was left in the bottle. It tasted awesome, and I took a small forkful over to Panda.

"Celery-fennel-radish slaw," I said. "What do you think?"

She wrinkled her eyebrows. "Should be creamier, like cole slaw. Can you put some mayo in it?"

Dammit, she was right. I put in a squeeze of mayo and it was totally, completely perfect.

Now, I set the bowl aside on the kitchen counter and went in search of my camera so I could capture this for the blog. When I got back, here's what I found:

Between the two of them, Lovely and Dovely here polished off THE ENTIRE BOWL!! ON CHIPS!! I could barely get in over their shoulders to take a picture of it, and the one I got is very washed out so you can't see the pretty red, pink and purple edges of the radishes.

I was going to file this under "salads" but I guess I'll file it under "appetizers" instead?