Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cold drink, cold day. Why not?

Each weekend now I put in a couple more cells of seedlings, working from the chill-tolerant early planters and the long season jump starters like leeks and herbs, towards my late-March/early April planting of the solanums. The table top is filling, and I had to raise the grow lights over the leeks, they've gotten so tall.

Outside, things are perking up as well. The snow by the back steps melted, revealing, as I had hoped, the first brave crocus sprouts. I expect there are more still hiding under their white blanket. We won't have a warm enough spell for several more days to put enough of a dent in the 12" snow cover to see them, but I know they're there, because they always are.

I have to stop myself planning summer meals. After all, I'm still at least 11 weeks from the first harvest, probably snow peas and radishes, in early May. I dream of a succession house, or a cold frame, for early fresh food during our long and agonizing lakefront spring.

This is the central schizophrenia of the gardener. You know that your plants are going to break through the thawing soil, as they have for a billion years. But in the depths of winter, with the snow burying everything familiar, you never quite believe it. You need that first brave sprout to reach through to the growing sunshine and chirp, Ah! Here we go again!

Sunshine shakes
2 scoops Vanilla ice cream
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 cup milk

Throw it in a blender and zap it. A little taste of summer. Drink it while sitting on the radiator, because it's still awfully cold outside. Don't forget to zest the oranges before discarding the rind! Zap the zest in the microwave in 20 second bursts on 60% power until it's dry (it'll burn if you zap it in longer bursts). Save for baking and breading.


  1. Love that you got a ladybug in your house.

  2. That bug was the entire inspiration behind the post.