Saturday, April 3, 2010

In which we welcome the god and the goddess

Grow Project April post

Having been extremely kind to the Midwest all year, the goddess continues her gentle journey into the spring with a string of 80F/26C days. The goddess’ consort, in the form of a large robin again, watched me work, mostly brute labor building beds, setting paths and amending soil. I gave the goddess a pincushion plant for an offering this year.

The weather rarely works out so perfectly for planting, or coincides so neatly with my schedule. Friday a hot sunny day for all the grunt work and some early transplanting. Saturday a gentle cool rain (still in the 50s). Supposed to be dry and warm (60s-70s/10-15) again next two days, plus, the moon phase is exactly right for putting in my early spring root vegetables. I’ll savor it, because this confluence of need and ability is so rare.

My offering to the goddess yesterday was apparently appreciated.

Among the many gardening tasks for the weekend was planting out the indoor starts of the "Spitfire" Nasturtium for the GROW project. Five seedlings went into the ground by the cyclone fence, behind the birdbath, strawberries, and columbine. This should give me color there when the columbine fades, and incidentally help draw the aphids away from the eggplants going in a little ways down the fence. I'll be cloching these early set-outs under pop-bottle cloches to protect them from the cold, since I put them out a little early (I'm not having great luck with the indoor starts; the cold can't possibly be any worse for them than my incompetence.)

I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee's Garden for the seeds. I planted 6 seeds in Ferry-Morse organic seed starting medium on March 8, and got 5 seedlings. There are also 9 seeds planted in a wintersown container, in plain soil mixed with perlite. These just poked their heads out of the dirt today.

And, because it's Easter, and I hate to put up a post without a recipe:

Greek Easter Twists

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
4 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder

Cream sugar, butter and vanilla thoroughly. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add milk and flour alternatiely, beating vigorously until well blended. I like using cake flour rather than all-purpose flour for these cookies; it makes a nicer texture when done. You may need to work the dough with your hands at the end as it will be quite dense and springy.

Break the dough off in small portions, rolling it on a cutting board until you have a roll about the width of your finger and 6-8" long. Form into traditional shape- a circle with the ends pressed together, or a twisted "braid." Beat an egg and coat each cookie (I use my fingers rather than a pastry brush). Bake them plain, or sprinkle with sesame seeds first.

Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 400F/200C for 20 minutes, turning once to ensure even cooking. Makes about 28 cookies.


  1. I like your garden sculpture in the first picture. Glad to see you've got some sprout already.

  2. Neat blog....I like your sculpture...I am a fellow midwest gardener... I look forward to checking out your recipes and posts!

  3. MBT & GM-- admiring the goddess is always a good strategy! Cooking up a storm today, so lots of recipes coming up.