Pansies wait to be planted
The opening day for the Red Sox and Easter both fell on the same day this year. Here in our garden 'opening day' is the day we mark on our calendar for annual garden tasks. We are really beginning to see things that mark the change of the season here beyond the start of baseball.
A Phoebe returns to perch on the Kousa dogwood.
A neighboring farm provides for our Easter Eggs this season with their lovely natural tints of blue and green, we decide not to dye them.
We have several Himalayan Birch trees. They have had a history of problems since we first planted them. Insects and ice have been the enemy of the beautiful trees . Let's see, there have been borers, aphids, japanese beetles and caterpillars devasting these trees over the past several years. We thought we would loose them. Then came the ice storm, bent over and broken limbs, how much more could they take? We were desperate, then a product was recommended, Bayer Tree and Shrub. We tried it, so now for the third year, on the Red Sox home opener, it is applied to the trees. The trees are much healthier now. Also, after the ice storm, we pruned the trees, so they are more open in form, they look tall and graceful with bright white exfoliating bark. We think they will be around for some time.
After a day in the garden it is time to spend the evening with our family . We sit down to a holiday dinner of spanikopita (spinach & feta pie), coconut bread ( a recipe our daughter wanted to try, "yum"), asparagus, and grilled marinated lamb. Dessert was the traditional Maple Cheese Cake. Friends of ours make maple syrup, so each March we get a fresh supply of syrup from them, along with the recipe for the cheesecake, so the timing is perfect for an Easter dessert. Dessert is enjoyed while watching the baseball game!
RECIPE: Marinade for Lamb (or chicken):
A butterflied leg of lamb (preferrably fresh from a local farm)
1 large clove of garlic
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1 cup of olive oil
fresh herbs chopped such as thyme, rosemary and parsley
chopped fennel seed, about 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
healthy dash of hot sauce
1 cup of white wine
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
salt (kosher) and pepper
Mince garlic and cover with about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, add minced fresh herbs. Using the side of a knife make a paste , transfer garlic paste to a bowl, add the lemon juice and zest.
Add mustard and hot sauce then drizzle olive oil while whisking together. Add the wine and correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Place lamb in glass bowl (or a large zip lock bag), pour the marinade over the lamb, cover bowl with plastic wrap (or air tight cover). Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning the meat in the bowl at least once. When ready to grill, remove the meat from the bowl and pat dry. Save and use the marinade for basting the meat during the grilling.
So opens baseball season, grilling and gardening season as well.