April 30, 2013

Mother Nature Teaches Patience.

Being a patient person has not always been one of my virtues. I would like to think that after all these years I have achieved some strides in this department. However, just when I feel I have mastered this trait, I am given another lesson. I am the student. This time Mother Nature is my teacher.

For the last two months now I have been in gardening mode. I have been ready!  The seed catalogs are riddled with post-it notes, highlighted, and are now badly tattered from hours of  reading. Seeds have been ordered, all heirlooms. From those ordered seeds, seedlings have been started, and have now been transplanted into bigger containers. The garden beds, all beautifully composted and tilled twice sit waiting for their new occupants. See I told you I was ready, well more than ready, it has almost turned into an obsession!
But all my preparation has came to a screeching halt. What? Why? It is the end of April right? The Farmers Almanac and the seed packages say that some things can be planted by now. Yes, Yes, in theory. By now our cold crops would be in the ground.  But ours are still sitting tucked in their packages, waiting.

Patience: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
 *Yikes! Maybe I have not mastered this virtue...

This year we have had a very cold, wet Spring. Temperatures have been way off to say the least. One day warm, sunny and Spring like, next day cold, freezing and even snow!

  Granted it was not much in accumulation, but you get the picture. Brrr!

Last week one of the local farmers was on the news stating that they are two weeks late with Spring planting! With the first of May less then two hours away (well for us Eastern time zone folks) let's hope the weather stays nice as it has been for the past two days. I see the end of the lesson! Yippee! What? I still have to wait?

Despite the warmer days/nights, we have another "snap-foo." We are possibly moving in June. We have been searching for the perfect place, for us it is OUT of the city limits. Granted my pick would be to a farm, but I am happy enough with the place. It is a small town out in the country. I grew up in a small town and love the fact that my kids will get to now. However, remember I said "June?" As a gardener most of the veggies would be the ground by then. At the moment I have 19 heirloom tomato plants that will need to be transplanted a second time, seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, Sweet peppers that will more than be ready for the earth by then. Remember my beautifully composted, tilled garden areas? They will not nourish my plants. I will be starting fresh.  So today I headed up to the local garden center and purchased larger pots, soil for transplanting these babies for their future move. Grumbling to myself, I might add, how this, again, this was not on my "Spring Agenda, This is NOT part of the plan I made!" Do not get me wrong, I am beyond happy to be moving, as much as you can. It is moving, right?

Maybe good old Mother Nature knew something that I did not when I sat under my quilt, seed catalogs and gardening journal sprawled all over my lap this Winter/Spring and made my "Master Plan." Yes, yes she did and that would be that I needed more lessons in Patience. 

April 1, 2013

Russian Blini

Spring Break is here for our children. This means that breakfast does not have to be a "rush job." We can actually cook and enjoy our first meal of the day. Today my daughter requested that I make our Russian Blini recipe. We do not have Russian roots, but received this recipe from our son's Russian language instructor.

A Blini is a thin pancake, resembling a crepe but thicker. Traditionally they were filled with sour cream, or caviar. They can be filled with any type of filling. Or you can eat them as a stack. Whatever tickles your fancy.

The recipe that we use:

Russian Blini

2 eggs
1 Tablespoons of  White sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 Cup of flour
1 1/2 cups of Milk
1 Tablespoon of butter, or vegetable oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and salt. Once that is combined, add the flour and milk into mixture. Mix until batter is smooth. The batter should be thin, like this:

Next, heat your pan or griddle. Add the butter, or oil to coat the pan. Once pan is heated, Pour 2 Tablespoons of batter in the pan. Tilt the pan to spread the batter out evenly. When the edges are crisp looking and the center of the blini appears dry, flip over and cook for 1 minute. Remove the Blini to a plate. Continue this process to finish up the batter. Stacking them as you go. (this requires a watchful eye so that you do not burn them. They cook fast!)

To serve, spread desired filling, fold in half and fold in half a second time. Today we used mixed berries that I cooked down. The only thing missing was a bit of whipped cream!