Spring is really here in Downeast Maine.
Several days of temperatures in the high sixties/ low seventies, and even once (I admit the car was sitting in the sunshine) it hit 81!
Now, Friday, it’s a little more of what you would expect for this part of the world, 60 and breezy. And you can smell spring in the air.
We took a trip to Campobello Island yesterday, it was simply beautiful at Herring Cove Provincial Park. And we discovered a new (to us) lighthouse at the far end of the island. Evidently if you hit the tides just right, you can walk over to the lighthouse, but that will have to be next time.
The Head Harbour Light on the northern end of Campobello Island.
So I didn’t get much writing done, but, boy oh boy, did I ever recharge my creative batteries. And maybe we should all give ourselves permission to do that once in a while.
After almost fifty years of putting food in front of hungry family, I discovered mirepoix.
Now, I have to admit, I was never much of a carrot person, having been brought up on carrots from a can. Blech! But this past year we had our first garden, and the thing that grew the best was carrots.
One Day's Output from our garden
Faced with what seemed like thousands of delicious carrots that sprang like magic from my ill-prepared ground, I wracked my brain for what to do with them. A good portion were frozen for winter, we had carrot cake and carrots as a regular side dish. The carrot cake was lovely, as a side dish they were okay.
But chopped and mixed with celery and onion…. WOW.
And that is all mirepoix is – or at least that is the basis for it.
Chop two parts onion, one part celery and one part carrot. Done.
You can add it to soups or saute it before you make chops, or chicken or even hamburgers. It becomes step one of all your cooking, and you look like a genius in the kitchen. You can use it in omelettes.
You can add green peppers. You can put herbs like oregano or savory in some of the portions. You can freeze it, and have a taste of summer all year round. That is actually what we did, and I’m working my way through the freezer and all its one-cup portions of miraculous mirepoix!
I baked bread today. I bake it for practical reasons, home-baked bread is about a quarter of the cost of store-bought.But I also bake it because it is a tangible way to say “I love you” and it is an art to make it better and better each time. Creating, crafting, feels good.
I usually bake bread every other day, or every third day. With my husband being gone to Arizona for a while, I haven’t needed to bake in over a week. So, the warm bread out of the oven was especially tasty today.
Something that surprised me is how ingrained the recipe has become. I can measure out the milk, butter, honey & other ingredients almost as if I’m on autopilot. And as I’m mixing in the flour, I can easily see how much I’m going to need, based on the humidity of today. I don’t even have the recipe written down any longer.
It’s like writing.
warm from the oven
If you write every day, eventually it becomes less like a event and more like a practiced exercise. And you can begin to stop worrying about the ingredients, and start thinking about what the particular piece needs. And like bread, it can be art, creation, and practicality rolled into one!