• Andrea Durnell

It's all about smelling those roses!


Being the middle of Hat Season, today was meant to be a blog about how I got started making hats in the first place. I will get to that one day soon, but the point of today is really about not fretting when your plans run amok. And, I guess a little bit about how all creative efforts fuel my common effort.


I remember hearing at some point that my husband would be traveling this week, but I set it aside. This isn't an uncommon occurrence in our world. I also have been setting aside his birthday gifts for whichever day we carved out of our schedules to have a bit of a celebration. The birthday is looming. It isn't one of those "big" ones, just a mid-decade variety.


He hates celebrations. I love celebrations. But we do meet in the middle because we both like to cook. I do all the baking, excel at stews, sauces and concoctions, and he is the salad master and creator of all things vegetable and grilled (although I do anything over the fire pit)


Today, being a sleepy Sunday, we settled on omelets with bacon, oven potatoes and toast with some of my potato bread and homemade jam from last summer's berries. And, you can't have a celebration without a cocktail. My husband is the Cocktail Whisperer.


If you want a no-fail Sunday brunch cocktail, try a bit of St. Germain frozen in a glass with some freshly squeezed grapefruit and clementine juices. Pour some nice dry champagne over it and garnish with fresh berries (we had blueberries today) and herbs.


Any time we have some really great tasting fruit, we puree a little and make some ice cubes with it. Adding that to a cocktail really elevates whatever you are drinking. My favorites have been Damson plum, watermelon, pineapple and lime, but honestly, almost any delicious fruit in its prime is perfect for this purpose. It adds both color and flavor.


I won't try to sell a cocktail as healthy food, but why not get some nutrition alongside it? We use the really giant 2 ounce ice cubes because they look so festive, but you get quite a lot of fruit in one of those, too.


Any time we are cooking or eating, one of us takes a tour of the yard (Townsend, our goldendoodle adores this) looking for something fresh to add to a salad or cocktail. I suppose the trendy word is "foraging" and that is precisely what we are doing.


There isn't a lot in March, truthfully, but we cheat a bit and have a very small greenhouse so I had some sorrel that was looking very green and plump. In a week or so, we should be able to harvest some early lettuce. I am excited for that. Prior to having Townsend, we had a lot more that we ate. This year he will be 2 and we are switching a lot more of our edibles to tall whiskey barrels,decorative fencing, and other planters to make sure everything is "pee free"! Wow. Last year as a puppy, he inoculated all our herb beds and we really missed those!


So, cheers to a lovely Sunday (and St. Paddy's Day)! Get out there and enjoy this early spring and make the most of what you find!








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