tip my hat to that.
It's Saturday morning, and I'll confess, I could use a little tenderness.
Do you feel this way on the kind of mornings that start on the slow side while rain threatens to ping the panes? Or is it just me?
Complicating matters, I'm fresh off a week that challenged me to my core. Just get ready, dude. Prepare yourself to be deluged with numerous play-by-plays all summer long. Here's a preview of coming attractions: food, garden, salsa, flowers, pie, books, ice cream, pickles, books, beach, naps, yadda yadda.
Are you excited???
I've had some weekends this past year that were real duds, but this weekend I'm hoping will make up for every single one of them.
There's something about the way the breeze blows through the screen off the lilacs that takes me back to my childhood, and when you're pushing a certain age, anything with the power to do that deserves a place of high honor in my heart.
Today, I'm 63 going on 7.
I woke up last week and realized I've been living in the past, around here. Between the spring slide show and salvaged afternoons, an entire month has sort of slunk by. It wasn't as quiet as all that, in practice. I don't want to bore anyone silly with my day to day stuff, but because this is where I remember my days, I tip my hat to Spring once more before I commit to Summer.
My garden exploded, lost all self-control. Out went the brown, soil, contrast. In came stems, leaves, lush. Everything growing tall, high, lyrical green. Except where it's purple. There's a lot of purple. May, I think, is the garden's purple period.
I laugh, ungenerously, loudly, repeatedly, over the alliums' hysterical hair. If ever a plant has a bad case of bed head...
May is ushering in the backyard bouquet. There is such luxury in walking out of my door with scissors, and returning with stuff enough to fill three vases. So what if the stuff is chive blossoms and weeds. It is vital and free and eminently now.
Mostly, I am admiring them outdoors, monitoring their progress, squealing with delight over their arrival.
I waited on lilacs; I got lilacs.
I waited on iris; I got iris.
I'm waiting on roses... oh, you get the picture. Spring is nothing if not instant garden gratification.
Well, except the peonies. The peonies are a perpetual tease, bulging stalled buds for weeks on end. They take their own slowwwwooo sweet time, a boon for the ants, an eternity for me.
Still, May needs something. Any day now. I'm sure of it.
It also helps to have windflowers out the window, all a-bobble. Does any flower pack more charm per square inch? Does any anything?
Out of my dryer, I've pulled socks and shorts, leggings and tank tops, t-shirts and scarves. All from the same load. All from the same week. The flowers may be on a steady trajectory, but my goodness, Spring weather's a bit schizophrenic.
I said my final farewells to the lunar dogwood, the lilacs, the tulips, the grape hyacinths. And after days and days of crabapple snow, I waved off the fruit blossoms, as well.
I've had some tired, tired afternoons. I am not at my best on tired, tired afternoons. But it helps to have a sister who paints my toenails for kicks. I don't know about you, but I can tip my hat to that.
Salad With Warm Bacon Mushroom Vinaigrette and Poached Egg
2 cups of greens (I used red leaf because it’s what I had on hand)
1/2 tsp chopped chives, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp roughly chopped fresh thyme
5 cremini mushrooms, washed, stemmed, and sliced
1/2 small shallot, diced
2 slices of bacon
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 fresh egg
1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 oz blue cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
olive oil (optional)sea salt salt
fresh cracked pepper
Wash and dry greens and tear or cut them into bite sized pieces.
Fry bacon over medium heat until crisp and golden. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, blot, and set aside. Add shallot to bacon grease and cook, stirring, one minute. Add mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 T sherry vinegar (a nice red or white wine vinegar works well here too). Boil for 5 seconds. Remove from heat.
Bring a sauce pan half full of water to a simmer. Add 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar. Crack your egg into a small saucer or cup. Stir the water vigorously with a spoon or whisk to create a vortex in the center. Gently tip the egg into the vortex and simmer for about 3 minutes, until the white is set and the yolk is still runny.
Crumble or slice bacon into roughly 1/4 inch pieces and add back to the mushroom pan. Heat the mushrooms and bacon on med low to warm while the egg poaches. Add a small splash of good olive oil if the pan looks to dry to you. Taste and adjusting seasoning using vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Remove egg with a slotted spoon, blot dry on paper towels, and season with a pinch of sea salt salt and freshly grated pepper.
Pour warm vinaigrette over greens, sprinkle with blue cheese and fresh herbs, top with the egg, garnish with chives, and serve immediately.