I'd have inserted a photograph here, but I ate them. All of them. Without pause. Well, with some pauses, but short ones. And there is no use to photograph he weather. Think rain forest.
I am not going to go on about the weather, because I hate it and it makes me hyperventilate. We had about 5 hours without rain and about 3 hours of sun over the weekend. (STOP IT, depressing weather-speak!)
Anyhoo, I had made an appointment for a spa pedicure - strictly on the basis of testing out the facility, you understand. We (my younger sister and I) are plotting my middle sister's birthday surprise and, being in the veritable middle of nowhere, it's not easy to come up with luxurious day spas that don't cost an arm and a leg and include half a day's travel. I was quite pleasantly surprised (I apologize, nice spa lady, if I snored....or drooled...) and so we are set. All that is left is to further plot how we are going to get her there. I have volunteered to lie like a rug and then kidnap her and deliver her - blindfolded, if needed - to her mini-spa treatment. I am nothing if not sneaky.
By the time I got home, I had about one hour to do outside work before the rain returned. I had invited a 'friend' for a glass of wine and finger foods, so was tear-assing around, cleaning and straightening, when I got a text saying she really didn't have time. (Ergo, the quotation marks around friend.) So, there I sat with a relatively tidied house, a chilled bottle of rose and a plate full of Everything Parmesan Crisps, a new recipe. So I tried one. Made animal sounds and ate the rest. The recipe is from Skinny Taste (thank you, Sylvie, for introducing me to them!) and is incredibly easy:
Grate 1/2 cup parmesan cheese on the large holes of a box grater. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat (preferable) or parchment paper. Divide the cheese into four separate little piles on the lined pan, spread each pile out to about a 4" circle, leaving room between. Put in a preheated 400 degree oven for 3 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle each with 3/4 tsp of a combination of sesame seeds, dried onion flakes, dried garlic flakes and poppy seeds (I use Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel mix), then put them back in the oven for 3-5 minutes, until they are golden. Take out and let them cool. You're welcome.
I slogged out to the yard and clipped a shopping bag of nettle tops, slogged back in and blanched them, freezing some and making my favorite spring soup out of the rest. I have to say that I like nettles more than spinach in some recipes, this being one - it's basic:
Half a shopping bag of nettle tops, blanched for 3 minutes, put in an ice bath, then thick stems removed and nettles roughly chopped
Heat a nugget of butter and a slur-up of olive oil in a soup pan (I use the same pan as I did to blanch the nettles - dishes, you know) and saute until translucent a small onion, chopped, and a stalk or two of celery, chopped. Add to this some diced potatoes and about 2-3 cups of chicken broth (or vege broth), a bay leaf and a teaspoon of dried thyme. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the nettles and more broth or water if needed. Simmer 10 minutes more, until potatoes are tender. Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender or pour (carefully) into a blender and blend until smooth. You can add a dollop of heavy cream or half and half if you wish, but I like mine straight up. It helps you through the cold, wet weather.
Other than that - Mother's Day was a dark, cold, rainy blur - I did more cleaning and then canoed up to Vermont and back. I have potted up the last of my seedlings and planted the Bibb lettuce and arugula in the cold frame. It was too wet to put up the electronet for the sheep yet, but I did get the energizer set up.
I sit in the early mornings, knitting away, and listen to the birds wake up amidst the pitter-pat of the incessant rain. I know that this weather will pass - eventually. As is now commonplace, the rain will stop, it will become summer overnight and I will be moaning and groaning about the lack of rain. There is no pleasing me. I should take my cue from the resident Carolina Wren - he is filled with music, no matter what the weather. Just happy to be alive.