Spring has certainly arrived, and today is the first day I felt I could fully open up the house to the outside air. It is nice having breezes flowing in and out and smells of the neighborhood are also all around me once again. Between coffee roasters, the meat smoker, and the greasy spoon, the house smells like an elaborate breakfast place. I hope to add to this layered texture of smell with my cooking today. I am going to cook the traditional St. Patrick's Day meal that I have always had since I was little. I only cook this meal for today's feast day, unlike other members of the family who enjoy it more often, and the corned beef and cabbages are sitting in the refrigerator with anticipation for tonight. I am also making Irish soda bread to go with it, and for dessert, the decidedly un-Irish pumpkin pie. I forgot to make a pie for pi day and have been craving some sort of pie ever since. Since there are no really good fruits in season for pie yet, I am going to make a pumpkin one out of the hoard of canned pumpkin I acquired when I heard about the pumpkin shortages that were supposed to occur this year. Needless to say, there is still plenty of pumpkin to go around on store shelves.
Pie filling is something I would like to can this year. I am looking around for good sources for information and recipes, but I have yet to find them in my current books. Perhaps Annie will have some insight on her bookshelf.
I did get around to doing some gardening yesterday. I had to move the beans out to their final planting spots as they were getting too large for the containers I had them in. Their root systems were already all tangled up, and I hope that they take hold outside and do not stunt due to the lack of sunlight out on the balcony right now. Next year, hopefully, I will look back at these entries and hold back my enthusiasm for starting the gardening so early. I also took the chives out of the original herb box and planted them into their own pot. I love chives and use them often, so hopefully with more room to grow and new enriched soils, they will also be more happy. They look more perked up and lively today than they even did yesterday, so I am sure this is a good change for them. I also hope to plant some cilantro and finally root into the herb box the majoram and oregano that I started in the window of Dan's office. Both, though will need actual direct sun that is currently not available. The zucchini also seem to finally be growing a bit more. They are getting more leaves, and I think it is due to the warmer night and day temperatures. I hope that I get a little more action on the cucumbers that are planted along side them. They seem to be really unhappy with the lack of direct sun, but they will hopefully recover in a few weeks when it all changes. I love having all the new green plants all around, and they are just in time for the holiday.
Now I should get down to some baking and perhaps the harp. I have not gotten to pick it up for quite some time, and while I am sure the neighbors are glad that my constant playing of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "Yankee Doodle" have been on a hiatus, I am sad that I have not gotten to play them. Back to beginner lesson one on the dvd and some more rudimentary and annoying songs!