FERNS, FIDDLEHEADS AND A LITTLE HONEYSUCKLE TOO – FRIDAY’S PHLOG FOR JUNE 20, 2014

fiddle head and fern collage

I took a few pictures in my garden this weekend – my pictures really do my garden justice because I’m only focusing on the beauty, I’m not showing you the overgrown weeds that I’ve not had the time to pull.  My honeysuckle vine is now growing over my fence and blooming flowers like crazy – I love the smell of honeysuckle but I’m always disappointed that the flowers are gone way too soon.  The fern might not look like a big deal to you but the little fern you see pictured in the collage is a big deal to me.  The fern is a Japanese painted fern and eventually the fronds will shade silver in colour.  Apparently the Japanese painted fern can take 2 – 3 years to reach mature colorization.  Mine will take more like 10 years as I planted this fern three years ago and I did not get one single frond.  As a matter of fact I pulled out the root by accident while weeding and couldn’t figure out what plant it was because nothing had ever grown from it.  I stubbornly put the root back in the ground hoping it would grow.  I love ferns, they are a simple basic plant that looks so great in any garden.  There is a Japanese Maple above that fern and this year half the Japanese Maple has died  – opening the area to  more illumination from the sun.  The Japanese painted fern is supposed to do well in shade.  I guess the one I bought needs sun because for the very first time in three seasons I have fronds coming from my fern.  My mother use to say, “where there is death, there is birth.”  I thought of her when taking pics of this fern.  I’m adding a recipe to this phlog and it’s an appropriate recipe.  The first time I saw fiddleheads was in an issue of Martha Stewart a few years back.  Pictured were these beautiful green strange-looking things that had a familiarity to me.  I couldn’t place where I had seen them before and I had no idea where they came from or how to grow them.   Never have I  seen a fiddlehead in the flesh until last weekend.  While shopping at the superstore for a few things I came across a package in the produce department.  They were not cheap – $6.00 for a small package.  I bought them because I was curious and I have to admit Martha’s display still held my curiosity.   I had to do a little research when I got home because I had no idea how to cook fiddleheads. While researching how to cook them I realized why they looked so familiar to me; fiddleheads are the furled fronds of a young fern harvested for use as a vegetable. I see young furled fronds in my garden every spring – I never made the connection because the fiddleheads just looked strange to me.  I grew up in Quebec and fiddleheads are well known in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.  Obviously not popular with my family because I never saw them on our dinner table.   Very simple to cook and  delicious.

RECIPE FOR FIDDLEHEADS

Rinse fiddleheads well with cold water.

Boil on a high boil for at least 10 minutes until tender.

Throw into a frying pan preferably cast iron and sauté with butter, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper.

Heat thoroughly and serve – delicious and fiddleheads melt in your mouth.

Fiddleheads contain various vitamins, minerals as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  They are a source of antioxidants, dietary fibre and rich in potassium but on the downside – fiddleheads may harbour microbes so washing and boiling for at least 10 minutes is a must..

 

STEPPING OUT OF THE TREES – FRIDAY’S PHLOG FOR JUNE 13, 2014

sunset birch bay

As she walked down the trail through

the lush green canopy,

she wasn’t sure where her feet would take her,

she gasped at the enormous width of

the tree trunks as she looked up to see,

green as high as the sky,

down a narrow hill and across

a rickety bridge,

she found herself stepping out of

the trees into the most glorious light.

by momwhearingloss

SIMPLE LIFE….

My mother use to say it, I thought she  was just rambling, but it is true, the older we get the faster time flies.  It seems like yesterday my boys were babies, they’ve grown so fast.  They are becoming young men before my eyes.  With all this fast-moving life I find myself shifting;  shifting ideas and priorities.  Talking to my neighbour the other day, he was telling me that he can’t keep up with the weeds in his backyard.  He has a huge backyard and  the weeds have gotten away on him. We have kept up with the weeds in our yard only because I hired a landscaping company to take care of that for me. We do mow the lawn and keep the property neat, however,  I don’t even want to do that any more.  I told my neighbour I want to sell the house and pack it all in for something smaller with no property.  As  much as I love this house and the flowers in my garden, I want simple, I want just what I need in space and in stuff.  No clutter, no property, I want less so I can live more.  One  small glitch with my plans,  I am the only one in the family who wants to simplify by moving, no one wants to move.  I’m working on it and I plan to keep working on it as time goes by, I’m in for the long haul and I’m not a quitter.

I have to start somewhere, so I’m starting by getting rid of excess stuff.  Stuff we don’t use, stuff we will never use, stuff that is in my home because the boys and my husband like to buy stuff.  Ok I admit – I’ve got some stuff too but it’s all going, slowly but surely it’s going.  I recently read an article entitled “simplify your life in 25 minutes.”  This lady never spends more than 25 minutes daily simplifying her life.  If she decides her pantry needs organizing, she only spends 25 minutes.  She says “I have too much living to do to spend more than 25 minutes on a chore like organizing my pantry.”  Smart lady, I like the way she thinks.    Debts or rather no debt is part of simplifying your life.  Society encourages us to have everything now  and not to wait,  if something breaks down we must replace it immediately.

Several months ago I heard all this racket coming from upstairs and when I ventured up the stairs to check where all the noise was coming from, I found my youngest standing in the middle of his room looking stunned.  He said “my bed is broken mom and I don’t know why.”  “Well I know why, it sounded like someone was going to fall through the top floor, you guys were jumping on your bed.” We really needed to replace his bed as it was a cheap Ikea bed frame I bought at a garage sale and the frame was really on its last legs.  I was mad of course and then my son says “we can just go buy another one.”  Really annoyed me because kids think money grows on trees.  I said “no I’m not running out to buy you a new bed, I don’t have the money right now and I’m not purchasing a new bed with my credit card.”  “Well what am I supposed to do for a bed?”  “I see you still have a mattress, the mattress can go on the floor and you can sleep there until I have enough cashto buy you a new bed.”  He wasn’t happy with me but we got rid of the broken bed frame and laid his mattress on the floor.  He really needs to understand that wecan’t go running out to purchase big-ticket items at the drop of  a hat.  The whole idea of teaching him a lesson kind of backfired on me because the other day I told him that we needed to look at new beds and he informed me that he likes his mattress on the ground and doesn’t want a new bed.

His bed pictured below ties in with my quest for the simple life – just what you need, no more, no less.   My quest for smaller digs is going to take some work, convincing, conniving and manipulating.  I’m going to have to be ruthless in order to get rid of all of the “stuff” we have.  The problem with “stuff” is my three boys love “stuff.”  I put stuff in the garbage and it’s like my children have “mommy is throwing stuff out sensors” and  they quickly become dumpster divers running and diving into the garbage to get their stuff back.   Lying and cheat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAing is the only way I’m going to achieve my goal of simpler living and I’m ready for the job.   They’ll thank me, once they realize they have more time for play.  At least that is the scene running through my head.  A simple organized life where everyone co-operates… My mother use to tell me I was a dreamer!

UNDER THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS – FRIDAY’S PHLOG FOR JUNE 6, 2014

cherry tree

“When I sound the fairy call, gather here in silent meeiing,
Chin to knee on the orchard wall, cooled with dew and cherries eating.
Merry, merry, take a cherry, mine are sounder, mine are rounder,
Mine are sweeter for the eater, when the dews fall, and you’ll be fairies all.”

Emily Dickinson