I said to Santa Claus (That's what we call our elderly neighbor who has a long white beard and is a avid gardener.) "I would love to have a few stalks of your rhubarb." He got up from his chair. He walked toward me. His hands in his overall pockets. "I make rhubarb jam. "The old-fashioned way. "The way my mother and grandmother made it. "I used Jell-o. That's right. Jell-o. "I cut enough rhubarb to give me five cups "Of one-quarter inch pieces. "I cover it all in a large saucepan with water. "And sugar. Three cups. "I let it sit overnight. "I boil it and then simmer. "For fifteen minutes. "Then I stir in the dry Jell-o." My dog is at my side. He is a very good boy. Santa says "What are you going to make? "A pie?" Or rhubarb, strawberry, raspberry tarte.
"A beautiful bouquet, Bruce," Susan said. "Some of the flowers are dying. "I'm going to pick them off. "And you can photograph them."
And I did And we dumped them in the compost pile. Beautiful there, too. Other flowers and coffee filters (I hope the filters are recyclable!). Later in the morning I tied up the clematis plants And filled the hummingbird feeder. Now we wait.
Birdwatching is similar to gardening. Patience. Patience. "Bruce," Susan called to me. "When are you going "To start "Pulling up the roots "In your garden?" Soon, I thought. It is Back-breaking work. Last week I rototilled the garden. "Eyes to future," Susan said. "You make everything beautiful, Bruce. "Could you do me a favor, please? "I emptied the corks out of the vase "Holding the petunias. "They were dying. "Could you set the corks aside? "For me?"
And for ten, maybe twenty, minutes I sat and stared at the garden While Freddy eat his bone. I saw the garden As it soon will be.
I stood at the kitchen window. I watched the sparrow. The sparrow gathered our dog's fur. Freddy's fur. I wondered if the sparrow could fly With the weight of the fur in its beak. I watched the sparrow Fly with the fur. I watched the sparrow fly over the fence. I lost sight of the sparrow. In Sunday School we learned. "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care." And “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them." This is a Holy Mystery. Last Spring a robin built a nest In a wreath on our front door. I watched another robin Build a nest in our Weeping Cherry Tree. I watched a sparrow, too.
April 18–April 25. Banana Bread. Bruce. Bouquet. Bread Pudding. Chicken Maquechoux. Weeping White Cherry Tree. Baked Cod with Braised Red Cabbage and Apple. Cod Cake. Freddy. Vodka & Tonic. Red Onion, Mushroom, Chicken, Green Olive Pizza. Mushroom, Red Onion, Salami Pizza. Susan and Freddy. Second Vaccine.
Recently, I watched on TV a food truck chef make Bread Pudding in her truck. It looked delicious and I remembered I often made Bread Pudding based upon a recipe from the following book:
I lost the book and mentioned this to Susan. And guess what? She bought me a copy.
It’s a great cookbook, a history book filled with vintage photos and “…great Creole and Cajun recipes from the city’s grand restaurants and modest cafes, from mansions and country kitchens, superbly clear directions, local cooking secrets.”
Here’s the recipe (Note: I added asparagus and I used cocktail shrimp which I added to the wok for the last few minutes:
(Introductory note. The number 8. According to the Bible, number 8 is considered to be a symbol of creation and new beginnings. God rested on the 7th day, which means that the 8th day was always a day for the new beginning. Eight is a symbol of infinity and a constant flow of energy and power. The number 8 is considered the luckiest of numbers in China and they believe the more 8’s the better. The Cantonese word for eight, which is pronounced “ba”, sounds similar to the word which means “prosper” or “wealth”. In regional dialects the words for “eight” and “fortune” are also similar. The number eight in the Bible signifies Resurrection and Regeneration. It is the number of a new beginning. Eight is 7 plus 1 and since it comes just after seven, which itself signifies an end to something, so eight is also associated with the beginning of a new era or that of a new order.)
My last post was dated March 8. Today is April 8 (Finishing this post now on the 9th.) . A new beginning. Always forward. Never back. “The past cannot bind me. The future does not limit me.”
Thinking about March.
My birthday was March 7. I celebrated my 69th year to Heaven.
I am still singing this song:
Here I am with my grandchildren about to celebrate with a piece of carrot cake.
Continuing Dry January with Free Spirits.
Continuing experimenting with self-portraits.
Susan made granola.
And here is Susan and Freddy on March 17.
How delicious was the General Tso’s Chicken I made on the 19th!
It’s baked and it is so simple to make.
Here’s the recipe I based it one; I added asparagus rather than broccoli: https://theschmidtywife.com/baked-general-tso-chicken/
Maybe you might prefer a serving of Shrimp Lo Mein?
We celebrated my birthday with Danielle, Mike, Emily and Matthew on March 21 (The previous weekends were too cold to celebrate outside keeping social distance.)
We are so proud of Danielle and Mike:
And of Emily and Matthew:
I was given this beautiful Kalanchoe Double Flower plant as a gift (along with carrot cake pictured at the beginning of this post.
Susan bought a new sculpture for our yard from Cindy Polette.
The crocus plants bloomed on March 24.
I made a Chicken and Spinach and Onion Pizza on the 25th.
Susan and I both had our first vaccine shots.
“From this time forward I make you hear new things, hidden things that you have not known.” ~Isaiah 48:6