Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rituals of spring

As we've travelled across the continent, spring has followed along with us. Sure, there've been the rain and winds at our back, but we've also been greeted by just-uncurling violets since California.

Lilacs have been with us since Kansas (I pinched my first bouquet back at Amelia Earhart's memorial site in Atchison). Here in Ontario, quite a few of them are still shut, but looking ready for that first burst of warmth to lure them open.

March is usually the month when we seek out the year's new crop of nettles. It's important to get them while they're tender as possible, so the earlier the better. Since they weren't out before we left, I thought that we'd missed them, but lucky for us the nettles behind the shed here are only now ready for harvest. Even when they're small, they carry quite the sting. But G's uncle put on his big gloves and picked a bundle for us to take along.

Earlier today, I managed to rock up with my own pair of gloves and cleaned the nettles (basically just sorting leaves from stems) in the little sink, then cooked a few batches.

Steamed up for supper, I think they're better than spinach. I've even managed to tuck two little packets into the freezer. Just in case we need to pretend it's spring all over again.

Stocked up with such special supplies, it's time to go towards the west.

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