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Garden planning….
img_0252Gardening in January? But I just love gardening. Love. Love. Love it! By the end of December I’m usually grateful for a break and because the holiday season takes up so much time with family, friends and business commitments it’s a good respite from weedin’. ( Oh yeah.. and because the ground is often frozen and covered with a couple of inches of that yucky white stuff.)

Yeah, I know it’s freezing out there. But I still planted my leek seeds.  Heck, I was suppose to be stirring 40 pounds of soaps, and had to put the the time to good use right? It’s the one thing that didn’t get into the garden last year, but it will for sure this year. 🙂 Just think, only a few more weeks left til I can play in the real dirt again! And there was still light past 4:30 last night!  Thinking Spring!

 

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It’s Christmas Prelude here this week and next, and for the first time in ten years, I won’t be peddling my wares… doctors orders 😦 but, last night a dear friend and I wouldn’t miss the tree lighting and caroling to kick off Prelude season. What a fabulous turn out and lovely celebration of the season… the only thing missing was the white stuff.  But you won’t hear me complaining! 🙂  Will you look at all those smart phones snapping away.

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Our three days of sheeting rains have finally blown out to sea…

So, off for my walk I went. I was beginning to feel a little stir crazy stuck in the house.  The dory down in the river was just about holding its own and plenty of water. The sun was just breaking through the clouds and it was pretty balmy for our neck of the woods. A real treat  from Mother Nature.

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After a long walk along the beach, I crossed over the dunes and into the woodlands before heading up to the farm.  My first real walk since the surgery, but it felt great being out there again strolling along my favorite paths.  The ‘bittersweet’ ending to yet another fabulous season. I snapped the last of any natural color we’ll be seeing here for the next few months along the way…. the rose hips, juniper berries and the bittersweet brambles, and then onto my final destination.. the farm, pulling the last of the cabbage, horseradish, kale and spinach. This time of the year I’m always torn with mixed emotions.  As much work that the farm entails, and a good rest I surely could use.. I’ll still miss it every day until Spring. Winter well, farm… you’ve more than served me well.

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And when I returned home, in my mailbox I found my 2017 Johnny’s Seed catalog! Timing.. as they say is everything. 🙂

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Our own little puckster’s first time on the ice. 🙂

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My name is J… and I am a recipe addict! Or I should say.. was.

A few months ago, after a recent move I made the decision that it was time to sell a rather large cookbook collection I’ve had for over 25 years. Why was I saving recipes from twenty five years ago? Cooking styles have surely changed over these years that more than half of the bookmarked recipes were for things I would never make any more. I was thrilled to find a wonderful cookbook dealer who assured me, my library of 900 treasured books would all go to good homes.. Of course before I made my decision I had to go through them all one more time because there was one favorite recipe that I couldn’t be without. Enough already! Admittedly, this is how a recipe addict thinks, but in addition to my favorite recipes.. I got into the habit years ago, of sticking family recipes into my books as well, along with family pictures that were very special to me. They just brought an instant smile or warm remembrance of a special event or special person, that called for a certain recipe, whenever I reached for my books.

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My daughter came to visit in the midst of all this madness and suggested that I put my favorite recipes on to the computer, but I couldn’t even begin to fathom the length of time that would take, and what if I forgot to do backups? Well it ended up taking me 3 weeks to go through each & every book, sort the keepers and separate the ones I would part with.

Yes, I still have a very nice collection, but now actually manageable, and space in my new kitchen. I’ve been slowly putting some of them into computer files.. but it’s just not the same for me. I actually prefer having a book with my hand scribbled marginal notes from years ago in it.. There definitely are memories connected with them and as I gazed at my faded writing and that smudge of cinnamon and butter encrusted on the pages, I’m transported back to that time years ago when I baked my first apple pie for my own daughters during the holidays. And yes, what about all those hand written recipe cards with recipes from my mom’s collection, my Nonna’s recipes brought from Naples? My sister’s famous Leg of Lamb, Uncle Pete’s famous lobster pie recipe? Auntie Ella’s arancine or baccala salad, Jimbo’s fabulous Prime Rib.. or his famous Guiness Beer Brats.  I’ll always hang on to those. Whenever I make Ma’s delicious apple pie I get out that recipe card, even though I know it like the back of my hand… and many of my favorites are up on my cooking blog or in my journal for safe keeping. 🙂

My newest cookbook, a birthday gift from my daughter, Top Chef-The Cookbook, with an inscription.. ‘this will just be a start to your new collection of cookbooks 🙂 Bon Appetit’. So whether old or new, collecting cookbooks and recipes .. like dear old friends, will always remain in this addicts life!

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