It was nearly 60 degrees and sunny here in Northern Wisconsin today. This is a rarity, but no one is complaining. Many the years we've spent the Ides of March snowbound.
As I was filling the bird feeders outside my kitchen window, I noticed that my daylilies are coming up about 10 days earlier than usual. This seems to signal a long growing season. I sent my CSA check in today, so I am looking forward to a bountiful summer.
Lately I've seen birds flying to and fro with twigs in their beeks so I know it is nest-building time. I tacked a ball of cotton scraps on a post and hammered a wreath of feathers, straw, lint and little sticks on the old horse barn. The birds get the royal treatments in our yard.
The birds were singing this morning. I went to the bank on my lunch hour without a coat. I bought a darling little rain gauge at the feed store. I left work 20 minutes early.
It won't be long now until I'll be stocking up on herb and tomato plants for the container garden on my deck. I've been growing herbs since I was a teenager, when I stumbled upon a small basket of herb seed packets at a tiny out-of-the-way secondhand book and gift shop tucked behind another building on Billington Street idowntown. I knew then that I could not live happily without growing things. That summer I grew dill and anise and chives in my parents back yard. It was pure pleasure to catch a a whiff of the herby fragrance on breezy afternoons.
So here's my version of Tomato-Mozzarella Salad with Basil:
- 1 bubble pack of mozzarella pearls
- 1 small can sliced black olives
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon red onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- dash fleur de sel
- dash Penzeys California Pepper Blend
- dried or fresh basil to taste
Toss ingredients and allow to sit for two hours before eating. Garnish with Asiago cheese and pine nuts.
To see Kalyn's take on this dish, click here: http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/06/kalyns-kitchen-picks-bel-gioioso-fresh.html. To check out Penzeys, click here: http://www.penzeys.com/
To read more about basil, try this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil.