Sunday, May 31, 2009


All things prosper and fail in equal measures. In some things we see only prosperity, in others we see only failure. The only measure of control we have is in our ability to discern the most appropriate lens through which to view any given situation.


Josh provided an excellent second set of eyes at the Harriet Alexander Nature Center this week. I got to shoot these very hungry caterpillars that he noticed along our walk. Judging by the huge number it seems that there should be a plethora of butterflies when we return in a little while.
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Rhubarb Kuchen

The investment in perennials around the yard is creating some early payoff for our kitchen. How cool is it to grow things that you can eat in your own backyard? This years bounty, in addition to the well-established herbs out front, is a very healthy and very tart rhubarb plant. The strawberries are also ripening as we speak. We will need vigilant eyes to beat the birds to our harvest. Next year, our patient wait in harvesting the tender green asparagus shoots will be over.

Thanks to my former great aunt-in-law for this wonderful dessert recipe:

Rhubarb Kuchen:
Cream together in a bowl
1/2 c butter
1/4 c sugar
1 egg yolk

1 1/4 c flour
1tsp salt
Blend with pastry blender. Pat into 7"x11" pan, working up the sides

3 c rhubarb cut into 1" pieces
Sprinkle over rhubarb a mixture of 3/4 c sugar and 2tbsp flour
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes
Remove from oven and turn oven down to 350
Mix together and pour over kuchen:
1 egg
1/4 c sugar
1 c half & half
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes
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Monday, May 4, 2009


Dandelions still exist as a species because children love them. Each year at this time, Ellis gives me dandelion after dandelion pulled from the yard. They are flowers for his best girl. Meanwhile, the grownups in our house rip them out by the roots with a sharp screwdriver-like implement. It is our duty to our neighbors, I suppose, to keep our lawn free of these sunny yellow flowers that morph into the distinctive and efficient white feathery seed spreaders.

When did I stop loving them and start feeling a sense of shame at having them around? I used to pull them out after they had gone to seed and make wishes on them. Now I take pleasure in the sharp pop of effectively chopping one off at its roots. There are adult pleasures and childish pleasures, I suppose. Children delight in the magic of what is. Grown-ups delight in being able to shape things into how they should be. Is a wish sent off onto the wind any more or less an illusion of control than the belief in a dandelion free front yard?
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Harriet Alexander Nature Center

I wish that that I had a recording device and some sort of machine that captures smells with me when I spent an hour in this marsh in the middle of Roseville's Central Park . When you go here you are completely enveloped by this home for birds and frogs. It's like the opposite of a sensory deprivation tank.
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