Monday, April 24, 2006

"Excellently observed," answered Candide; "but let us cultivate our garden."

To plant a garden was one of my goals for Spring. And as May quickly approaches, my agricultural procrastination increasingly haunts me. I've not yet prepared a place for a garden, nor have I purchased plants or seeds for this garden. My only explanation for this hesitation is that I'm very much intimidated by this gardening project. Admittedly, I have never had any success with those herb kits, and I am probably the only person known to have actually killed a cactus plant, while trying to care for it.

When I was a kid, Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts, Neighbors, everyone, canned homegrown fruits and vegetables, preserving them and putting them up for cooking at another time. "Putting up preserves," was mandatory. And although I helped tend gardens and even worked a few summers on some farms, the idea of growing my own garden still unnerves me. Still, I plan to give it a good try and since one of my friends has told me that I have until the second weekend in May to plant, at the moment, I'm feeling less panicked about the situation.

On Saturday, I purchased some strawberries and some canning jars and I made a small batch of Strawberry preserves. While this tiny batch only remotely resembles those great endeavors of my past maternal influences, it has renewed my determination to plant that little garden and, "put up," whatever I can get to grow in it. Having this yummy homemade jam prompted a desire for yummy homemade scones, so back into the kitchen I went.

Whenever baking scones, I have always relied on a very basic recipe, hand written on a now very tattered piece of notebook paper. I'm not even sure where this recipe was initially copied from; I've been using it for that long. It is not an extraordinary recipe. It's the ubiquitous flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and milk combination, with some baking powder and salt added in. (And whatever extras you feel inspired to include.) These simple scones are really quite good and proved to be a perfect accompaniment to my freshly homemade strawberry preserves.

And now, as the enlightened Voltaire would strongly urge, I really must get started on preparing my garden!

Until we meet for coffee,

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