Standing - trousers rolled to knees, sandals dangled loosely from fingertips - at water's edge this afternoon, the ever-evolving nature of Things hit me.
An email arrived from a great, witty friend this morning, one written in reply to some earlier excitement over the extension of our lease. In it, a simple gardening idea was shared. Though mid-winter, I've been hopefully plotting out (in my head, at least) small plans for spring and summer plantings. Gardening, edible or otherwise, is, after all, a constant. The Three Sisters are the major crops of the Iroquois - corn, beans and squash - and, when planted with consideration to growing times, support and nourish one another, both physically and chemically. I should think the relationship spiritual as well.
Later, on the beach, the very ingenuity of the idea struck. We ambled home, I with a head full of summer.
Liberated from the still life (Johanna, when he is done, I will most definitely share) that elegantly curved pumpkin, one with considerable, perhaps even thoughtful character, was cleaved in two. One half was peeled and diced and destined for what turned out to be a remarkably under-whelming batch of millet fritters. Rebecca Wood's recipes always have potential, though, and I vow to chip away until they are worthy of sharing.
Lentil soup with greens
There's a way to go before summer returns. In the meantime, we've been eating soup, soup, soup. I liked this one so much, I cooked it later, with a friend. It's very simple, but then, good soup should be. I can't give it a grand title as it's hardly a 'recipe', so 'Lentil soup with greens' will do.
Soak 1 cup of whole lentils (red, green, brown, black...) for at least 1 hour. Peel and chop 2 onions. Cook them slowly - for as long as your attention can be held - with the chopped stalks of a large bunch of coriander and fewer stalks of parsley in olive oil. I never measure, but I should think any more than 4 is unnecessary. Crush 4 or more cloves of garlic to a paste with a heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds and some coarse sea salt. Add to the now golden onions. Drain the lentils, add them next then chuck in a couple of bay leaves. Add enough water to cover things well and simmer away, lid partially on, until the lentils are tender.
Next, slice lots of greens (whatever looks good) into ribbons and simmer them in a (very) little water until tender and bright. Add to the lentils only when cooked. Chop the coriander leaves roughly - some of that parsley, too - and stir through right before serving. Give everything a good squeeze of lemon juice, add a dollop of yoghurt if that's your thing, and serve.
In return, I'm hoping AOF parts with the magical tea she concocted:
Because I can't get it out of my head.