Well, our year is off to a soggy, balmy start. Everthing seems to be running ahead of schedule—the blueberries are budding out, our cabbage seed crop is starting to elongate, and perhaps the most surprising indicator is that sunny, 50° days in February don’t seem all that surprising! Winter may not officially be over, but
Well, we’ll have some fall bluster sneaking into our halcyon summer by the end of the week, but we’ll make the best of it. A decent rain will save us one last round of irrigation if it amounts to anything, and even if it doesn’t (amount to anything) it’ll take the edge off our newly transplanted cabbage seed and winter cauliflower transplants here in the dog days of summer. Looks like the drizzle is set to carry on right into next week and September along with it.
Thunder! Lightning! Partly cloudy with light showers! We took a break from working on the house late Monday night to watch the lightning and listen to the thunder roll overhead from underneath the eaves of the barn. Over the course of an hour we watched it roll from down near Stanwood all the way up to Padilla Bay before it finally petered. For all their cinematic reputation, thunderstorms really have no sense of dramatic timing. No preludes, no foreshadowing, just long periods of inaction punctuated by brief and arbitrary outbursts, and then you just sit in the theater in the dark until you get cold and go home. But what a theater!
We are coming in to high summer here, and finally! High 70s during the day and high 50s at night is just where we like it. Now if we could just get an inch of rain every Sunday night between midnight and 5 AM, followed by another week of solid sun that would be just about perfect.
Here is a slight variation on the sausage and Swiss chard sauteé so common in our house. This recipe calls for a base of creamy polenta underneath the asparagus and Swiss chard available in such abundance this time of year. As noted below, and as recounted so memorably in Bill Buford’s Heat, the polenta only improves from a long, slow cooking time. Also, if you’re going to the trouble of making polenta, you might want to double the batch, and use it as a base for any number of sautées, polenta cakes, or the like through the rest of the week.