a bucket of flowers.

It doesn’t happen all too often.

But every once in a great while, I get this sudden itch to take out a shovel and dig up some dirt.

I find that the older I get, the more I enjoy the simple things of life.  Like taking my time in selecting just the right flowers for just the right arrangement.  Not caring if something was “right” or “wrong” or what Martha Stewart might think, might do.

None of that.

No primping or prepping (or obsessive Type A planning!)  This afternoon, I plunged my hands into the damp, earthy soil and found myself elbow deep in the most incredibly simplistic joy of flowers.

Of course, you should know, this is a yearly tradition of mine, of dad’s.  Every mother’s day.

We briefly look over the pre-planted buckets of flowers in the florist shops, as if observing our yearly competition.  It doesn’t matter if each and every pot looks beyond perfect (because, you know, they usually do.)  We have other ideas and plans, and we always find ourselves patiently foraging our way through each and every individual plant.

I used to be of the opinion that flowers served no purpose (you can at least, after all, eat a vegetable!)

But then.

Flowers make me smile.

And I have a (not so secret) obsession with quaint little florist shops.

AND, this is the one time I have a good excuse to get my hands dirty.

The secret to putting together your own arrangement is to choose the flowers that make you smile the most.

Throw together a wide selection of flowers with varying colors, sizes and attitude (yes, flowers have attitude!)

And then, as with cooking, just have fun with it.

 

a summery salmon recipe.

Having been a New Englander all my life, I have always felt it to be my duty to embrace winter and snow and bulky down jackets and icy roads.  Because, you know, we’re built to endure such things.  Hardwired.  Ready to walk to work in our snowshoes if so required (or so we say.)

But deep down—or maybe not so deep(??)-–I am in love with summer and warmth and sunshine.  And walking barefoot through my yard just because I can.

Thankfully, salmon isn’t one of those things that hibernates in the winter.  My dad, in all of his New England glory, can be found grilling fillets in the dead of winter on a raging, blizzardy night.  It’s true.  One time we even spotted the abominable snowman.  Not so true.

Yes.  Grilled salmon has become a year round thing in our house.

The flavors, however, do make their seasonal adjustments.

Fall: maple syrup glaze to support the local maple farmers

Winter: it varies, but usually plain and simple and wonderful…you know, to remember what summer tastes like

Spring: soy sauce…just warming up towards summer

And then finally..

Summer: soy sauce with a bright, zingy orange marmalade

The salmon stays soft and tender inside, melting into your tongue.  All surrounded by a sweet, caramelized crust that deflates any and all ideas of ever going completely vegetarian.

Did I just say that out loud?

Salmon never left.  But the warmer weather is just arriving.  And I think, maybe, that summer is finally here.

Hello, summer.

Grilled Salmon with Orange Marmalade 

  • 1.5 pounds wild caught salmon
  • 2 Tbsp. orange marmalade
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • about 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Place salmon on a large plate.  In a separate, small bowl, mix together marmalade, soy sauce and garlic.  Spread evenly over salmon.
  3. Place salmon skin side down on grill.  Cook about 4-5 minutes, depending on thickness.  Flip.  Continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes or until fish flakes easily.  Do not overcook.  Enjoy!! 😀
QUESTION: Do your taste preferences change with the season?