March is finally behind us, but not without more snow, and cold. I saw the last spot of snow in the side of my yard this morning and today is April 8! Hopefully it will melt now, while I’m sitting in full sun roasting in the sunporch. I can smell dirt, I’ve started some seeds, so I can feel spring is truly on its way now. I also see garlic shoots in the new raised bed!

Monday, March 19 – Lab work, remember to fast

This took two visits and three attempts but finally my veins cooperated.

Thursday, March 22 – Dinner with out of town guest

Dined at the chef’s counter at Bolster, Snow & Co., and had a great time catching up, eating good food and plotting for the future. Photos below are of the insanely good pork terrine and the broccoli salad (I wish I could have this every day).

Untitled design (5)

Sunday, March 25 – Judge at USBG Portland Chapter Tiki Shake Off

As editor of Eat Drink Lucky I was invited to be a fill in judge for the Tiki Shake Off this afternoon. The bartenders challenge featured some incredibly creative and tasty tiki drinks. After narrowing the pool to two finalists the remaining two competed in a challenge incorporating newly supplied ingredients. The winner, Patrick McDonald from Chaval, pulled a last minute shot of espresso to add to the drink, which really put the flavors over the top. It was a tough competition and a lot of fun.

Monday, March 26 – Media preview dinner

Tonight the restaurant TIQA introduced its new chef, Gaetano Ascione, to a select group of local press. The dinner went well and a highlight for many was the ricotta gnocchi, served under a parmesan shell, and the surprising sweetness of tomato jam in a dessert rendition of the classic caprese, but with tomato jam, gelato and mint.

Untitled design (4)

Sunday, April 1 – Organize kitchen cabinets

Well, it snowed some more today so I took I channeled my inner Martha and emptied two of the cupboards I found the most frustrating. After putting everything on the countertop, and then reorganizing, I now have cupboards that are much more logical. All baking supplies on one side, grains on the other, and in the other cupboard, all spices, herbs, oils, salts, vinegars. I’m pretty excited about it and have shown it off to everyone willing to look. I don’t know if Martha has this on her spring calendar, but she certainly should.

I also started some seeds today and because I spotted a reference to newspaper pots in a gardening column in the paper, I looked it up – and made my own pots out of newspaper. Simple and satisfying. I’m going to make more as I start more seeds, and I may even do this from now on, if they work well. I love that it was free, because I get the newspaper delivered anyway, that it recycles and can be planted directly in the ground with the seedling.

Tuesday, April 3 – Clean and set up garden furniture

Now this is of course Martha’s suggestion, and you know how you can tell? Because no one in Maine is setting out their garden furniture yet.

My bookclub met tonight, indoors. I made a chocolate bundt cake for the dessert.

Wednesday, April 4 – Prune roses; remove any winterkill

I have one climbing rose and it probably could be pruned a bit, it’s beginning to take over the corner of the garden. I’m training it to grow on the corner of the garage so it grows up two sides, it’s making great progress. I think I’ll wait til after it blooms to prune though because I know it blooms on old wood and I want as many flowers as possible. They smell heavenly, and don’t bloom for long enough as it is, so I definitely don’t want to reduce the number of flowers!

My task for the day would have read “Attend the Source Maine Sustainability Awards” which I did.

Thursday, April 5 – Appear at Macy’s Flower Show in NYC

Flower shows are great for inspiration but I’ve been watching a British show called Big Dreams, Small Spaces, and now I find myself imagining changes to my garden when I’m falling asleep, or if I wake up in the middle of the night. It’s very peaceful, and I’ve become an expert in doing things in my head that probably are impossible in real life. That’s ok though, it’s good to have garden goals.

Friday, April 6 – Polish sterling silver pieces

I forgot to do this. We had friends over for dinner this eve and made an Indonesian feast, so today was too busy to think about polishing anything other than the bathroom sink.

Sunday, April 8 – Plant new fruit trees

This sounds like a great idea. I’d love to have a few more fruit trees, or maybe an espaliered apple on the back of our garage. I think it’s a little early though, but I’ll do some research. Now I’m revising my imaginary garden.

Instead of planting trees though I started today with a new bread recipe, it’s a whole wheat with cracked wheat from James Beard on Bread. I’ll take a picture later when it’s done.