Thursday, April 7

April, Arugula Blossoms and a Cottage

To say the first few days of April were eventful would be an understatement.  I don't think my rump will get any lounging again until next winter by the looks of it.  But I'm happy to be occupied with the renewal of Spring.  The grey that had settled over us for those long months has lifted away and unearthed a slew of new and all-too familiar experiences to uncover.  And never mind that it's tornado season here in the Southeast.  That's a story for another day.
Last Saturday, as I ran some early morning errands, I stumbled upon the unmistakable cluster of white canopies attracting (blindingly pale) folks clad in shorts - carrying away sprouting herbs, Kenny's Farmhouse Cheeses, and armfuls of luscious spring veggies.  I wasn't expecting the West Nashville Farmer's market for at least a few more weeks, so you can imagine my excitement.  Delvin Farms lured me to their corner with their fast-dwindling bunches of arugula blossoms -something that struck my curiosity.  

The always informative Amy Delvin pulled a few of the maroon-veined blossoms off their weedy tendrils and insisted I try a taste for myself.  Piquant like arugula leaves, but milder with a sweet aftertaste.  I grabbed a bunch along with a few other things and headed home, but not without treating myself to a fresh bouquet of flowers.

Ava loves the farmer's market.

This is usually the time when windows are flung open and a vinyl copy of the likes of Paul Simon blasts throughout the house as I unload groceries and scatter my flowers in my favorite antique vases.  But today was a little different.  We rushed to meet with our real estate agent to start our first house-hunting experience.  An arugula blossom and strawberry salad I had been craving had to wait.    

If you've ever embarked upon this adventure, you know how draining the process of weeding through houses can be.  We saw cute, not-so-cute and "I'm good from the street view".  But on Sunday, we pulled up alongside a quintessential Cape Cod cottage with a blue door and a blossoming dogwood in the front yard.  Someone had been lovingly tending to our home over the last fifty years.  How kind of them.  It was everything you would imagine a first home should be.  We sat in the backyard prematurely enjoying the bushes of lavender as we envisioned the next 20 years of our lives.

With just three days on the market, we knew we'd have to jump to make an offer.   It never occurred to me that someone else had set their sights on it first.  There were in fact, two other couples who thought this should be their home too.  Such sadness we felt.  We knew it wasn't meant to be, but we sat quietly that night and pondered the loss of a loved one.  

Luckily for us,  the weather has been gorgeous and with it brings high hopes of good things to come. We're still looking diligently for a place to call home, but like a couple of seasoned vets, we have our wits about us.  In the meantime, we'll be joining friends at Imogene and Willie's first Supper and Song of the season tonight and for that we're grateful.  Saturday brings a whole new round of lovelies to try at the farmer's market and maybe then I'll have a chance to Spring-ify our current home and enjoy a just-harvested salad with all the Spring fixin's.     

This is very much a kitchen-sink kind of salad so you won't find measurements here, except for the vinaigrette.

Arugula Blossom Salad with Strawberries and Fennel

 mixture of Spring greens (spinach, dandelions, radicchio, arugula) 
sliced avocado
a couple tablespoons fennel fronds
crumbled Gorgonzola
sliced strawberries
a handful of arugula blossoms

Place all ingredients in large bowl and toss.  Drizzle with strawberry mint vinaigrette (below).

Strawberry Mint Vinaigrette
makes 1/2 cup -enough for four servings

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon honey
About 13 small-medium strawberries, hulled
pinch of salt, to taste

Place ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  Refrigerate unused portion covered for several days.

1 comment:

  1. You will find the most precious house that will fit your family perfectly. The house hunting process is an emotional roller-coaster, but so worth it in the end :)