On the unending winter

A bit of Florida sunshine in my cloudy Michigan kitchen

Our winter has been a fairly “regular” winter this year, unlike in other places.  The only thing I have noticed that has been slightly different is it has not gotten terribly cold, or windy…good for the home-heating bill, frankly; we’ll squeak by on one 250-gal. tank if all’s well.  But I am itchy for spring.  Maybe it’s the unending predictions of “lake-effect snow” which means we’ll get 5″ where others get but a whisper, maybe it’s because I know it’s nearly March but it feels like the last week of January, maybe…it’s because the kids aren’t here yet.

I am perennially looking for signs of spring.  My sighting of that robin yesterday means nothing:  he’s been here all winter.  I haven’t heard the whooping cranes flying north above us yet, I haven’t had a decent day to either tap the maples or trim the fruit trees and grape vines.  I, in other words, am in a winter funk.

The only sign of spring so far is that the turkeys, both of them, are horny.

SO!  If life hands you lemons, well…what to do?  Tom came home with three bags of organic lemons “on super sale, I know you don’t go in for the imported things but maybe we can make a lot of lemonade.”  Lemonade, bah!  Many of these will become lemon curd before the weekend is out.

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18 responses to “On the unending winter

  1. Nah, El, I go outside for my daily walk, or out to refill the bird feeding station on our back porch and the weather sings “Spring, spring, spring is coming…” all around me. Listen to the chickadees and blue jays singing their courting songs. Feel the touch of spring in the air. Watch the squirrels chasing each other around the trees in their mating efforts.

    Yes, we’ve another month of relatively chilly temp’s to endure, but believe me, I can feel spring racing toward us. Envision yourself a hundred miles above: you can positively see the green carpet racing north!

  2. This is why I don’t live where there is real winter. I would not deal well with ongoing snow and cold!

    You probably don’t want to hear about it, but I’ll hopefully soon be picking a bunch of fresh lemons from a friend’s neighbor’s tree. And my neighbor just told me to help myself to her sour oranges. And I’ve got grapefruits, rough lemons, and tangerines right out in the back yard.

    Before you curse me, keep in mind that I have not had real maple syrup in years. And I haven’t seen a whooping crane in over a decade since none come through the New Mexico refuges anymore.

    Here’s hoping spring comes soon for you!

  3. I so hear you! So far besides just the angle of the sun, we only have chickadees and cardinals singing for spring signs. No cranes yet (sandhill are what we get here) or skunks, ha.

    And can I say, it’s okay when family members gloat about their southern weather–but when they try to commiserate it drives me crazy! I got a “yeah, it’s cold here too, we didn’t even walk to the beach today” email. Argh!

    But, they sent us avocados in a care package, so I’ll have to forgive. Enjoy those lemons!

  4. Spring, spring, spring (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers)

    CALEB:
    Oh, the barnyard is busy in a regular tizzy,
    And the obvious reason is because of the season
    Ma Nature’s lyrical, with her yearly miracle
    Spring, Spring, Spring.

    BENJAMIN:
    All the hen-folk are hatchin’
    While their men-folk are scrathin’
    To ensure the survival of each brand new arrival.
    DORCAS:
    Each nest is twitterin’,
    They’re all baby-sitterin’,
    Spring, Spring, Spring.

    FRANK:
    It’s a beehive of buddin’ son and daughter life,
    Every family has plans in view.
    Even down in the brook the underwater life
    Is forever blowin’ bubbles too.

    LIZA:
    Every field wears a bonnet
    With some spring daisies on it,
    Even birds of a feather show their clothes off together.
    EPHRAIM:
    Sun’s gettin’ shinery, to spotlight the finery,
    LIZA:
    Spring, Spring, Spring.

    GIDEON:
    From his eyrie, the eagle with his eagle eye
    Gazes down across his eagle beak
    And a’fixin’ his lady with the legal eye
    Screams “suppose we fix the date this week!”

    CALEB & RUTH with DANIEL & MARTHA:
    Yes, siree, spring disposes
    That it’s all one supposes
    It’s a real bed of roses
    Waggin’ tails, rubbin’ noses.

    All BROTHERS (except Ephraim) & All BRIDES:
    Each day is Mother’s Day
    The next is some other’s day
    When all is King ….
    Spring, spring, spring!

  5. hm, lemon curd – good idea! although lemons don’t grow in switzerland it’s one of the favorite things, we make every winter!

  6. Fact check correction: I only brought home 2 bags of lemons—grown conventionally, not organically.

  7. When I saw the photo I thought, “Don’t tell me she’s got a lemon tree in that greenhouse…!” February, though shortest in days, does often feel like the longest month of winter, doesn’t it? January was much worse here in MN, ugly, grim, and cold. And we’ve had a pretty “normal” winter here, too. It’s just that by this time of year we can see spring, but we can’t bring it any closer–just have to wait it out.

    I was going to suggest making some preserved lemons with your haul, but that was before I saw that they’re not organic. I always use organic for that; don’t know how many chemicals they use growing citrus.

    Doesn’t a nice spicy fragrant tagine sound good right now? That would help a winter’s eve go by.

    Cheers~ Brett

  8. A tart filled with lemon curd filling would be mighty tasty, I’ve always been fond of lemony flavored deserts. Our robins don’t stay over but do arrive mighty early some years. I don’t really even think much about spring until the ground thaws out around here, hopefully a bit early this year…maybe March. I can’t wait to see and hear about T-bell’s kids.:)

  9. Winter has been incredibly mild for us this year too, and spring seems to have arrived already. We had an amazing stretch of sun last week and everything is starting to green up and leaf out – I hope my peach tree doesn’t get tricked into flowering just in time for a cold snap!
    Thanks for the link to the lemon curd, I’ve been looking for a good one.

  10. Lemon curd… absolutely delicious in a tart or over warm biscuit. While it keeps well for about 2 weeks in the fridge, it freezes remarkably well. I do it in those 1/2 pint jars (same as I use for pesto). But I expect you already knew that…

    Lemon sorbet’s pretty good too…

  11. duh… I just read the article for the link you provided. It said right there: It freezes well. So, yes, for sure, you knew….

  12. This has been the winter of record-setting heating bills in Alabama. Maybe I should buy some lemons…

  13. You could also make preserved Lemons with some of them.

  14. I see Brett has already suggested Preserved Lemons so never mind……

  15. We just had our first kid hit the ground yesterday! Another is on it’s way right now, and Spring is almost here! Once those kids come it really DOES fly to Spring!! Yay!

    Not sure if you know this, but a pretty accurate way to tell when T-Bell is going to kid, is when she drops her milk. After that you should see some contractions, restlessness, pawing at the ground, and mucus…then comes harder contractions and the water sac:)

    Anyways, have fun!
    ~Jenna

  16. Hmmmmm…what about lemon meringue pie or lemon drizzle cake…yummmmm!

  17. We got another FOOT of snow yesterday, on top of at least 2 feet of snow – and it is still snowing. Still, if there is no snow after March 21 I will be happy. Making lemon curd on a snowy day is a fabulous idea.

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