Spring used to happen slowly.
One exchanged the winter coat for the spring coat for the summer jacket for no jacket.
The daffodils bloomed, then the hyacinths, then the tulips.
I went from the winter coat to mowing the lawn in shorts and t-shirt in three weeks.
The flowers all bloomed at once.
Is it any wonder that I feel pressured to get things done?
Mother Nature is working at warp speed…. Can I do any less?
Now that the upstairs bedroom is finished we need to move the bedroom furniture from the soon-to-be dining room / former bedroom into the new bedroom.
Much as I would like to think otherwise, I am not a strong person. I'll happily help move furniture on the level, but I really don't like being on either end of a heavy. bulky object on the stairs.
So…. I asked our neighbor if he knew a couple of strong lads willing to do a bit of work for an hour or so.
I thought between the thinking and the asking and the organizing it would all take a few days, maybe even a week or two.
They're coming tomorrow.
Before they get here I have to unload, unpack and move all the clothes, bedding, books, etc. that have been stored in all that furniture. Then I have to move all the boxes and other crap that has been stored in and around all that furniture so the lads can actually get at it to move it.
The end result will be that for the first time in four years we will actually be able to organize our clothes – all at the same time! Instead of unpacking summer clothes / packing away winter clothes, then reversing it in six months.
Just so you know….. We both got rid of half of our clothes before we moved. We're slowly becoming true Europeans…. We just need to get rid of half again.
In the meantime, we're celebrating spring with the first artichokes, green garlic and mangetout of the season.
Chicken and Artichoke Tagine
3 chicken thighs
3 chicken legs
5 small artichokes, trimmed
4oz (120gr) mangetout (snow peas), trimmed
4 green garlic, sliced thickly
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 preserved lemon, cleaned and sliced
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp saffron threads, crushed and soaked in the chicken stock
1 tbs olive oil
The artichokes: Pull off and discard the lower, darker bracts until you get to a lighter color, usually 3 – 4 'rows'. Cut the top third of the artichoke off and discard – this will be most if not all of the 'tips'. Trim the stem, leaving about 2 inches and peel. Cut the artichoke in half, lengthwise, through the stem. Don't worry about the choke, it's small and edible in small artichokes.
The tagine: Heat oil in tagine or heavy, deep skillet. Add chicken and brown well. Move to the side and add green garlic, paprika, cumin and ginger. Sauté briefly. Add chicken stock with saffron, tomatoes, and artichokes. Cover and simmer 40 minutes. Add snow peas, preserved lemon and simmer 5 minutes longer.
Serve with couscous.
In addition to all the moving I have to mow the field tomorrow, too.
Could someone remind me why I was looking forward to spring?