It’s fun to tour the avocado groves after the rain storms, even though the breeze is cold and stings my face. The smell of the freshly watered soil and an occasional waft of sweet blosssoms reminds me that winter is just about over. Clouds make dramatic statements in the sky, with some teasing of blue skies and colorful sunrises or sunsets in between the storms.
Last weekend we had beautiful warm, sunny weather. In the springtime, I love to tour our avocado groves, just to see if there are any trees in bloom and to enjoy the gorgeous views.
This is the time of year when we begin to find blossoms in the avocado trees. Some are just “off blooms” caused by the weather or the health of the individual tree. Some trees are blooming because their variety is earlier than most. For example, the Gems and Mexicolas are already pushing out flowers while most of the grove beginning to bud. We usually expect most of the bloom to begin in later February and continue into March and April, when the avocado groves will appear to have mounds of light green froth replacing the foliage, accompanied by the buzzing of thousands of bees. In fact, the flowering of the trees causes the leaves to droop sometimes, as the tree gives all it’s energy to producing the flowers that will become new baby avocados.
California is known for sunny winters, but farmers hope that plenty of rain will fill reservoirs and leach the accumulated salts from the soil. On those cold, cloudy days, New England Clam Chowder is one of our favorite comfort foods. Make a big pot of clam chowder on a weekend, serve with a salad and some crackers. Use your favorite bacon, lots of veggies, and plenty of potatoes for a chunky, hearty chowder. There’s nothing like coming in from working outside to find a steaming pot of chowder on the stove, anytime of the day!
Here is your new favorite quickbread! I made two loaves this morning — one with gluten free all purpose flour and the other with regular flour — and they both turned out so well! Pears and pumpkin together are tasty and beautiful. This bread recipe uses pumpkin pie spices that will make your home smell like Thanksgiving any day of the year. Our family has been ‘gobbling” up this bread, and I’m ready to make a new batch right away.
When I planted our summer squash, I made sure to do two yellow squash plants: a crooked neck and a yellow zucchini. I knew only one green zucchini plant would be enough. I didn’t realize that the yellow squash would grow faster than the green ones! So here is a recipe for a “not too sweet” coffee cake to use up that extra summer squash from the garden. Continue Reading →