Friday, June 13, 2008

Is It Hot Enough For You?

Summer has arrived without much of a nod at Spring. We jumped from woolen sweaters to sweating in a week's time. My garden jumped from suspended animation to rabbiting upwards in a very short time. Whew! I was beginning to worry for a while there.

Despite the heat, the business of eating must go on. There's baking to get done, bone broth to be made, and other very warm occupations that need to be finessed to cooler parts of the day. And mowing the lawn, as well.

I'm actually enjoying mowing the lawn this year, though I won't be doing it as often...much to my neighbor's chagrin. Gas prices and carbon footprints dictate that Mistress Mary needs to be a little less nice about how the garden grows, thank you. Besides, I'm finding that benign neglect can have some pleasing returns. Last year, I scaled back in order to let the grass have a chance to re-seed itself. And clover started creeping in. This year, as I forage through the first swaths of mowing, I see new patches of clover reaching out to the rest of the yard. Clover means good stuff for the soil and good stuff for the bees, of which I'm mindful as I mow. You've seen that 1970's bumper sticker that says, "I brake for butterflies," right? Yeah, well, I'm getting one for my lawnmower: "I brake for bees."

Mowing takes on a meditative quality for me. It must be the drone of the motor and the repetitive motions of the job. Rolling it out, I felt like I was greeting an old friend who had been away for a while. In truth, the mower spent a goodly part of the winter at the shop, being lovingly tuned, cleaned, and refurbished for Spring. When I pulled the cable, it spoke to me in a completely new voice and scythed through the waves of grass with butter-smooth power. Wow. The grass being as tall as it was, I was making frequent trips to the compost pile to dump them. Where I got a chance to fight with the black bear for supremacy. Guess what? Picture me dusting my hands off, 'cause I'm king of that hill.

It's been sweltering for the past few days--we had a tornado watch in effect, in fact, and had our first grid black out of the season--so I selected early morning to start on the lawn. I traced familiar steps over the now-memorized roots and rocks, glistening with condensation...the cool damp of the ground competing with the deepening heat of the day. The Hobbits furtively dash from tree to tree, pursuing some "secret mission" that brings them out of the house when I mow, dripping coconut milk from the vanishing popsicles in their sticky hands. The popsicles are our quintessential signal that summer has begun. That and getting sprayed with the hose. Both are so cold that it has to be really hot in order to enjoy them. Well, Breatharian, it's been really hot.

Being the sort of weather that induces one to wish to limit kitchen time, a quick and cool source of protein is always a welcome addition to menu. I'm happy dancin' that beans seem to be back on the menu now, though it is early days yet...too early to call it a success. So I'm looking for ways to stealth more of them into different dishes to maximize exposure. Seeds being back on the menu, hummus seems like the answer to it all.

In keeping with my new-found passion for sprouting everything sproutable, the chickpeas are no exception. Soak overnight and rinse 2-3 times a day for 2-3 days or until the beans display a "tail." I run mine through the pressure cooker for a scant 2-3 minutes after pressure is attained.

Sprouted Hummus

2 t minced garlic
15 oz sprouted and cooked garbanzo beans
3 T lemon juice
2 T tahini
1 t salt
1/2 t paprika
3 T coconut milk

Process beans in food processor until smooth. Add all other ingredients until thoroughly blended, adding additional water and/or coconut milk until mixture reaches desired consistency.

After a purging thunderstorm swept in and scrubbed away the sticky heat, we all breathed a sigh of relief. I walk through the yard to look at the latest blooms of clover pushing up from the tight carpet of leaves beneath. The first of the bees bob on the now cool breeze.

He makes all things new... Rev.21:5

No comments: