Friday, March 29, 2013

Rites of Spring

With a late spring and an early Easter, this year we have a holiday weekend that doesn't have much holiday feel to it. Everything is closed for Good Friday and most things are closed for Easter Monday, but I'm still having to remind myself that technically, spring has begun. I usually like the pause of this weekend; it's a forced reminder to slow down, take stock, and enjoy the little things, and this year (in spite of the weather) is no exception, especially after our relatively (for us) hectic week of travel to Ottawa and then to Belleville. We decided to take the scenic route to the latter, via the Glenora ferry and Picton.
It's moving week for geese in this part of North America. There were thousands flying north overhead, but I didn't manage to get any decent photos. At the Bay of Quinte, the ice was breaking up.

There's something fascinating about watching this annual event. It can happen remarkably quickly. In a matter of hours the ice can disappear with nothing but open water to be seen. Here's the view from the ferry,

where I couldn't resist this photo of the only colourful thing (the Ontario flag) in the landscape.

In Picton, we stopped at the Rose Haven Farm Store. I located this little treasure in the basement.

Am I crazy to think about spinning sock yarn?

I also found some Opal in one of the Van Gogh colourways. This will be fun to knit up when I'm in the mood for some mindless, but entertaining knitting.

Belleville was a bit of a nightmare, maybe because I was tired and hungry, and it was rush hour. It felt chaotic. Bill had his briefing on malaria medications, and his yellow fever booster, and full of dire warnings of the importance of fending off disease-carrying insects, we headed back to Kingston.
As we walked back from parking the car-share vehicle (I'll tell you about that another time), through Queen's campus, we paused to watch yet another ritual of spring--young men in shorts playing rugby with snow still melting on the sidelines.

With Easter looming in two days, here's a recipe for those of you who might be vegan or who might be going to entertain someone vegan over the weekend. Always good to know there's a better choice out there than Tofurkey!

Potato and Mushroom Pie
This is my adaptation of a recipe from Rose Elliot’s 1988 book “The Complete Vegetarian Cuisine”.  The original was for turnovers with shortcrust pastry. Round out the meal with a lentil soup, a green salad, and fresh fruit for dessert. The filling can also be served alone for those who are going gluten free.

1  recipe for pastry for 9” pie

1 large onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/4" dice
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onion in the oil until translucent, then add the potato and garlic. Cover and cook on low for about 10 min. Add the mushrooms, and cook, uncovered, for about 5 min or until the vegetables are tender. Season with parsley, salt, and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400F and while the filling is cooling, make the pastry. Fill a 9” pie plate with the bottom crust, pour in the filling, and top with the remaining pastry. Roll the edges inward and shape them with thumb and fingers to seal and decorate the edges. Prick the top crust with a fork to create air vents. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving. 
Meanwhile, the Perth Cardi in alpaca/merino/cashmere continues to grow in its effortless way.

This is knitting at its most soothing--light, soft, and utterly simple.