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Daffodils in the Morning

Spring is rapidly arriving here in the Bay Area! Fruit trees are starting to bloom, and the bulbs are starting to break through and flower after their long naps.

Picture of daffodils

At this time of year, daffodils greet visitors to my house.

Some of the first flowers to rear their lovely heads are the daffodils. Ours start to show up in early to mid-February, and by now, they’re in full bloom and starting to pass their peak.

The interesting bit about daffodils is that, without a period of chill and darkness, they can’t bloom. I think that may be true for people as well.

Think about it. Contrast is one of the most powerful tools available to the artist for a reason. Nobody oohs and ahs for hours at a picture of a polar bear in a snowstorm. πŸ™‚ But a picture of ocean water, with many different shades of blue and green, always changing…that fascinates folks. Including me.

A picture of the ocean

What makes looking at the water interesting is that it is always changing, and the contrasts between light and dark, blue and green.

Without winter, we wouldn’t appreciate the spring *or* the tropics as much.

Without the occasional challenges and sadness in our lives…we wouldn’t appreciate the joy.

And those challenges, if we choose, can become the vehicles by which we consciously learn to shift into a happier place no matter what we’re in the middle of. It’s a lesson I’m still learning.

I’ve written songs as a result of some of the challenges I’ve been through, and sometimes they help me in the challenges of the present. Sometimes, they help other people with *their* challenges – as the old song goes, “It’s still the same old story.”

One of my older songs, “Clueless in Key Largo,” was about the challenge of love lost, and the opportunity to heal that in a beautiful place.

One of my newer songs, “Looking at You,” is in many ways about that challenge having been met and beaten. With style.

It’s still the same old story.

New Drink Idea!

I came up with a new idea for a drink this morning, while cooking up a “breakfast skillet” of potatoes, onions, garlic, and cheese. I wanted something sort of like a mimosa, but I didn’t have champagne and wasn’t feeling like drinking this early. And fruit juice was too heavy by itself. Here’s what I did:

Daffodil in the Morning

In a tumbler, add ice if you want. Then add:

1 part orange-pineapple juice

1 part fizzy water (mine is lime-flavored)

Mix. Serve with brunch.

It’s tasty, not too heavy, and I’m not going to need a late morning nap because I had too much champagne. πŸ™‚

Here’s what it looked like this morning. You can add your favorite garnishes to make it prettier, or serve it in a champagne glass with a strawberry in it if you want it to look more mimosa-like.

Picture of new drink - Daffodil in the Morning

Daffodil in the Morning

September is Salsa Time!

I just finished making my first batch of salsa for the year:

photo of salsa made at home

Fresh Salsa!

I do this every year, generally along the time I have enough tomatoes to do it. This year, I happened to have all the *other* ingredients around the house as well, so it qualifies as “garden salsa.” And *that’s* something I’m very proud of – that I can create this out of plants I’ve grown myself.

I *did* have to cheat a little bit. I didn’t quite have enough left of my last onion, and the pepper I had looked a bit anemic. So I went down to the corner market and got another onion and another pepper. But everything else comes from my garden, organically-grown.

If you want to try this yourself, here’s my recipe:

  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 peppers – I use one jalapeno, or a jalapeno and a milder pepper. If you like the heat, add more and hotter peppers.
  • 1 medium to large onion – I prefer purple
  • 6 large tomatoes, or equivalent
  • juice of 1/4 lime

I put each ingredient in turn into my food processor and turn it on high until the ingredient is thoroughly shredded. Then I add the next ingredient, top to bottom on the list. The tomatoes get blended in partly on medium, partly on high.

You can, of course, add or modify ingredients to this, depending on how hot you like your salsa, what types of vegetables you have, etc. But it’s a relatively fast and simple recipe that almost anyone can use.

Bon appetit! πŸ™‚ I’m serving this with some Trader Joe’s unsalted corn tortilla chips and a rum ‘n Coke Zero, with another bit of that lime squeezed in.