It sometimes seems like it’s the little things. An unexpected smile or phone call, someone shares a story that touches you. I was in the bank today making a deposit, when one of the tellers shared with me that when she was checking out at the grocery store the other day, the cashier was admiring the silver ring on her finger. She said it would be nice to have something like that to leave her granddaughter someday. Without hesitating the teller gave the cashier her ring. She immediately blushed and said, “I couldn’t possibly take it.” to which the teller said, “Of course you can.”
I grabbed her hand and said, “Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. I wish all of us were as quick to give without expectation.” I left the bank feeling a little lighter. I like to feel that I too am a generous person. I want to be able to give without expectation, to help lighten someone’s load with a kind word or gesture. I find it strange that we sometimes hear that offering assistance to others is enabling. So often we hear how ‘poor choices’ are the reason that so many people lead unfulfilled and unhappy lives. Yet no one ever completely avoids poor choices, no matter how much they plan. Life is a series of events both planned and forced on us. I have been lifted immeasurably by the unexpected kindness of others. Kindness too, is a choice. My New Year’s resolution is to give it away as much as possible.
After vowing to make kindness a regular part of my life (along with wearing my eye-glasses regularly), Val and I sat down with dozens of seed catalogs to plan the 2012 vegetable season. We always vow to be more organized, knowing fully that life will happen outside of these plans and demand our flexibility. As both of us are approaching sixty in a few short years, we decided to reduce our heavy physical labor. Of course farming is about physical labor, but some crops are more labor intensive than others. This year we cut back our seed-potato order from 650 lbs. to 500 lbs., and increased our onion sets from 20 lbs. to 35 lbs. (onions being much easier to harvest). We are planning to grow more Jerusalem artichokes, lettuce, bush and shelling beans. We thought we might grow fewer heirloom tomatoes, but after reading descriptions of endless varieties, we knew this was futile. Sadly our friends Tim and Steph will be relocating, so it looks like we will be venturing back into herbs. They will be sorely missed in our community, as they had created two successful businesses with their energetic attitudes. Their need to be closer to family trumped Cloverdale. We sincerely wish them well.
Next week we will be firing up our soap kitchen. We have 5500 bars of soap to make before April 1st! Fire up win-sockeye! In spite of all our activity (isn’t winter supposed to be down-time for farmers?) We continue to entertain each other in the kitchen. This week it just wasn’t our kitchen. One of our rentals had some water damage that lead to the decision to replace their kitchen. Tomorrow I will be tiling their back-slash. They were so thrilled, that when their kids came home from school, the littlest one crawled under the sink to play hide-n-seek.
Even with all this activity, we still need nourishment. Nothing like a frittata for a quick yet healthy dinner.
- 6 farm fresh eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup freshly shredded Pecorino cheese
- In a 10 inch non-stick, oven-proof skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. After butter stops foaming, add shallots. Saute 3-5 minutes or until soft and translucent.
- Add chopped spinach. Saute until just wilted, but still bright green.
- Pour beaten eggs over spinach. Reduce heat to medium. With spatula, lift sides away from pan so that eggs pour into opening. Continue doing this until egg mixture is almost set.
- Turn on broiler. Sprinkle frittata with cheese. Place under broiler until cheese melts.
- Slide onto decorative plate. Cut into wedges and serve. Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired.
“If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” —Bob Hope