Sunday, March 14, 2021

Mid-March: Daffodils, Baking, Babysitting


Last week I bought two bunches of tightly furled daffodil stems from the grocery store. They didn't look like much when I put them into the vase, but in a day or so they opened up into a cheerful, bright bouquet. 

There are fields of daffodils in our area and the growers fear that much of the crop will be lost due to lack of pickers. Normally, foreign workers do the picking and not as many have been allowed into Canada this year. A callout to locals wanting work resulted in just a few replies. It's hard work, cold and backbreaking, to cut daffodils. 

Daffodils brighten up my garden just now, but mostly the tete-a-tete variety. I hate to pick them and deprive myself of the view from the kitchen window. 

Sourdough bread loaves cool on the counter. You might notice that the far loaf has the end cut off. The two of us each had a warm slice slathered with butter. Is there anything better? 

When feeding sourdough some is discarded. I hate throwing it away, and so does The Zero Waste Chef. Here's a recipe using the discard to make waffles. The sponge rises overnight, so on Saturday morning we enjoyed fresh waffles with blueberry-peach compote that I'd preserved in the summer. The waffles above are destined for the freezer and are easy to pop into the toaster for a quick treat. 

As the days lighten (isn't it wonderful?) I find myself craving more vegetables and fresher tastes. I made a cucumber-tomato-onion-jalapeno chopped salad that kept well in the fridge for a couple of days. The dressing is sour cream with minced garlic, lemon juice, fresh parsley, and salt and pepper. Easy.

My maternal grandmother died when my mother was not quite 16. She had 10 children - my mother was the eldest and the youngest less than a year old. The bowl above is one of two that remain from her dishes. I have two plates, as well. My mother recalls going with her father to the store to purchase this "breakfast set" as a Mother's Day present for her mother. It's made by J & G Meakin of England, probably from the very early 1940s. 

The gold is worn and the dishes have been well used, no wonder, with 10 children! 

My grandfather later married his deceased wife's sister, and she is the one I remember as my grandmother when growing up. 

I've made this recipe twice since I found it in the latest issue of My French Country Home magazine. Roasted carrots and radishes (I added some beets) on a spread of yogurt, topped with toasted almonds, lemon zest, and green onions (I used chives as they are coming up in my garden). Yum!

While in a thrift store I found this little pink purse. When I brought it out Iris' eyes lit up and she knew just what to do with it. Perhaps she is saying, "Nana, let's go shopping - I spilled something on my dress." 

In the cul-de-sac where we live a plum tree is bursting with blossom just now. White froth and blue sky make things feel very hopeful and spring-like. 

Today is Sunday, 3.14 - pi day, so I baked a pie. It's cooling on the countertop. It's a Kentucky Derbe Pie, a recipe given me by a friend many years ago. Rich with pecans and chocolate, a little slice goes a long ways. 

Wishing you all a very good week ahead. 


  1. Goodness, I missed my chance to bake a pie. ☺️ Your little granddaughter is so adorable and, of course, she knows what to do with the purse.

    Your mother must have been indispensable to her family after her mom's untimely passing. I know there are many more stories there.

    The daffs are so cheerful. I'm hoping to find some tomorrow to take to a friend who is recovering from surgery.

  2. The daffodils are lovely, Lorrie! We've seen lots in bloom around here, but I didn't realize they were grown commercially in Canada. I wonder if they're grown commercially here in the U.S.; I've never heard one way or the other, but I've often wished I could buy some in the store this time of year. I'm glad you told us about the bowl and the breakfast set because I had just thought what a beautiful china pattern when I saw the photo. I'm sorry you never got to meet your biological maternal grandmother. I bet your mom had to grow up fast with that many younger siblings.

    Iris is such a cutie, and I don't know if I've told you that I love that name!! Another blogger that I read has a young niece named Iris, and I just think it's a darling name. :) I didn't remember that today is pi day, but your Kentucky Derby pie sounds delish!

    Have a great week of retirement, Lorrie!!

    Hugs to you,


  3. Pecan and chocolate pie sounds delicious, and perfect to start off Spring!

  4. The daffodils are lovely and so is little miss Iris. It doesn't take much to thrill a little one's heart.
    I agree that freshly baked bread with butter is hard to beat.

  5. I think I could eat that whole loaf of bread right about now. Yum! Great use of the excess sourdough starter. I have a few of my great grandmother's dishes. Wish I knew the history of them or had stories of the past, but everyone is long gone and no one to even ask about such things. Everything back then was made so beautifully and cherished as opposed to the throw away mentality of so many today. A shame about the daffodils in the fields. You would think there would be plenty of people who would gladly take on a seasonal job. Iris sure is a cutie. And your pie sounds good. I don't think I've had pie in a very long time. Couldn't (and still can't) find pumpkin to make a pie for the holidays. Hard to believe it's the middle of March now. Take care.

  6. Such a lovely post! Thank you for sharing the story of your mother and grandmother. Her dish is beautiful, and it is so nice that it is still in use. I have a few very old pieces from my grandmother too. Your salad recipes are very appealing, and I think I will try them both :)
    Meanwhile, daffodils are the best - and so is your photo. So good that Spring is on the way.

  7. A slice of fresh bread straight from the oven generously spread with bread is a special cooks perk. Iris is a little cuttie and how quickly is she is growing up.
    Exactly the same thing has happened here - there are huge swathes of daffodil fields in Cornwall which are now covered in brilliant yellow flowers, and too late now for picking. The farmer told the TV news that they are normally picked by overseas workers from Poland etc. They have not come this year due to the virus but also due to brexit. He employed some local lads, but as soon as it rained and was cold, they gave up and said that their backs hurt. The daffodil growers here are devasted.

  8. I can almost smell that bread from here. As yet I haven’t tried sour dough; I guess it’s the idea of nursing the starter that puts me off. Those waffles look delicious too. What a gorgeous photo of Iris with her bright pink bag. Quite the little lady already. Here’s wishing you a happy week filled with spring sunshine. B x

  9. That bread looks amazing! Your grand is adorable.

  10. Those dishes are precious! I have a few pieces which are family treasures too, from my own and my husband’s family. I smile every time we use them.

    The photo of the pink purse and your little sweetie is priceless!

  11. I missed PI day! It's my nieces birthday, so I thought of cake! grin.

    Your salad looks delicious, full of tasty things. Your weather is ahead of us by a bit if you have plum trees in bloom! How beautiful. I have crocus, and daffodils popping up, and a few tulips. The sight of those green stems are a delight!

    Iris looks adorable with that pink handbag! So cute!

  12. Dear Lorrie, That is the way one should always eat a slice from a freshly baked loaf of bread. I would have been first in line for cutting daffodils.
    Iris looks so delighted to have a new shopping bag. Did she pick it out herself?

  13. Hello, Lorrie. The bread looks delicious. I love sourdough bread, but try not to bake it and have it around. I am especially fond of it toasted. Iris is adorable with her curls and pink bag, a future shopper for sure. Your daffodils are lovely, Mike cut a huge bouquet from our garden of King Alfred's. They are the first bloomers in the garden.

    Have a lovely week, spring is surely on the way.

  14. Your cheery daffodils and adorable granddaughter made smile.

    My inner math nerd loves Pi Day! It brings back memories of grade school math!

  15. What a wonderful post! The flowers are pretty, the bread and waffles look so yummy and that cute face is adorable.

  16. Iris is so cute with that pink purse. It's interesting to consider all that is affected because of border closures and other restrictions. I still haven't seen daffodils in the stores around us yet. Hopefully soon.

  17. Your granddaughter is adorable.
    Daffodils are Spring coming in our homes with bright sun colour.
    I love all your cooking it looks so good.
    Thank you for your visit. Have a nice day.

  18. Your granddaughter is so sweet! I'm sure she brightens your days very much.

    We are still far away from daffodil time- I don't even see them for sale in the stores. It's sad that the growers are losing their crop to a lack of pickers, and I'm sure that is also sadly happening here along with berries and vegetables.

    Your bread and waffles look wonderful! I'm also one not to waste anything and this year has led to many creative uses for items in my refrigerator. Now that the days are longer and will hopefully get warmer I look forward to more outdoor time.

  19. Not many trees blossoming here as yet...but I am sure enjoying all the blooms of spring. I too have a reluctance to cut the daffodils blooming in the garden.

    Sweet pic of your adorable granddaughter rushing off to go shopping!

    Your bread looks amazing! It is understandable that are slices missing!

  20. Your salads, bread and waffles look delicious! Some of my favorite things! I also cant believe how much Iris looks like one of my granddaughters did at that age. It just makes me love her!

  21. Lorrie - those daffodils are so bright and cheerful. What a shame if they go un-picked in the fields. Your fresh bread looks spectacular - and yes, nothing better than warm bread and butter. It is hard to resist!!! The bowl from your grandmother is so delicate and lovely. Only outdone by little Iris, with purse!

  22. Lorrie, Iris is adorable with her pink purse! I think my friend has several pieces of that pattern you got from your grandmother. Hers belonged to her grandmother as well. Nothing says spring quite like daffodils!

  23. Oh that little girl. SHes ADORABLE!!!! and now she has a purse too!

    I will make your cucumber, tomato, jalepeno and onion mix for my hubby. He will love it.

  24. Daffodils are such a wonderful spring-time flower.

    Iris is such a cutie, I like her pink bag :)

    All the best Jan

  25. Little Iris is so cute with her pink purse! You offer so many delicious treats this week. My mother baked bread and we all loved to have a slice with butter. I have also left a few plates from my maternal grandmother. I have hung them on a wall, made by Arabia, Summer Flower design. In Finland the winter continues, we have still a lot of snow - but wonderful blue skies & sun. Warm greetings, riitta

  26. I just knew you would be sharing your fashion sense with sweet Iris - she is so cute!
    The foods look so tasty - we had Meakin china when growing up in England, it was affordable for everyday and they had lovely patterns, very English flowers and such.
    Big family - glad you have knowledge of your ancestors, so many these days so seem at all interested in where they came from!

    Hugs, Mary


Thank you for your comment. I read and value each one, cherishing the connections we can make although far apart. Usually, I visit your blog in return, although if you ask a question I try to contact you directly.

Days Not at Home

  Last Wednesday morning we boarded a plane for The Netherlands, landing midday on Thursday, Amsterdam time. After figuring out our e-sims a...