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  • Writer's picturekaydee777

The darling buds of….February

What a difference 5 or 6 days make! I came back from a little road-trip (later on that) to find the garden had seized the day and got on with the business of blooming behind my back. Is it my imagination or are the fruit trees very early this year?

Outback, the apricot, usually the first fruit of the season, is full of swollen buds and dotted with some puffs of already open blossoms.

Last year the plums followed the apricot but this year they seem a day or two ahead.

On the southwest front corner, the Santa Rosa plum is fluffing itself out with a froth of beautiful white blossoms.

Not to be outdone, the kitchen window Weeping Santa Rosa plum is also promising a blooming show.

Though this little sapling isn't weeping as much as was promised, it still serves as interesting eye candy while I'm doing the dishes or just standing at the sink, lost in looking.

As if inspired by the example set by the fruit trees, some plants in the cilantro patch which has overwintered admirably, sheltered perhaps by the cottonwood and warmed by the back brick wall, have lacy leaves and umbels of flowers forming. I'm looking forward to filling the coriander jars again this year.

Fortunately there are still enough not-yet-bolting cilantro plants to give me a tasty garnish for my pinto bean and sweet potato soup of the day. Garden to table in under 5 minutes on that one.

The pomegranates march to a different drummer. They are slower to wake after winter, and take much longer from bloom to harvest, than the stone fruit.

They too seem to have taken advantage of my gaze being briefly elsewhere, and put out tiny but brilliantly coloured leaf buds. Thorny loveliness thy name is pomegranate.

After admiring the darling buds of February all over the garden, I retreat to the kitchen to enjoy a slice of a Pie Town * cherry pie, hunted and gathered on the recent road-trip.

With blossoms all around, a pot of tea and diminishing slice of pie, I think appropriately fruity thoughts.

*Pie Town, way out on the western edge of New Mexico is in the middle of nowhere on HWY (PieWAY) 60 between the otherworldly Very Large Array of telescopes and Arizona, but managed to be on my road-trip return route. Deliberately. Because pie.

Sadly I discover that on a Wednesday in late February there is only one bakery serving pie in the blink-and-you-will-miss-it settlement, signs on the road notwithstanding. In 2015 when first I encountered Pie Town, there were at least three restaurants serving pie (and other consumables). Maybe because I did my exploring over weekends in those days.

The establishment which was open when I passed through this week sells little whole pies - serves two they say (more like four) - ready packed to go in clear plastic boxes. They offer an array of fillings (yes you can get chile spiced apple but I picked cherry) and are really generous with the sugar. Recommend small portions washed down with strong black coffee to cut the sweetness.

A short article on Pie Town history can be found here.

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