It's 10:00 am and the outside thermador reads 70 degrees. As I have said before, "Only in California" can you harvest your citrus, on a sunny, warm March morning.
March is one of my favorite months, in Central California. The days are warming, the California Poppies & Lupine start to bloom. Fruit & nut trees have already blossomed but the wild mustard starts to flower between the trees. There's a blanket of yellow, in the orchards & vineyards, that screams "Spring is Here".
The San Francisco & Monterey bays usually are experiencing sunny, mild days (i.e. no fog). Everyone is out running, biking, hiking, flying kites; enjoying the outdoors. When I was living on the Monterey Peninisula, my first day trip of the spring would be driving down Hwy 1 to Big Sur to enjoy the green hills, shaded with bits of orange (Poppies) & purple (Lupine).
But up here in Northern California, March is a bit tricky. It can still be wet & wild, with the temps in the high 40's to the mid 50's. Usually the only thing that is in full bloom are the daffodils. But this year, we experienced a warm & dry winter, which equates to an early Spring. It is in full bloom, with the birds singing and eating bugs and starting the nesting process. The oak trees are starting to bud out, which gives them this very green shade to their silhouettes. In other words, it feels grand!
Spring is the only time of the year, that California is green. Otherwise the hills are a golden color.....i.e. no water. My feeling is that the phrase "California-The Golden State", was from the golden hills, not the Gold Rush of 1865! But that's another post.
Freshly Squeezed & Strained Juice
Preserving our harvest, we can sip spring, all year long.
When I hear this song, I remember being a teenager and hanging out with my "Bestie", Beth.
This song brings a smile on my face, just like now, while writting this post. Oh yes, the days of when we would listen to records/vinyl (The Beatles, Elton John, ELO), eating Pringles and playing ping pong, all day long. These were the days of bell bottom jeans, platform sandels and cruising the El Camino Real.
Today's Flashback is more of Birthday wishes to the late, great, complex Edward Gorey.
My first exposure to Mr. Gorey's work was the animated intro to PBS Mystery Theater. I thought Mr. Gorey was British, because his art had an English sensiablity to me,and his art was the opening of a BBC series, but he was American!
I enjoyed the "Gothic" themes, in the black & white frames, with a surprised peek of color. In fact, one of my favorite color combo's is black & white, with a red contrast. I wonder if this was influenced by Mr. Gorey?
It's hard to believe that it's been 3 years, this weekend, when I shot these pictures. But it's even harder to grasp, is that this was the last time I visited Big Sur, with my mother. 3 months after this visit, she would be dead.
Maybe what's harder is the realization that this wonderful, magical place will always be en-twinged with memories of my family & my mother. That Big Sur, can't just be a destination for me, too many stories, too many wonderful memories. It's part of my California life.
I haven't lived there but I was born and bred, on the Monterey Peninsula, as was my father & mother, before me. But Big Sur was just little further down Hwy 1, almost in our backyard. Close enough to pop down the coast but far away enough that you feel miles and miles away from home.
My first memories of the area were fishing & picnicking along the banks of the Little Sur River. The memories continued with camping trips along the river, skipping high school to hike through Julia Pfeiffer State Park, and hanging around the fireplace at Big Sur Inn or having lunch on the patio of Nepenthe's Restaurant. Even spent a Thanksgiving here.
I even have a weird memory of a first date, on the not so secret nude beach, on the coast of Big Sur. Needless to say, there was only one date!
Other Big Sur associations are the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours Album, smell of sage & cedar, listening to stories of family friends working at Nepenthe during the 60's and moonlight drives on the old coast road.
Even as I write this rambling love letter to Big Sur, it's seems appropriate that my last day-trip with my mother, would be to Big Sur.
So here is to my love for my mother & Big Sur - Cheers.
I haven't had Crawfish. It's strange that I haven't, considering I eat all sorts of fish & shell fish. After several visits to New Orleans, I still haven't had Crawfish.
But I really want to try the little "mud bugs". Supposedly, you can find them in the Sacramento Delta and there's even a Crawdad Festival.
Side note: I didn't know that there are two names for the same creature and it's regional. Crawfish is a southern term/name & Crawdad is elsewhere. Go figure!
There is even a right way to eat this little buggers, How to Eat Crawfish. Also there is a Crawfish and/or Crawday (I am so confused) season. I didn't know this either. Wow, I am learning all sorts of fun facts, this week!
So I have put on my 2013 list, "Eat Crawfish/Crawdads". I know, I am living "La Vida Loca"!
I don't know about you, but I get burned out on the same holiday songs being sung over and over again. Don't get me wrong, I do like the traditional carols. It's just after awhile the songs start to get stale.
So I am always on the look out for something new and snappy. Here's this year's pick.