Spring is Sprouting
It isn’t spring until you can plant your foot upon twelve daises. Folklore
The side entrance to our house has a place for boots and a coat closet painted Colonial yellow. It serves as a narrow mudroom. Those who enter are greeted with a welcome in cross-stitch.
The welcome was designed in period style reminiscent of a Pennsylvania Dutch Frakur. Like the old folk-art paper frakurs the cross-stitch uses primary colors, tulips, birds, and a large central heart bearing an inscription.
Over the years our family has had seasonal opportunities for hospitality. I would be happy to tell you, sometime, about our series of home classes and the different ways we opened our home. Food was always part of the welcome.
Whether it was our Shakespeare plays, a speech class, our Beautiful Girlhood get-togethers, or a ladies’ brunch, the kettle was set to boil and platters were arrayed with refreshment. I was reflecting upon those happy, hard-working home school years when friends shared food with us - along with food-for-the-mind and heart. It was my custom to serve tea sandwiches with alfalfa sprouts. Larger sandwiches may accommodate lettuce. But little sandwiches fare better with sprouts.
Earlier this month I was impatient for spring. I couldn’t wait for spring to start sprouting all the bulbs I had buried. Then I realized it had been some years since I’d taken a few minutes out of my day to make sprouts -inside the house. All in one shopping spree I acquired a pot of faux daffodils for my kitchen windowsill and a sprouting kit.
The kit comes with three plastic lids for different size seeds and for consecutive stages of rinsing. A few teaspoons of alfalfa sprouts are soaked for a few hours and then rinsed twice a day for several days. The instructions recommend keeping the bottle in a slanted position for draining.
After a couple of days of sprouting in a shaded part of the kitchen the sprouts are given a window seat. Leaflets emerge and chlorophyll mysteriously is produced all in one or two days. Using a lid with larger holes, sprouts are rinsed of their casings.
Sprouting can be a healthy edible science experiment for young children. They will enjoy remembering to “make” their sprouts. Wrapping the jar with black paper before the day your sprouts do their sun bathing more dramatically demonstrates chlorophyll production for children.
I like to sprout lentils, too, for a fresh, crunchy green salad. Goat cheese and/or cream cheese with chives and cucumber make a traditional tea sandwich. A pinch of sprouts adds a dainty springtime interest. (Click to enlarge and you’ll see Tom Kitten on the teacup.)
Outside my crocus and daffodils are sprouting and my chives are reviving. Very soon the dairy cows in Lancaster County will have luscious green grass to graze upon. I’ve read that milk production in mid-spring (from grass-fed cows) is highest in vitamins A and D than any other time of year. This is one blessing of small farms and green pastures. Isn’t Chlorophyll a wonder?
Dean’s farm photograph was taken from the window of the passenger car of a train. The Strasburg railroad cars are pulled by a renovated steam engine. There is nothing more thrilling in William’s eyes, than riding on a real “Thomas.”
Thank you for visiting,