Seven months. Seven months of flannel sheets. It was the ‘winter-that-wouldn’t-die’ and for seven very long months, The Professor and I wrapped ourselves in those flannel sheets while dreaming of white sandy beaches where they serve sweet fruity drinks with umbrellas in tall, chilled glasses. But today . . . off with the flannel and on to the Egyptian Cotton, baby. 

Our trees burst with bright green as their leaves shoot from their branches; yesterday buds, today their laciness hide birds flitting from branch-to-branch, while scolding us from high above for having the audacity to sit beneath the canopy those leaves provide. Our tulips and daffodil blooms have long been spent but the Korean Lilacs are just about ready to pop open with their heady scent; our season is about two weeks behind but after seven months of flannel sheets, I’ll take it.


Fern fronds creep from the earth, tightly wound at first, ends furled and then single spikes – first one, then another and another, then another. Purple-red leaves appear at the base of our rose bushes – dead canes giving way to new life and our barrel of mint has returned for another season of teas, mojitos and spring soups. A brand new harvest of our beloved rhubarb patch has doubled in size and promises jams, cakes, scones and the perfect topping to meringues.


Bees are coming this year – we’ve waited until the right time to bring two hives to the Smith Bites homestead and 2014 is the year; we’ve heard from other beekeepers that the winter of 2013-14 was not kind to hives here in the Midwest as several hives were lost during those seven months of flannel sheets.


But spring is finally, finally here; blue skies, a new Koi pond has been dug, more earth to turn, gardens to plant and friends to invite over for good food and great conversation.


Flannel sheets be damned.




  1. I would love this salad, Debra! I am a fan of beets and lentils but have never tried sprouting them. I have a bag of Puys in the cupboard so I’m going to give it a try. (Or did you buy yours already sprouted somehow?)

    • Stacy – these were sprouted at home from dry lentils; however, i have since discovered a brand of packaged, dry lentils that are already sprouted!! look for them in your grocery store – they are terrific!

  2. So glad you guys are finally seeing some sun 🙂 This is a lovely salad and you got me curious about sprouted lentils, which I have never tasted.

  3. We love lentils, and now I am wildly intrigued with these sprouted lentils. I imagine they would be great in all salads. I do have beets at home, so am thinking this is in our new future! And yes, damn you flannel sheets!

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