Pondering Spring: salad, soup, and seedlings

Pondering Spring: Salad, Soup…and Seedlings!

Salad, Soup, and Seedlings

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 2

Week 12: March 26, 2022

Take a moment to ponder spring and all that it brings!

This week it brought salad, soup, and seedlings.

Spring: The very name is synonymous with a coiled wire! 🌀🌷🌼

As nature chirps, chatters, glistens, hatches, germinates, unfurls, and otherwise springs forth, I remind myself to step back, take a moment, and ponder.

Preferably with a cup of tea.

Sipping hot tea works its own magic, soothing the senses and instilling peaceful appreciation contrary to the vigorous, noisy parade outside the window. No matter what the news.

What will the apple crop look like this year and shall I make applesauce, apple butter, or dried apples? Or all three? Will there be enough tomatillos for roasted salsa verde? Will it be a year for morels and huckleberries? I’m already dreaming of zucchini.

How will the tomatoes do? Hopefully they will be plentiful and I will can batches of pizza sauce, crush pack tomatoes with herbs, salsa, and dry some as well.

Do you find your appreciation for the small things further sharpened this year? What stands out to you in your week?

Spiralized Asian Chicken Salad

Weekly tea and lunch at Mom’s. Spiralized Asian Chicken Salad is bursting with fresh, crunchy flavors: garden cabbage, pea shoots, spiralized watermelon radish, and cucumber. The salad will be topped with poached chicken, sesame seeds, and a mouthwatering spicy peanut dressing.

Miriam bakes cookies

Each of my kids bakes the “best” chocolate chip cookies. Each one has their favorite recipe and they’re all a different, but good! Miriam baking her best cookies for tea at Grandma’s.

My niece, Savannah Hulce, and her daughter, Emberly, joined us for tea this week! Mom delights in spending time with grandkids and especially her great granddaughter, Emberly.

Ana Maria and Michele

I crossed paths with my very dear friend, Ana Maria Salaverry, at our usual haunt: Food 4 Less. For years we partnered together to teach whole foods cooking skills to our community through cooking classes and cooking demonstrations.

4-inch pots with bunny berries

In the greenhouse, I am adding my secret ingredient to pots of soil for Butterfly Peas. Can you guess?

Find my favorite garden tools and supplies here!

Roselle seedlings

Seeds are sprouting. Red Roselle Hibiscus for tea, hopefully. I keep trying! Has anyone in southern Oregon grown Red Roselle with success?

Tiny sprouts

Tiny sprouts…tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and flowers. Not much to see yet, but they will grow!

tomato seedlings

Amazing to think that these tiny sprouts will grow and produce buckets, baskets, and bowls of food for fresh eating, and plenty to preserve!

Chamomile tiny sprouts

Can you see them?

Snow drops

Snow drops

3 childhood friends

Marianne Pierce brought three friends together again. Marianne, you will be missed and remembered. (left to right: Stephanie Mendenhall, John Pierce, and Michele Pryse)

Row of loaves rising

A Saturday baking day: six loaves of Old Fashioned Buttermilk Bread made with white whole wheat flour, freshly ground in my Komo Fidibus 21 Grain mill.

4 Buttermilk Bread

Four loaves of Old Fashioned Buttermilk Bread in the oven, baking to a deep golden brown.

German Vegetable Soup

I learned to make German Vegetable Soup with Dill from my German-from Russia grandmother. Here I am cooking it in my favorite Emile Henry Dutch oven. Sam prefers his soups resemble stew, so it’s chockfull of veggies.

Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins

Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins with crumbly streusel topping are warm, rich, and chocolatey. Good for breakfast or dessert!

Seed to Seed

Grow your own seeds! Learn to save seeds from this year’s garden vegetables to plant next year.

I hope you enjoyed our walk through the week at Chocolate Box Cottage as I shared the small things I appreciated these past 7 days! I enjoy hearing from you. Feel free to let me know in the comments what small things you appreciated in the last week.



  • I just love how you love life! You are an inspiration to me and so many. Thanks for sharing a glimpse with us. Living simply.

    • Thank you, Andrea! I appreciate your kind comment!


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