No matter your beliefs spring is of itself a time of rebirth. Shoots are pushing up through the soil with the encouragement of the recent rains, and pollen drifts down from the budding trees depositing a fine coat of yellow on everything below. This morning I took a walk in the woods following a trail behind the old mine outside of town. Such a beautiful morning, hardly another soul in the area save an occasional pet owner giving his best friend a walk before breakfast. We moved here for the beauty and peace of the area and I never tire of it. The city, for many comforting with its mass of humanity, easy access to shopping and public transportation, myriad of available restaurants and social activities, long ago lost its luster for me. Somewhere deep in my heart lives a country girl, preferring instead to watch the tall grass bend and sway in the delta breeze on a lazy summer afternoon, see the squirrels scurrying along the telephone lines, or lose myself in the introspection of a deserted beach on a foggy day.
This time of year our thoughts often turn to others and what we can do to benefit those around us rather than ourselves. Family is at the forefront as bowls of eggs are transformed into works of art by small hands and hot crossed buns and clove bedecked hams prepared for an Easter meal. In particular I miss my little ones on Easter, their delighted screams as they discover a brightly dyed egg under a bush or a chocolate bunny wrapped in decorated foil in their Easter basket.
Growing up it always meant shopping for a new dress, hat and shoes to be displayed at church on Sunday. Afterwards there was an egg hunt in the park and then home for one of my grandmother’s incredibly delicious meals served on the lovely bone china plates with the delicate pink roses circling the rim. Being of English heritage, on the center of the table one of the many tea pots in her china cabinet would be perched on a metal rack, kept warm by a colorful tea cozy. Light, flaky biscuits melting on your tongue were served with homemade marmalade and fresh creamy butter. In one of the two pantry’s a rich lineup of desserts were displayed. As a youngster having surveyed what was to come, it was difficult not to wolf down the main meal in order to get to the finale. On Easter each of us was asked to say something by way of thanks for the meal we were to eat. Mine was usually a short statement as being a chubby little girl my growling stomach encouraged brevity.
Closing my eyes I can picture the huge expanse of yard beyond the bank of windows in the formal dining room of the house I grew up on on Ogilvie Street. Beyond the copse of trees to the left the lush green banks swept downward stretching to the Atlantic lapping at the edges below. In the spring bright spots of color decorated the view everywhere you rested your eyes. Plump tulips, welcoming daffodils, purple irises and baby roses gave the yard the look of an English garden.
It was a time to be grateful for your blessings and to remember to give thanks for the faces surrounding the table and the food gracing it. A lot was taught to me as a child about appreciating a cup half full rather than lamenting on not having it filled to the brim. Life lately seems rife with conflict and between the weather and seemingly unrelenting news coverage skipping from one disaster to the next it is sometimes difficult to concentrate on the beauty in our world and still find way to be amazed by what lurks right outside our front door.
When I visit Nova Scotia in the springtime if I see a field of freshly tilled ground I pull over and taking a handful breathe in the familiar smell of rich chocolate earth.
I am missing my family this weekend, but glad I have Rick and Boo, the Queen of Cats, to share space with. My apron is lying over the back of the chair and I plan to put it to good use making a dinner worthy of celebration.
Have a safe and joyous holiday!
2 8 oz. tubes crescent rolls, divided
1 large red pepper, roasted and sliced into strips
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 small onion sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 6 oz. pkg. baby spinach
6 slices of bacon, crumbled
1/2 lb. deli ham, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. deli turkey, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
7 eggs, divided
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Seed red pepper and cut in half lengthwise. Cover cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Place pepper halves cut side down on prepared cookie sheet. Brush with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning once until skin is charred. Remove from oven and place immediately in resealable plastic bag for 15 mins. Remove skin and slice.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
In bottom of springform pan make a circle of 1 can of crescent triangles pressing seams together. Cover bottom and sides of pan tightly with two layers of tin foil.
Bake crust 15 mins. Remove and allow to cool.
In large skillet heat remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil over med. heat. Add onion and mushrooms to pan. Continue cooking for 6 mins. Add spinach. Stir and cook until mushrooms are tender. Drain on paper towels, patting to removed moisture.
Whisk together 6 eggs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and pepper.
Layer 1/2 of cheese, ham, turkey, bacon, spinach mixture, and red peppers.
Pour 1/2 of egg mixture over top. Repeat layers ending with last half of egg mixture.
Place remaining can of crescent rolls on work surface to form a circle. Press seams together. Place on top of layers in pan. Whisk remaining egg and brush top.
Bake for 1 hr. and 15 mins. or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Cool for 15 mins. Slice and serve.