Thursday, April 24, 2014


I was watching Property Brothers on HGTV the other night...or more correctly, Property Brothers was on in the background as I did one of a million things on my to-do list. As Drew Scott was showing a family a potential home to buy and renovate, the husband threw a fit about the mature trees of the neighborhood. He absolutely, positively, in no uncertain terms DID NOT want a home with trees where the leaves would fall. In his words, as soon as you raked, more would fall. It was a never ending battle that he had no interest in waging.

Honestly, the guy, like so many of the participants in these "reality" home improvement shows, basically sounded like a brat. But, there was a little part of me that whispered softly, "I hear ya, buddy."

I would never, ever, in a million years want to live in a brand spanking new subdivision without mature trees. But, the leaves that fall in my yard (and my neighbors' yards and blow with the wind into mine) are my nemesis. No matter how many times I rake or mow and bag mound after mound of leaves, there are always more. I try to have them all cleaned up before the first snow of winter, but somehow, every spring there are still drifts of leaves around all of our property fences. Some of the drifts are taller than the fences. I get blisters just thinking about the clean up. And, yet, I do it. Season after season. Leaf after leaf. Yes. I hear ya, buddy. Leaves are a pain.

There are some leaves that aren't a pain: spinach leaves. I have been told that our soil is still too cold for seeds to properly sprout, but I am itching to sow some spinach seeds in my garden and have a perfect row of fresh, green, pretty spinach leaves. Leaves that instead of raking, I will pick and wash and toss with some shaved carrots, thinly sliced radishes, green onions and basil. Leaves that will be drizzled with a fresh lemon dressing. Leaves that only pain me when this Spring Salad is no longer On My Plate.

(adapted from Cooking Light)

2 medium carrots
1/4 cup thinly sliced spring onions
1 bunch thinly sliced radishes
8 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Shave carrots into ribbons with a vegetable peeler.
Toss carrots, onions, radishes, spinach, and basil together in a large bowl.
In a small mason jar, combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper; seal jar and shake to combine.
Drizzle dressing over salad. (serves 4)

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