My father believes in giving flowering plants instead of cut flowers. Call it the immigrant thing, the growing up during a depression, the attempt not to waste anything or the simple poetry of a flower that keeps flowering, a collection of posies not dead or dying in that crystal vase. For my sixteenth birthday, my father bought me a pink carnation plant that later we planted on the right side of our front lawn on Silverlake Drive. So many states east of there and so many years, I bought myself a darker pink carnation plant last year for my birthday and was overjoyed to see it return, full of its bright self, this summer. I cannot say it enough: what it means to have a plot of ground, to put something down in it and to know that you will be there to watch it return, to trust that it will.
I have been gardening lately, too, and like Sweetcakes, each year I try to learn and expand from what I mastered the year before and from what I botched, I try to get some lessons for that, too. I transplanted the tough strawberry plants into pretty strawberry pots. Whether I just ruined a good thing there, remains to be seen. I wanted to get the plants into the proper pots so that they might sprout more plants or I can plant some seeds in those cute little terracotta pockets and revel in the rubies that they yield.
Speaking of those gems, I made Mr. Poppycakes a strawberry pie as part of our new healthy eating program. Yes, you read that correctly. I found a recipe like this and used our homegrown berries as the base, OVER a thin layer of Greek-honey yogurt, over a graham cracker crust. I took some huge store-bought berries, crushed those for the cooked layer and poured them over our berries, chilled the pie and garnished it with a couple of berries. The real healthy-adjustment was the sugar: I took it to half and we didn't miss it a bit. We're even going to toy with using less. The pie was plenty sweet and the recipe so quick and easy that I feel I could whip it up for a last-minute party, if need be.
I had meant to share a whole bouquet of flower recipes with you this month but May, she outran me. So I leave you with this recipe for strawberry mousse in tulip cups and maybe a promise to get some more flowers in our baking before summer's end. For now, we're off to June, come along!