Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tradition in Spring gardening...where inspiration starts

A lot of times when I am working on new menu ideas, I look to flavors that I remember from my past experiences....they might be from childhood, traveling, people I've met or things I've read about but I always try and have a memory marker for the things that make it on the menu. Well, it's important to understand that not all 'memory markers' are bound by taste. We can be inspired by so many things at so many different times. A great deal of my spring/summer childhood memories center around my dad's garden. Actually, the most specific memory was how scarce I could make myself when it was time to weed the garden. I got pretty good at the disappearing act when there was hard garden work to be done! Well, this weekend brings me to one of those specific memories. The weekend of the Master's golf tournament was ALWAYS my dad's weekend to put in the broccoli and cauliflower. I thought since it is only a quick trip down the block that I'd drop in on him today and see if that tradition still held true. It should be no surprise that when I went out to the garden, sure enough there was the broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and under the damp ground a bounty of produce had been planted.(including 4 pounds of onion sets that I hope to get my hands on as soon as they are up) Just scanning the perfectly kept garden was such an inspiration(there really isn't that much stuff that is even above ground level, but it is possible to be inspired by dirt....believe me) and sent me home with so many ideas, but also with the notion that a ton of inspiration can come from the traditions of the past/present and become the refined ideas of the future.

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