Tuesday, April 11, 2017


An open door admits the subtle fragrances of the neighborhood that persist in the face of relentless development and April weather that echoes March's traditional pattern. The winter has been as foul a one as I recall since the record awful of 1969. I spent that year living a hippie's dream in a rustic cabin powered by unreliable rural electric lines. A phone call away, my grandmother, who had been born nearby in a homestead cabin, taught me the housekeeping tricks of damp and salty beachfront survival. In a nutshell, the secret is smoked pork.

A festive Sunday ham would have been the obvious choice for breaking the sensible and necessary Lenten fast. Eggs, too, would have been and still are a go-to for starting a low-tech holiday. Decorating eggs keeps the kids out of the cook's hair. Potato flour extends the wheat supply for the breakfast buns, currants recall the last summer's bounty, and spices supply welcome nutrients along with a little variety.

As late as the Sixties, Easter meant a last-minute binge of home sewing, when a fresh warm-weather outfit filled in gaps in the wardrobe. I use the term warm weather lightly: in Puget Sound country, warm weather means lightweight pastel wool -30-

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