Spring Garden

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The white flowers are of a perennial called arabis. The blue are the flowers of brunnera.

The chives have finally come up and their tiny minaret-shaped buds have appeared. Everything is late this spring, because of the harsh winter. I’ve come up with a nice chive-flavored cheese spread that is delicious with crisp apple slices, though I found this out after photographing it with slices of zucchini!

Chive and Blue-Cheese Spread

The golden leaves are of golden lemon balm.
The golden leaves are of golden lemon balm.

4 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese (1/2 an 8-ounce package)
1/2 cup cottage cheese
5 oz. crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
a dash of hot red pepper sauce

Mix together the cream cheese and the cottage cheese, using either a food processor or hand mixer. (I used a hand mixer, and it gave the spread an interesting, grainy texture. Use what you have!) Add the blue cheese crumbles, snipped chives, salt and the dash of red pepper sauce (if desired).

Spoon into a little bowl, and serve with sliced vegetables, apples or pears and/or crackers.

IMG_8465Note: You can vary this recipe in many ways. You can use regular cream cheese instead of the lower fat Neufchatel. The cottage cheese can be low or full fat. As for the blue cheese, the original recipe (from an old Country Living magazine) called for only 1/4 cup of crumbles, but I found I liked a fuller blue cheese flavor and added an entire 5 oz. container of the crumbles, which is about 1 cup. So it depends on how much you like blue cheese! Also, at first I tried this with sliced vegetables, but then found how good it was with crisp apple slices. Also, you could use feta cheese crumbles instead of the blue cheese, and then add chopped olives. A very useful recipe!

Meanwhile, more garden residents have appeared, such as this black-capped chickadee.

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A young squirrel

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And the goldfinches have been very obligingly posing.

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One more, taken in the morning in the sun.

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Can’t forget the chipmunk.

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Also in the sunshine–emerging pear tree flowers.

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Today, it was much warmer, and the pear tree flowers opened.

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At the end of a day of gardening. Hope your week is going well! Namaste. Fran

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