Signs of spring

It was hot in the sun in the garden today, the bees were buzzing around the rosemary flowers and the blossom, the carpenter bees were trying to find nesting places in holes in pieces of wood – spring seems to have arrived!

The broad bean plants sown in October are beginning to flower and the plants from the second sowing in November are not far behind them.

broad bean flower-1

 

The apricot blossom is about to open

apricot

 

and the wild plum tree that appeared in our garden, like a weed only a fruitful one, is flowering too:

wild plum-1

 

Even the aubretia – not a plant that really belongs in a Mediterranean garden, but one that seems to have settled well here – is starting to flower:

aubretia-1

 

The robin in the apple tree has been around all winter, of course, but it’s the first time I’ve managed to get a reasonable photo of it.

robin-1

 

And then home to another bird – a roast chicken. It was a large (over 2 kilos) farmyard chicken so I left it in a medium oven (170°C) for a couple of hours while we were out, covered with a paste made from half a preserved lemon (salted and left in a jar of olive oil for at least a month), two large cloves of garlic, two teaspoons of paprika, some sea salt and two tablespoons of olive oil, whizzed into a paste in the food processor. I put the chicken in a large cast-iron casserole with a lid and added a glass of white wine. When we came home it was ready to eat with rice cooked with dried orange peel. It was a very good chicken – one that had lived rather than a pale tasteless supermarket one – and it did taste very good.

chicken-1

There’s plenty left for a couple more meals too. In the shop the bird still had its feet, head and neck, which the butcher removed for us. But we asked to keep the neck, which made a nice stock for Lo Jardinièr to use when he made risotto yesterday. I haven’t dared ask for the feet yet – I’m not sure what I would do with them!

8 thoughts on “Signs of spring

  1. Great sounding recipe. But then that seems to be true of all of yours. Might I say …. kind of intimidating ….. Things blooming here in Roquebrun too, I’ve been afraid to say the Sp…. word for fear of scaring it off ….

  2. Brilliant photo of the robin amongst all the branches . . . and have already written down your chicken rub: like the idea od the preserved lemon: have always made them just with salt and lemon juice – must try the olive oil addition🙂 !

  3. You’ve bees visiting blossoms and robins in the trees. Today, the last of the snow left my back yard, though plenty remains out front. Where you have signs of Spring, I’ve signs that Winter is leaving. Not quite the same thing but still a welcome sight, as was that chicken when you returned home. It looks delicious!

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