Taking red currants out of the freezer for Red Currant Meringue Pie on January 1 is one of the great pleasures of being a gardener. The moment when I poured the frozen pearl-like red currants out of the bag, all the hard work of getting them into that bag was forgotten, although last year was not a good season for currants. I had less than two pounds, which makes today’s pie even more precious. The recipe can be found in my cookbook Spoonfuls of Germany.
While I dread the long, cold winter on our mountaintop in northeast Pennsylvania, I do not wish to live in a place where gardening is possible year round. Each time I wash store-bought lettuce, I think how wonderful it will be to have our own tender greens again in the spring. I would not want to trade the physical and mental 5-month break from gardening, and my looking forward to the new gardening season, for a non-stop crop of lettuce.
Gardening is like a party, where the anticipation and the preparations are part of the fun. Deciding what to grow is like drawing up the guest list. Making a crop rotation plan is like determining the seating order; just like people, not all plants get along with each other. Selecting and ordering seeds is like planning the menu and going shopping. After all is set up and ready, waiting for the wondrous moment when the seedlings emerge is like waiting for the guests to arrive. When they do, all you can do is make sure they feel comfortable and stay as long as you want them to. Enjoying the harvest, fresh from the garden or months later in frozen or canned form, is an ongoing feast!