Good, Friday

After last week's berry-picking extravaganza, I spent most of Sunday making preserves with the bounty. I soaked the strawberries in sugar overnight, cooked them down with a little lemon juice until the entire house and most of the backyard was filled with delicious stewed-berry air, made a spectacular mess that required the separate soaking of many stovetop components, and managed to get four out of six jars to seal through sheer will. It was a rousing success. I was very proud.

I have not cooked anything since then.

Looks like my Spring Slump is here! Don't know what date you had in the Erica Stops Wanting To Do Anything pool of 2014, but I hope you were close! There are several factors I could blame--5:30 pm swim lessons really throw a wrench in our evening schedule, cooking Weight Watchers recipes for two weeks made me lose interest in food, I'm 90% certain my other foot is broken now, I more or less quit drinking and it turns out that was my lone source of motivation, I've been kind of sneezy. Could be any number of things! (Almost definitely the WW.) All I know is, at some point a small voice in my head said Just return All Creatures Great and Small. You don't have to finish it. You will be able to figure out what's going on in the next book. He is definitely still a vet visiting eccentric characters and relating his experiences with warm humor and gentle exasperation. And I did it. And nothing terrible happened.

Good, said the voice. Now return that Spring cookbook that makes you feel depressed every time you look at it. Take pictures first, though. And I did.

Williams-Sonoma presents Nature's Bounty: more unappealing than ever before.

I know it's hard to believe that I would pass up all these beautiful desserts, but like I said, I'm just kind of in a place right now. I'm hoping they will inspire you guys, though!

Mmm, random garden clippings.

This claims to be a cheesecake but I'm guessing it's really a distant cousin of the Wisconsin Swiss Linguine Tart.

A classic bowl of Seeds and Viscera.

I'd be afraid to serve this one to people lest that pineapple be used as a weapon against me.

Now, pick out something you actually like. Go forth and unslump thyself. You know, next week.

Ivy's still narrowing down her Easter headwear, but I feel like we're getting close.