Seduced and abandoned

Spring, that brazen hussy, sashayed through the open windows yesterday without a care that soon we’ll be ravaged by summer’s awful heat. Every year I forget. Every year I throw open those windows and smell the turned earth, the pear blossoms and the cows. Every year I hear the meadowlarks and the peepers and think, “This year she’ll stay like until fall.”

Matt sheds his winter coat.

With spring’s arrival, the horses let go of their shaggy winter coats. Boom! Just like that, I can pull/brush out enough handfuls of hair from my 34-year-old buckskin Matt Dillon to leave the ground looking as though many furry bunnies have had a violent set-to (the Dead Rabbits perhaps?). The nesting birds will be so happy — horse hair is to to birds what Tyvek insulation is to human builders.

Along with the bluebirds, the beloved college students arrive on spring break. We like the students much more than the bluebirds which tend to develop obsessions with particular mirrors, windows and blue cars and leave behind really messy mementoes of their passion. When the students leave, it’s not messy, but dimmer as though someone put lower wattage bulbs in all the lights.

Red-haired daughter and horses, green grass, blue sky.

We’ve eaten, walked, eaten, watched movies and eaten. Their first night here we ate this Woman’s Day magazine frittata made with baby “bellas,” ricotta and the last of our 2011 leeks.

Leek, mushroom and ricotta cheese frittata

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 leeks, slivered, washed and drained

Salt and pepper

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

8 large eggs

1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan (12 ounce)

Heat oven to 400º. Heat oil in large, oven-safe skillet. Add leeks and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, tossing occasionally, until they’ve released their liquid and turned golden brown and tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in bowl whisk together eggs, ricotta and Parmesan. Add egg mixture to skillet and stir to mix. Transfer to pre-heated oven and bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 16 to 18 minutes. Serve with salad and crusty, whole-grain bread. One-fourth of the frittata has 307 calories and 20 grams fat.

Clean skillet by adding a little water, heating and scraping up leftover bits. Dump water and wash as usual.
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