There were multiple toasts yesterday afternoon with flutes of cava and hibiscus flowers raised by my fabulous friends Dianna (who braved a bee sting on her way in), Jean Marc, Daniel, Jessica, and new friends Jason, Fabio, and Ricky, who arrived at the Magic Cottage to celebrate Spring, a few of the other holidays that fell on last weekend, and my first year in Miami.
Planning earlier in the day left me time to sit outside and ponder the many directions, like the Queen Anne’s Lace from the market, Miami has taken me to and from in the past twelve months.
When I was younger, I would press Queen Anne’s Lace and similar flowering plants between sheets of wax paper and then laminate the pressings, using them for bookmarks. Now when I discover an inflorescence (like the umbels below), I know they are marking a moment in my life (this wandering day was the last moment).
Also at the market yesterday morning were Maitake, named so because they are dancing mushrooms, balancing and healing when eaten—waiting on the kitchen counter, intriguing and velvety, like a brown crushed velvet coat that I will sauté and stir into the remaining carrot-fennel confit tonight, perhaps with noodles I haven’t made in a while.
The confit went with everything and with the cottage full of laughing, beautiful people (and Jessica’s beautiful madeleines),
and as I tried to take a picture of the confit left in the bowl, I realized that I needed the rest of the carrots circling the softened vegetable slivers
to show what has grown in the past year: the understanding of the growing season in Miami, connection to a network of other South Floridians who care about local food and each other,
and to include the green tops that indicate how the carrot was treated, what is seen from above of the growth below. These together surrounding circumstance—carrots are also umbels.
And then I turned back to the other bunch of stems banded together, watching as the light played off certain pedicels that will, in the year head, resolve into focus and start to glow…