Springs bursts from the ground and branch

We didn’t get a winter on the West Coast. My snowboard gear remains packed and ignored. But even so, the first blooms of spring this year lost little of their luster. I noticed the explosions taking place on branch, vine from soil on recent runs through the wilderness I live near. I’m excited about planting the garden. I’ve already had to weed twice.

It’s exhilarating. No season bursts with the grandeur of spring. But this year I got a special spring surprise that made me feel like a kid again.

The story goes back a few months, longer than that really, back to when my daughter adopted for me an olive tree in Italy. A new webromance broke out. I love Nudo. I love their emails, I love their idea to adopt trees. And mostly I love their oil.

Next came the contest. The creative folks at Nudo experiment infusing oils with different flavors. To promote two new ideas — rosemary and coffee flavored olive oils — they held a contest for recipes using the oil. With my daughter’s help we submitted a recipe using both, Coffee Chicken Pizza with Rosemary Olive Oil Fried Apple Rings.

Well… yippee skippy, we were one of five winners chosen by the good folks at Nudo. They sent us samples of both oils and a letter that felt like a little gold medal…

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(I’m easily pleased as you can see).

Amanda became the Test Kitchen’s first visitor so we could put our recipes into action.

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We took our recipes and their oil and soon the kitchen was filled with goodness.

Like apples:

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And pizzas:

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And these ideas cooked up in our minds so cooked up deliciously in our kitchen.

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We ate like Romans!

OK, it’s easy to get distracted by great food, but I was writing about spring. Well, part of this tree adoption thing included an actual tree of my own… like a foreign exchange student. In the deep chill of our snowless winter I opened the can, followed the instructions and watered very, very little the little gravel base.

And I waited.

And waited.

And waited… and nothing happened.

And I felt sad. Like I had been a poor host home for a wayward Italian olive tree… until…

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Spring!

All is right in my world as my little tree awakens and stretches and makes her way upward, just like me this year, small and tentative and yet so filled with potential harvest.

What’s not to love about spring?

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