Snob Hill In French Is Still Snob Hill

The Yard Awaits

The Yard Awaits

It's Springtime for Snob Hill -- Spring is a bit late this year, at least by the calendar. It's hard to believe that just two weeks ago our area had approximately 14 inches of snow. The local weather dolts have been calling it a 100-year snow storm. That may be, but we wonder what happens when it snows 15 inches same time next year. Will they call it a 1-year snow?

As we stroll around our God's half acre on what we vaingloriously call the Flora Tour, we were drawn to a corner of the yard that has undergone significant changes in the 17 years we have lived here. When we moved in, this corner was home to a dilapidated, rusting shed that resembled something out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Right next to it was what the real estate agent called a Water Feature Koi Pond. All in one phrase. We came to know it as a mosquito incubator and drowning pool for baby bunnies who didn't know any better.

So, we Sawzalled the shed and filled in the pond hole. We repurposed the flat stones that lined the pond. We also installed a stone bench, but that's another story. For a number of years, we concentrated on other parts of the yard. We are not too proud to admit we invested in the so-called curb appeal of this place, and to hell with that forlorn corner that no one besides us could see.

Last year, we discovered the potential of this corner. We are a frugal couple, so we waited until the last of the planting season and snapped up some discounted plants in need of some TLC. One was a pussy willow from Costco. The tag said, "French Pussy Willow." We are not too proud to admit that in addition to the low price, we were also drawn to the term French. This is Snob Hill, after all.

We nurtured it without knowing what to expect. There is always a bit of the Forrest Gump Factor when purchasing plants; one never knows what one is going to get. What we got was a thriving bush with riotous catkins. The French, apparently, know their pussy willows, Like some of our other favorite plants, we have a nickname. We dub this Pussy Galore in homage to the 50 years of James Bond movies.

French Pussy Willow, Salix Discolor

French Pussy Willow, Salix Discolor

Tonight, we are grilling skinless/boneless chicken breasts and filleted chicken thighs. Due to time constraints, we are using one of our favorite bottled marinades by Stubb's. Then we doctor it up with some olive oil, orange and lemon juices, and a dash of Kickin' Chicken season from Weber. Still in our French mode, we are preparing Dauphinois Potatoes, ala Julia Childs. It is dishes like these that we most appreciate our, ahem, French mandoline for those paper-thin of slices of Yukon Gold pomme de terre.