One hundred columns
Thank you, readers of A View from the Woods, for allowing me to write this, my one hundredth column. I began 18 years ago, when then-editor of the Fillmore County Journal, John Torgrimson, called for prospective columnists to apply. Thinking I might enjoy the discipline of writing about my experiences in this beautiful rural area, I hoped others would like to read and connect, albeit anonymously, through the written word.
I sent in a writing sample and was soon invited to submit something regularly. I agreed to include a recipe each time, following in the tradition of long-time writer Annabelle Kvam’s column, Annabelle’s Corner. For the token payment of $20, I faithfully met my deadlines. Years ago the payments dropped off, but by then I rather appreciated the opportunity every few weeks to stop for an hour or two and reflect upon this marvelous life in the country.
The occasional note or comment from a reader, or an admission by a complete stranger that they always read my column, has been a nice reward. Now my sheaf of past columns is a bit like a diary, one focused on the everyday joys of life on this earth.
My husband’s Aunt Vernie similarly wrote a regular column in the Alpena, Mich., local paper, also for 18 years. Her column, called “Questions Anyone?,” served a real need in the days before Google. Questions about the history of the area flowed in to the newspaper and from people on the street. She focused on the obscure but fascinating history of her community. At 87 years old, she reluctantly retired, due to failing eyesight.
With this, my last column, I will wrap up my commitment to A View from the Woods. My husband and I are now both retired, and looking forward to new freedom to enjoy our own views from the woods.
Since today is finally a cooler day with a breeze, a welcome respite from the recent heat wave, it is a fine time to get outside and do the hard work that is so miserable in the heat of summer. Digging out invasive grass, pruning dead wood in the shrubs, and hauling endless buckets of compost and mulch are my chores for a day like today. Better get to it.
Asparagus, Poached Egg and Parmesan, for Four
Slice a pound or more of asparagus into 1 inch pieces, setting the tips aside. Heat some oil and butter in a cast iron frypan, and saute until the asparagus turns bright green and begins to brown. Add the tips and cook a few minutes more.
Meanwhile, heat 4 inches of water in another pot until barely simmering. Break an egg into a small bowl, and slowly slip the egg into the water. Repeat with three more eggs, cooking until whites are set but yolks are soft, 2-3 minutes. Lift each egg with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on a paper towel.
Divide asparagus among four plates and top each with an egg. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper.