Somewhere I know that a former art teacher of mine is smiling! Yes, he is smiling big because at one of the first signs of spring I recalled "sublimes" - lofty, elevated. This is the word I use to describe the first line of clothes I noticed hanging out in Rugby. He often used this word when he discovered a piece of art!
I love clotheslines - always have, in fact! I view them as works of art when I see matching yellow towels hanging together like husband and wife. This sight only adds to the clothesline canvas that so often paints many backyards in Rugby. Can you believe there are actually places that ban clotheslines? Why? First of all, it is very obvious that clotheslines are green and leave much less of a carbon footprint than clothes dryers. I would tend to doubt that there is anyone that has a laundry room as beautiful as the outdoors!
How does one take their clothes to the line? In Underwood, we often used the laundry carts from our next door Laundromat which were extremely handy. How about the launderer who decides on the large oval wicker basket - now there is a scene right of out a Norman Rockwell painting. My current choice of laundry carriage is a recycled baby pram with the big wire wheels, complete with springs and brakes. If it had a motor, I know I would have to get a license. I cannot claim this was my original idea; in fact, I snitched it from a lady who I spied hanging clothes out in Turners Falls, Mass., while I was attended photography school. Her name was Mrs. Mayo and she chauffeured her laundry load across the grassy turf, giving them a Mercedes Benz ride to one of their favorite hangouts. I stopped my car, went over and visited with her, and decided once I had a home, this would be the passage for my clothesline pals. A few years ago Lydia discovered the ride of this unique buggy, and we ended up taking it several times for midnight strolls down our street.
My beds sheets have blown in the North Dakota winds as well as the Massachusetts breezes. There is nothing like sheets that have been sun kissed, allowed to flutter and float - like a kite in the open sky. It pays to give your clothes a bit of freedom and treat them to the big outdoors where they can dance under the big white clouds, groove with the gusts and sing in the sunlight. They will give in return sheets that put you in a slumber that would make anesthesiologists jealous! Another plus to hanging out sheets is that you can leave them on the line and they remain wrinkle free! If you have ever left sheets sitting in the dryer, you know they have more wrinkles than prunes and their sleep comfort is rather demure.
Now just hang on - I have a few more thoughts about clothes on the line. My great aunt, Martina, used to come and visit us and she wore the real bloomers - I kid you not! She was always proud of her white wash and hung her bloomers on our clothesline as if they were a prize. Our grade school pals rode into our yard on their bikes, and once they neared the clothes line, they thought we were trying to recreate the arrival of Columbus' ships to America and the sails were on our clothesline! Once my mother caught wind of this, she set everyone straight! (Martina, obviously, did not learn to hang laundry as the stoic Scandinavians do - towels on the front and back lines and the personals on the middle lines!)
A few years ago, in tribute to my aunt Martina, I created a collection of white sails on our back clothesline with 20 pairs of my white briefs. I could not resist temptation so I captured the scene with my camera and made note cards of the images that said "Just a brief note."
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
2 cardamom seeds
3 medium onions, chopped fine
1 large head of cauliflower, well-trimmed and cut into florets
1 to 2 teaspoons of curry power
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup milk
1 to 2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 carrot shredded very finely for finishing garnish
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large heavy skillet. Add garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom: saute briefly and enjoy this heavenly aroma. Stir in onions and cook over medium heat until soft.
Melt remaining butter in skillet. Add cauliflower, titling pan to coat evenly. With a wooden spoon, stir in remaining ingredients - except sugar. Cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Remove lid and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes to reduce and thicken liquid.
Stir in sugar to taste. Heat 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to platter or large serving bowl and grate fine carrot over the top and serve immediately. The completed color of this dish is warm and inviting and the brightness of the carrots express themselves like blooming buds. I have at times served French bread with this and found it to be a complete and substantial meal.
My former landlady, Audrey Burke, told me that the clothesline was her help line when she was first married. She and her husband, John, lived by a creek with no telephone. Upon moving in, the lady from the other side of the creek presented her with a red shirt. It came with this advice: If someone shows up at your home - unwanted, or if you need help - pin this red shirt on the line and I will row across.
Clotheslines are a work of vivacious art. They can add a bit of humor - provided you hang your bloomers out front - or they can even provide a line of defense when coupled with a red shirt. For many children, a clothesline house made of sheets and blankets it way more entertaining than any video game. So take my advice, loosen up and hang out! After all, there is not one of us that cannot use a good airing out from time to time.
I have to run our bedding is waiting to greet some spring breezes.
This recipe has many different spices and flavors hanging out in it. It gives the cauliflower the same uniqueness as a clothesline hung with variety. I had experienced this recipe at an Indian restaurant in Northampton, Mass., and found it to be most delicious.