This morning I was unexpectedly transported to the French Riviera where I found myself eating candied mimosa blossoms of exquisite fragility.

This is what can happen when you start your day with a particularly absorbing book.

The funny thing is, if you google ‘mimosa’, the first array of images that come up are of the cocktail that features champagne and orange juice. Lovely for mornings but not a tree with blossoms. And I’m quite certain that if you google ‘morning mimosa’ Google would skip the tree reference entirely. (it is a lovely tree…) And if you google ‘candied mimosa’ you just get hungry for that promised delicate, ethereal crunch.

Reading by the light of early morning sun is a delight. First, you need an old book with fascinating, esoteric subject matter.  imageFlower Cookery by Mary MacNichol, (1967) is one of my treasures. If you need a recipe for pralined mimosa blossoms that hails from deep antiquity and the French Riviera, there it is, sandwiched in between Mignonette and Motherwort.

It even comes with a poem.

“Les Mimosas” the flower-girls cry as they offer us branches
along the curve of their sea a-bloom in the sunlight;
Like dust, like foam are the blooms, but many and golden
On branch that I hold in my hand…”  [Flower Pieces by Padraic Colum, 1938]

Since I am still immersed in Beverley Nichols—now that I have a garden again, and see my last post—I was reminded of how he loved mimosa blossoms.

‘The finest mimosa I ever saw…was so covered with blossom that it looked like an immense gold powder puff. One could stand under it, and gently shake the branches, so that the delicate dust drifted on to one’s head, and one enjoyed all the sensations of a blonde–whatever they may be.’   —Down The Garden Path

Reading by morning sunlight is enhanced if the book is old, with thick paper. The texture shows up beautifully in morning light, unlike some of us who, as we age, tend to avoid being seen before noon. The binding might creak a little as it turns and gives, expanding under the warmth of eastern sunlight,  but so does your easy chair. And perhaps your joints.

This, incidentally, is where an electronic device will let you down. Morning is not the time for harsh glare or flickering letters that seem to be forming themselves (ahem, page ‘refreshing’)  anew each moment. No, for this exercise one must have textured pages of real paper, all showing their age very well in bright sunlight.OldBookStack

I would like to try this recipe for mimosa blossoms. I would like to stand under a tree and let the golden powdery bloom turn me into a blonde for a moment while I munch on my sweet candied puffs. But first, I need to plant my mimosa tree. And wait for it to bloom.

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch,
you must first invent the universe.”
—Carl Sagan

I start my day with reading, for I never know where it will take me.


8 thoughts on “Mimosa Morning

  1. You are one after my own heart. This photo made me smile and rub my hands with glee. I have to get book shelves for my books, still in boxes, although I have just unearthed my extremely old copies of Tennyson and Byron’s poetical works. The smell took me to Spain today. I think I may have been thinking about a trip there. In getting my garden started, I have begun to re-plant rosemary and lavender. The weather is cool then warm here in (North of) of San Francisco. I lost one plant but others are growing and with a drought, I am trying to be drought conscious. Ah Mimosa blooms.

    • So many of my books are still in boxes, too! We have to cut (sob) about a foot off of my tall mahogany bookshelves…we have always had high ceilings before this and I loved my towering library…but while this isn’t Nichols’ Tudor cottage where everyone of a certain height has to stoop, there are definitely lower ceilings here. So the shelves wait on the floor until we can hire someone who can make the cuts beautifully. Then the books go in…I feel very displaced without them. But a few have made their way out of boxes, for sure! Thank you for visiting, and I am so happy to hear you have a place for rosemary and lavender…those, along with a couple of roses, will be my first additions to the garden, too. 🙂

  2. I love that book which I borrowed from a library years ago and have been searching for a copy. I’m sure that someday I’ll find one. Reading is such a lovely way to start the day. Thank you for your beautiful blog.

    • Hello Anna, and thank you! I noticed that there are some on; (the 1972 paperback version) but this does appear to be a rare gem. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for your lovely comment.

  3. What a joy to read this as I end my day surrounded by my books while thinking of your glorious morning. So sorry about your bookshelves, I ache for you, one shelf less is a crime for a book lover as you are…..but maybe a few stacks on your lovely piano will help the situation. It was a post to escape to this day…..thank you my kindred spirit.

    • Hello, kindred spirit! I am happy to hear this post offered you a bit of escape…that makes me happy! Yes, I am not too happy about shrinking my bookshelves…but all in all it will be a good thing, as I need to shrink some of my collection. 🙂 Where to start is the problem…and like today, every book I pull out of its boxed confinement is like rediscovering an old friend. They are all so interesting, and have stories to tell…

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