And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
March kicked my butt. So many (so many) years of winters, and I still don’t really believe that March is the worst month. I let myself believe that February is hardest and then March will come and it will all start to get better. But it doesn’t. And it always hurts, because I expected something more. In March, I’m tired of braises and root vegetables and wadded up kleenex and sensible footwear. But there are no reasonable alternatives
The light stays longer. At the market there are a few glimmers of hope; a table full of spinach, a few handfuls of radishes, the soft brush of pussy willows.
And eggs. There are more eggs, as the chickens begin to wake up to the faint possibility of spring. At this house. we’ve been eating a lot of Dragonwood eggs. Paul drops them by the house, the kids fight over the prettiest ones (the speckled ones are particularly prized), I marvel at the intensity of the yellow in the yolks and before you know it, we’ve whipped through another dozen.
Well, ok, eggs, rebirth, we get that. But the promise of coming alive again into the growing season comes in more unexpected shapes as well. Mushrooms, anyone?
Shana brought me a bag of these beauties from the Selma Cafe a couple of weeks ago (she and Anne and I entertained and perhaps mystified our colleagues by spreading out a mixed pound on a table at work and dividing them up while we oohed and aahed appreciatively). The next Saturday I was literally first in line at the market to make sure I got a half pound before they were gone. The first batch went into a deep, rich sauce for a grilled leg of lamb made in honor of the first day of spring. The second round went into one of my single girl suppers (well, not quite single; young Nick was keeping me company, but he doesn’t hold with fungi and ate his scrambled egg unadorned). Leftover polenta, chilled and sliced and lightly fried in olive oil, layered on top of some hoop house arugula. Dragonwood eggs, softly scrambled. Mushrooms sauteed in butter, with a touch of cream.
(hey, I made that bread; I’m overcoming fear of yeast)
Polenta, eggs, mushrooms, supper. Nothing much, but a moment where I needed to believe that the world would be warm again someday, it was oh so much more. And in its down-deep localness, it helped remind me that I love the place I live in. Even though its winters are damn long.