Now that the days are longer, the calendar has announced a new season and the birds and the bees are here to stay, I can’t help but take a deep happy breath and let a smile stretch across my face as I exhale. I am always elated to put the dark and cold of winter to bed for another year.
In my kitchen, it feels less certain that a new season has arrived. On the one hand, I’m cooking up wrinkly potatoes, large pork shoulders, the last of the frozen peppers that I’m clearing from the basement and deep freeze to make room for summer’s bounty. On the other hand, I’m topping my dishes with fresh-grown parsley and chives. I’m tossing salads with the earliest gifts from the garden: lettuce, spinach, radishes and even a few asparagus brave enough to grow despite the continually yo-yo-ing temperatures.
These are good weeks for Gypsy Soup — a mix of whatever’s on hand stirred together with spices and beans and cumin and love. It’s warming on the cold days and it’s happy to use whatever’s left from winter. These are good weeks to whip up a new batch of salad dressing. And good weeks for barbecue and slaw — the perfect place to put spring onions, radishes and maybe even a few winter carrots still hanging around.
While inside, we may be cooking up a version of Make Last Summer’s Food Great Again, what’s happening outside is truly inspiring — promise and possibility at every turn. So that’s the bulk of what I’ll share this week, a tour of our garden as it takes its first steps from dormancy to life. Happy Spring!