Make Room for Spring
It's official: As of 1:48 a.m. ET, spring is here -- but more importantly, winter has been ushered out the door!
In star-gazing circles, that very moment is called the vernal equinox, when the center of the sun's disc stands directly over the equator. The result: nearly equal division of light and darkness and the thaw that so many snowed-under folks in New England and the Midwest have been patiently waiting for.
Today is also the first day of Aries, the first sign in the zodiac, symbolizing birth and renewal.
"When spring is in the air, appetite, like other basic human urges, responds," writes Molly O'Neill in "A Well-Seasoned Appetite." "There is a renewed taste for the naÃ¯ve and unembellished."
Even with a mild winter like we've had here in Washington, I've got ants in my pants with excitement and I can hardly wait, like a kid in the back seat on a long road trip. It's the ultimate pledge from Mother Nature:
Don't worry, baby; this wintry nonsense is about to skedaddle and there will be flowers to sniff in no time. Keep hope alive and one morning you'll wake up the sound of all those twitterers who just flew in from Palm Beach.
Hope. That's what the coming of spring gives us.
To me, spring means....
.... Green, green, green -- from chives to watercress, asparagus to pea shoots... bring on the edible chlorophyll and let go of those root veggies, at long last!
... Connecting with the earth: digging in the dirt, returning to the farmer's market, growing an herb garden, chasing butterflies...
... Letting go of the old and creating space for the new or different: Giving up relationships or habits that no longer serve us, taking stock of our pantry, cleaning out the refrigerator, experimenting with an ingredient, technique or cuisine you've been curious about for far too long, saying sayonara to an edible vice ...
.... Ending the hibernation and embracing the light: Lunch in the park, supper on the back porch, weekend picnics, dusting off the grill, opening the windows...
... Celebrating the farmstead egg, a symbol of fertility, the cycle of life and female energy and one of the most underappreciated foodstuffs in its natural forms. The egg can be a binder, leavener, and glaze; it can be boiled (gack), coddled, fried, poached, scrambled, separated and shirred and it can take the form of an omelet, frittata, breakfast burrito, Benedict, hangover sandwich, custard and meringue, for starters. (Stay tuned for an ode to the egg in the near future. )
... and lastly, spring means summer, my nearest and dearest season of all...
Other than the pollen-induced sneeze attacks, what's not to like?
I'm feeling a spring in my step already. Care to join me? All sides of the seasonal fence are welcome to weigh in, down below.
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