Reston, Va.: What spring bridge recipes do you recommend to brighten up this blah weather? Vegetarian or fish, but willing to adapt as needed.
I've been struggling with the stubborn weather too, Reston. The tulips have announced their arrival in my back yard and the birds are having a good old time belting arias, but I hear you, the air of late has been damp and raw, the evenings have been downright chilly and the skies have been moody to say the least. The first stanza of T.S. Eliot's famous poem, "The Waste Land, " comes to mind:
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
And then of course, there's the moody Ella Fitzgerald tune, "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," (from her 1961 album "Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!" ) in which she laments the season:
Spring this year has got me feeling like a horse that never left the post....
...Doctors once prescribed a tonic,
Sulfur and molasses was the dose;
Didn't help a bit
My condition must be chronic...
Me too, Ella. Me too.
Other than the fabulous-sounding sulfur and molasses combo, what would make a formidable spring tonic and get us out of our funk? Would a green garlic (garlic scallions) and leek risotto do the trick? This is stick-to-your-ribs eating but with the promise of warmer days.
Or perhaps a daffodil-colored omelet, made with locally-laid eggs, and flecked with early spring herbs such as tarragon or chervil, would lift the spirits. Speaking of yellow, I'm a firm believer in eating foods that are reminders of the sun, which is why I've got a pineapple ripening on the table (Thai-style pineapple salad, anyone?) and a few Ataulfo mangos in my midst.
For others, the color of emerald green is the ticket out of seasonal blah country. Think Asparagus, artichokes, lettuces (yes! what about a Caesar salad!) and tender baby kale. All the edible chlorophyll may have you doing a jig in no time.
And speaking of dancing, turn on some music while you cook. Who knows, a little "funky chicken" while chopping onions could turn that frown upside down. Here's a funky-licious play list I put together last year.
Today's Eco-Bite: For more on the Monsanto milk controversy mentioned in last week's blog space, check out
this article in the current "green issue" of Vanity Fair. The piece is written by the Pulitzer prize-winning investigative team that is Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele.
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