Archive: Spring Discoveries

Spring-Can-Hang-You-Up Food

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...

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 10, 2008; 09:39 AM ET | Comments (6)

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. One of the best things about spring. (flickr.com -- Tsaiware) 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 naïve and unembellished." Even with a mild winter like we've had here in Washington, I've got ants in my pants with excitement and...

 

By Kim ODonnel | March 20, 2008; 07:37 AM ET | Comments (10)

Nature's Easter Egg

Easter egg radishes, just in time for the holiday. (Kim O'Donnel) As Easter preparations get underway for many this weekend, eggs of either the hardboiled or chocolate variety will be part of the equation, particularly if children are involved. How I loved finding a basketful of chocolates, marshmallow chicks and jellybeans nestled amidst a faux bed of grass, magically delivered by the one and only Bunny on Easter Sunday morning. And how I loved a chocolate egg -- hollow, coconut or cream filled or covered with a speckled candy coating. Any one would do the job of sending me into a sugar high. These Easter confections were no match to the ovum from the chicken coop, dyed all pretty, only to be part of a game that failed to intrigue me. I remember wondering why other kids liked to playing hide and seek with Easter eggs that weren't chocolate....

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 5, 2007; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (8)

Of Daffodils and Omelettes

Happy vernal equinox! Astronomically speaking, that means equal parts night and day (give or take eight minutes); here on the ground level of the Northern Hemisphere, it also means spring is kicking winter to the curb (fingers crossed). Eggs and herbs: A fitting way to say hello to spring. (Kim O'Donnel) The changing of the seasonal guard officially takes place this evening at 8:07 ET, and I for one can't wait. Seven years ago at this time of year, I was enrolled at a cooking school in the Piedmont region of Italy. I remember the mornings best, as they were crisp and slow to start, but eventually the sluggish sun did rise to remind us that "primavera" had arrived. Broken down, the Italian word is translated as "first" -- and then some combination of look (from the verb "vedere"), view (from "vista) and true ("vera"). A first true look/view. Yeah,...

 

By Kim ODonnel | March 20, 2007; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (7)

 

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