Promise: an indication of future success or improvement (Merriam Webster Definition n., #2)
Winter’s thaw brings Spring. Spring starts slowly and though delicate, shows its strength with temperatures high & low, winds that suddenly shred a calm warm day, blasts of sun too strong for delicate buds and recently exposed hides, and hail that can dent our cars and our hopes that Summer can actually take hold.
This turbulent time of year also hosts the beginning of garden planning. While it’s fun to select and plant seeds each Spring, the rebirth of perennial food plants is my favorite thing to witness. It’s almost overwhelming that Nature finds a way to persevere and return even stronger each year. There are some losses, but with a bit of seasonal sun and rain, the majority of these plants emerge from their dormancy with energy, growth and brilliant color. Proof that a little warmth and nourishment go a long way.
These harbingers of Spring that promise renewal are a great reminder that Nature’s cycle holds true with humans as well. At times we lose our ability to withstand the elements. We go dark, and rest, and search for new sources of encouragement, of fuel. And then at the right time, with the right friend or partner’s attention or possibly a new-found hobby to feed our interests, we tap back into our flow, and light up with the desire to move forward.
As Spring arrives, and people exchange the fireplace for the BBQ, I am buoyed by the new leaves and flowers that promise so much food and flavor for months to come. As these foods rise victorious each year, it can prompt us to do the same.
Herbs tend to be first on the scene. It wasn’t until I planted an herb garden that I began really using them with gusto in my cooking. It always seemed like the amount I was forced to buy in the store was too much and it pained me to see it go to waste. Now, I pick just what I need, and oddly use more of it. My cherry trees have benefited from more attentive pruning the past two years, with fluffy pink blossoms promising dark red bursts of summer. And finally this mild Spring has graced me with an already wild abundance of rhubarb.
It’s time to get moving. Here are a couple of recipes that may very well be created in my kitchen this month, as I enjoy the fresh air and spirit coming through the open sliding glass door, but am not quite ready to entirely give up the warmth and security of the kitchen.