It’s that time of year again. The time I pine for that precious little reprieve known as Spring Break. For a teacher, Spring Break is a most blessed and sacred time in our yearly cycle. However, the meantime, that eternal stretch of time between the here and there, can be a little difficult to endure. This is hardly a new story and I know it’s been told before, but here I am stuck in the meantime, seeking a little solace in the kitchen again.
Last Sunday morning I was so rudely awakened by the sound of my phone alarm. I stumbled out of bed and into the kitchen in a state of confusion, wondering why it was still so dark. It’s not a work day, after all, so what’s with the sounding alarm before the hour of dawn? I had forgotten about that “spring forward” thing, but my very smart phone did not. Sleep is a pretty precious commodity and I do hate to lose even an hour of it. However, this little shift in time does bring back those daylight hours for evening walks with clouds and sunsets that I long for during the winter months. This subtle time shift also triggers a seasonal transition in the kitchen, as the root vegetables begin to dwindle and the early spring greens begin to make an appearance in the weekly produce box. Having not been much in the mood for hearty winter cooking this year, I have been looking forward to this particular change. So, I have been doing a little spring cleaning in the kitchen lately, trying to find creative ways to use up the last of Winter’s roots and greens and make way for the lighter, brighter spirit of Spring. And though my project started out slightly uninspired, I somehow managed to clear a path to an unexpected adventure.
We’ve been having some beautiful spring-like weather here in the desert, with unusually warm temperatures, an abundance of sunshine, blooming trees and busy bees all over the place. Mama Nature has decided to skip right over winter and head straight on into spring, it seems. The desert floor is a lush carpet of green and wildflowers and I am feeling the pull outdoors. I want to be out and about, climbing rocks, hunting flowers, chasing rainbows…I want to go play! Needless to say, I have not been enjoying the confines of my kitchen these days and I am certainly not in the mood for warming winter meals. I have to remind myself that it is still February, hence the over-abundance of hearty winter roots and greens. And since I choose to eat from the earth and cook with the seasons, and technically, it is still winter, I am stuck with this surplus of hearty seasonal bounty. Though Nature’s confusion has thrown me for a loop, I think it’s time to get creative, lighten things up and seek a little color in my dreary winter food palate.
The past week has been testin’ this foodie girl’s patience. With my kitchen in complete disarray (not that there was much order there to begin with) and my favorite space invaded, I was compelled to seek the path of least resistance. That being, the simplest suppers imaginable. We’re talking soup, salad and a sandwich.