There is a quote at the beginning of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web that I love for its simplicity:
“The grass was wet and the earth smelled of springtime.”
Little patches of blue sky and cherry blossoms here and there, crocuses trying mightily to bloom and have their time above ground after a winter of dormancy, bird song so loud that it wakes me before my alarm clock. Spring is practically here…and here’s what I’ve been up to while we’ve been waiting:
I am wild about a good lazy morning. Idly flipping through the paper and sipping coffee, mentioning articles of interest to D and savoring the hour (or three) of unscheduled time. A few weekends ago we found ourselves at The Fat Hen in Ballard for brunch. Rich, smooth hollandaise sauce, beautifully cooked eggs, sautéed Chanterelles, avocado and perfectly toasted English muffins were abundant.
Toast and rhubarb preserves.
In February, one of my favorite food bloggers, Sarah Britton of My New Roots, posted a recipe for what she called The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread. How could I not try it? It was everything the title of the post promised and I am now a devout fan of this incredible combination of nuts, seeds and all things good for you. My lovely friend Lauren showed up to brunch the other day with a simple spread of almond butter mashed with banana and that’s my favorite thing to top it off with.
There is a wonderful woman named Alice from whom I’ve started buying my eggs. She has a flock of very happy Araucana and Cuckoo Maran hens on her farm in Arlington, Washington who spend their days scratching around in rich soil and only lay when they feel like it. She brought me a little description of their farm and this section, written for the hens, made my week:
“What We Like: pristine pasture grass; fat worms and bugs. We enjoy acres of land for exploring; posh designer coops for roosting. We get R&R twice a year — winter and summer and a generous maternity leave policy. We love warm mud baths and foraging.”
Extra hours of sunlight have meant more eggs with pastel colored shells and vibrant, orange yolks.
The last time I posted I’d just returned from a trip to the Methow Valley. I haven’t been able to stay away since then. D and I finally bought Cross-Country ski sets when we realized we were renting at a rate that made the purchase more than worth it. The repetitive motion, chilled air, and the sound of my skis in the tracks are all things I’m really going to miss as the weather gets warmer.
Our last journey over the mountains to the valley was the first week in March and we were really pushing it. The snow was slushy wherever the sun had touched it and spots of dirt where enough melting had occurred along the trail truly signified the end of the season.
We stayed at the Rolling Huts with our friends Ben & Alisa. We agreed ahead of time to bring our own breakfasts and lunches for the trail and then go out to dinner at the cozy on-site restaurant. Alisa brought the most incredible granola, slightly modified from this recipe in The New York Times from 2009. I made a huge batch when I got home and we’d eaten it all about two days later.
Other things I want to share with you:
-Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks has an online pop-up store called Quitokeeto. Whenever it’s open (sign up on the site to be notified), it’s full of the most simple, lovely things.
-Anything and everything Sprouted Kitchen. I cook from Sara and Hugh Forte’s blog and cookbook almost weekly and have never been disappointed by a recipe.
-The 2013 James Beard Foundation Award Nominees. Even though the winners won’t be announced until the awards ceremony in New York on May 6, the list is full of incredible books, articles, documentaries, restaurants and chefs for you to keep in mind as you read, watch and travel around the country.
Wishing you a wonderful spring.