Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Craving Spring.

Tonight, I'm very excited to see a long-lost friend--my friend Val. We've been buddies for years, brought together as we journeyed through Judaism, our circumstances eerily similar as we embarked on such a life changing decision. The ebbs and flows of life brought us together and apart over the years, and tonight we ebb as she is visiting from her city of Chicago.

Despite time apart, Val and I were surprised to see the other parallels in our lives -- most notably in the seasonally living / seasonally baking arena. While I've been toiling away in my kitchen, baking and cooking and creating, she's been doing the same. While I've been at Farmer's Markets purchasing everything for our weekly meals, she's been working at Farmer's Markets, representing farmers and calling first dibs on bright and beautiful fruits and veggies. And this summer, she plans to live on a sustainable farm, to absorb seasonal life from morning to night. Bravo. 

So despite my jam packed schedule with fundraising madness, I've decided to get back in the kitchen. 

On the menu: pasta from scratch, sauce from my home-canned tomatoes, and a french baguette (rising as I type), baked from local flour. Despite being a nearly 100% "local" meal, no meal in our home is complete without a green. Our go-to green this winter has been Kale, and let me tell you, I think I've uncovered every application Kale can have. I've chopped it and added it to sauces, I've sliced it for salads, I've sauteed it, boiled it, and even baked it into little Kale chips. Honestly, if I eat another bite of Kale, I feel like I'm going to collapse. 

So tonight I'm having--gasp--asparagus. Non-local asparagus. With Shallots and a veggie broth sauce. It's going to be delicious. 

Despite feeling completely justified in this (and let's be honest, it's not the first time this winter, and won't be the last), I can't help but crave a local version. I am ready for spring - for fresh, small asparagus (asparagi?) that snaps in your mouth and is better raw than cooked. I'm ready for wild artichokes and spring berries, and every other little treasure I never would have thought to buy unless I was at a farmer's market. I'm ready for the season of plenty.

Alas, until then, I succumb to somewhat local produce (California - yes, Chile - no), simply to get a little taste of what's to come.