Dreaming of Spring

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Looking back at my other March entries of old I notice a tone of desperation.  The longing for spring is potent at this point, especially after such a mean-spirited winter.  Please, don’t misunderstand, I do have a place for winter in my heart, but this one was a doosey.  And when you’ve a squirmy, fussy infant in your midst, you are ready to grow beyond the cold walls.  I have never looked ahead to spring as much as this year. 

Nate and I, and even our four month old daughter, Riley, have been indulging in the fruit of this season.  Riley gets a fingernail amount of banana on occasion, but Nate and I have been filling up the fruit bowl only to empty it and fill it up again.  The navel and blood oranges now are delicous and inspiring and I’ve picked up a pile of tiny, perfect champagne mangoes that go down like silk.  Not much is local yet at the market these days but mushrooms and hydroponic lettuce and potatoes.  As always, come March, I am impatient about eating beyond those things and feeling proud to fill up my grocery cart with local produce.

Looking ahead to the summer, and as I mentioned in my last entry, I will be doing a series of cooking classes at La Finca CSA Farm north of the cities.  Still trying to work out the particulars but what I can tell you is that there will be a mini-tour of the certified organic farm with Charlie, its farmer and my pal, and then onto to the kitchen where I will demonstrate a few dishes appropriate for the season using what Charlie is growing.  Of course you will be able to taste what I’ve made and we will discuss how to make the most of the season’s bounty and what’s either at the market in your local section or in your weekly CSA box.  There will be three classes, all on Saturdays, once in summer and once in fall and winter.  I will provide more details as they come up, but I am looking very much forward to escaping the city and spending a few good days on the farm.  If you feel like a bit of an escape, bring yourself or the family, and join us!

Here is a very quick recipe for this sloppy, sometimes warm, desperate, hopeful season:

Roast Chicken Legs with Herbs and Lemon

First preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Toss 2-3lbs of mixed bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks and thighs with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, a few sprigs of an herb of choice (such as thyme or rosemary), a few crushed garlic cloves, and salt and pepper.  Arrange the chicken in a heavy casserole dish and roast for roughly 30 minutes or until the skin is crisp and the chicken is cooked through.

I serve this chicken with either some quick sauteed potatoes or some quick roasted sweet potato wedges.  Include a green salad and you’re all set.