Every spring, just as we’re starting to get a few days above thirty degrees, I have the same dream. It’s starts out quite boring – it’s one of those dreams that seems like just an extension of your regular day. I’m going about my business walking the dog or coming home from work and all of a sudden I really start looking at my surroundings and there are morels everywhere. The more I look the more I see! There’s a patch growing next to my peonies! There’s a large yellow one growing next to my fence. I sometimes even spot a tip popping out of a snow bank just waiting for me to pluck it. I don’t think I have dreams where I am as happy as I am in my morel mushroom dreams. Sadly I wake up to reality. It’s still March and we’re a long way off from morel season. Even when they are in season I never have luck like that. Have you ever been morel hunting? When I was younger and had more time we would spend hours on end traipsing around the woods looking for morels. Of the countless times we went I only found them once and when I did I found like 4. Regardless I was ecstatic! Foraging for your own food can be magical. (more…)
Spring has definitely sprung around here! In true Chicago fashion, one day it was negative ridiculousness and the next 50 degrees! My block went from an isolated winter wasteland to a children’s utopia bursting with bikes, big wheels and jump ropes. Seriously the amount of kids that live on my block makes it seem like there’s a 5 year old’s birthday party everyday. While the weather has me thinking about grilling and drinking Tecate we still have some time before the local growing season really catches up. Scrolling through my instagram feed I see all of my California peeps enjoying asparagus, strawberries & peas already but we are far from that here in Chicago. I mean they’re calling for snow showers this weekend so yeah, not much is coming in anytime soon.
Color. I am in desperate need of COLOR. Late winter in Chicago is pretty bleak. The salt white washes everything to a dull gray and even the once white snow is now just a darker shade of slush gray. Whenever the sun comes out you have to drop everything you’re doing and bask in it – exposing any skin you can to soak in the warming rays. I often feel like Powder whenever this happens. A bright blinding white reflecting the sun’s rays so fully you have to avert your eyes or risk losing your sight.
The one saving grace of winter is that even though nothing is growing here the most amazing, delicious & COLORFUL citrus grows heavy on tall branches in warmer climates. Valencias & Navels give way to Minneolas, Satsumas and Cara Caras. I practically squeal once the Blood Oranges arrive! Beyond just eating them hand over fist I love to put them together in a simple salad. There’s nothing game changing about this salad but its simplicity really let’s you focus on the amazing, soul satisfying citrus! (more…)