life cycle…

Bloomin' peach tree in the Spring

Bloomin’ peach tree in the Spring

If I had to choose two seasons, they would be Spring and Fall.  I love the crisp air, tailgates, and fall colors as leaves change each Autumn.  Fall is “Boots and Patagonia” weather as I like to call it, and each Fall I hope my old black Patagonia vest can make it one more season.  I have to say, I am simply amazed at Spring though.  The daffodils emerge and bloom each year, just as the azalea’s are bursting with buds amidst a background of the green grass and lime green leaves popping out on tree’s above.  Hosta’s, deep green, white and purple, poke their spear like heads out of the ground from having been buried in some cold dormant place, just waiting for the sun to bring warmer days.  Kind of like us sometimes, we can lay dormant until inspired to wake up and live.  The peach and cherry tree in my yard are covered in blooms, promises of things to come, fruits waiting to be picked.  I can’t help but find so many ironies in this season of new life, hope and promises.  For those of you who share my Christian beliefs I’m sure you will agree this is no accident.  And for those of you who aren’t quite sure of your religion, I hope you find religion in the beauty of nature around us.

With the arrival of spring comes promises of…warm sunny days emerging from cool mornings, bright blooming fields begging for blankets and picnics, and farmers markets spring back to life with full speed.  I can just picture the baskets of fresh picked spinach piled high on a table at the Dixie Classic Fair Farmers market; not to mention the baby leeks; asparagus so slim and tender; artichokes; crisp lettuces… it isn’t fair to stop the list here.  What about ramps, garlic, strawberries, mushrooms and Vidalia onions & new potatoes so sweet my Dad would say to eat them like an apple.  Can’t you just taste it, too?

These are the things that inspire me, that bring energy to my life.  I get so excited I have about a hundred recipe ideas I want to share with you right now.  I want to share the little things I enjoy that make a simple life, well, not so simple.  Too much for a post!  I want to tell you all about what I call “fun finger food”, Steamed Spring Artichokes with Lemon Garlic Butter.  My children enjoy pulling the leaves off the choke and popping it in their mouth.  Truly, fun food, whole food, healthy food, and a great starter for dinner guests, too.  I want to tell you about sautéing garlic scapes, but better yet go to a market soon and purchase some and explore on your own.   And asparagus, not imported from Peru, but tender, slim, local and oh so delicious.  And for those of us living in this beautiful  City of the arts we named Winston-Salem, how can you resist the strawberries when you drive by the Children’s Home late spring?  I’m not sure the setting can accurately be described, not many places have an amazing farm of acres upon acres tucked in amongst the skyline of downtown?

These are the things that make me want to jump for joy, do a cartwheel in the grass, get my children from school early to go on a surprise outing just because… life is short.  Don’t postpone it.  So many things to relish in every day, every season.  Enjoy the best of food and life, and the amazing foods Spring serves us.

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