A Fine Romance

30 April 2011 0 comments
It is (I hope finally) the last of winter chill.   Green is coming up, daffodils are open, tulips and magnolias are flirting with disaster.  It is, at last, the growing season.

And I am in love.

I am in love with the early morning breeze.  I am in love with the watercolor look to the sky in the early, early morning, pale yellow almost opalescent.   I am in love with Spring.

I am having an early-morning love affair with my farmer's market.  Before my house is awake, I sneak out with my bag, empty except full of promise for what lies ahead.   My heart is beating fast.  I am completely smitten.   I start the car and head uptown to the capitol...the longest six minutes of my life.   I park, breathless.  I turn the corner and....

There it is.  

In the bluster, wearing hats and gloves and cautious smiles, the merchants at the Dane County Farmer's Market on the square are not aware that my blood quickens for them.   Money in my pocket waits, waits for the right glance, the furtive look, the brief moment when something fresh will be all mine.

I walked past the cheese, the beef sticks, the bread and the begonias. Today...today was the day for things that are freshly grown.  I desire something to make my mouth and my heart soar with excitement.  Today is the day for pure imagination.  Garlic Ramps, Watercress, Arugula, Oyster Mushrooms, Baby Beets, Four Small Basil Plants, Rhubarb.  This is how I spent my twenty dollars.

Today I did not buy flowers.  (I did meet a woman who was walking around with, quite literally, ARMFULS of parrot tulips.)

I had a brief infatuation with Fiber Optic Grass....but I need to go home and see if this was a momentary passion or a relationship that can last.

My Ramps and Mushrooms will be happily sauteed with olive oil and basil (basil added at the last minute) and tossed with Framboni's linguine (so carefully wrapped in white paper like fresh daisies).
Wonderful Watercress will be steamed.

Beets will be cooked in water with a small piece of kombu to bring out flavor and to add minerals.  I will cool them, dice them and mix with white horseradish.  This is my favorite beet salad.  Sweet and pungent....a wonderful affair.

Arugula will add just a bit of spice as salad -- because, as you may know, all romances need something fresh and something spicy.

Rhubarb will be cooked low with strawberries, a small bit of apple juice, cinnamon and rice syrup for dessert.

Deep dark flavors.  Mmmm.

Not just in my heart and not just at my market and not just in your garden....now is the growing season inside each of us.   The season of Spring which brings up the energy and makes all things green reach for the sky -- the Wood energy -- also makes our energy rise, our hearts soar and our spirits climb.

In Asian Medicine, this is the season of the Liver and the Gallbladder.

These organs, like the world outside begin to experience this similar rise in energy.  For example, people who have had winter depression begin to lift.   Symptoms in the upper part of the body -- sinus problems, allergies, headaches, eye complaints, neck and shoulder problems -- are also 'on the rise'.

This season is the time of opening.  This is time to eat things that are fresh and green to open the Liver and to keep it unstuck.

This is time to let go of past disappointments, heartache and that 'little bit extra' which has crept onto our bodies in the winter....so we steam watercress to help us to lose weight.

The Liver, according to Asian Medicine, also houses the "Hun", the Creative Soul.   This season encourages us all to be creative, to let those juices flow as well.   Blocking that part of ourselves can lead to a whole host of physical symptoms....some of which as listed above.

So....go with that flow.  Grow.

You can read more on the Spring from my blog here.

Spring is the time to get outside, to move.  Feel yourself in the breeze.  Grow with the flowers.  Grow with the fields.  Open your hearts.   Cook good, inspiring food.  

Enjoy it all.    Fall in love.



©Copyright 2011 Finer Points | TNB