Well, friends. I started an on-site contract proofreading educational materials, and work…and snow, and life…have kept me busy these past few weeks. I am afraid I am neglecting my blog friends and the few of you who read this (thanks, Mom!), but I’ve started a half-dozen posts without finishing them, so I am thinking of you…really.
Work and life have even kept me busy enough that the time I spend creating dishes and experimenting with recipes has really been cut down. We’ll call it post-holiday humdrum–do any of you feel that way, especially in the grayest parts of winter? In the meantime, a few things have shown up on my proverbial radar that make me a little excited to be in the kitchen again.
Speaking of winter, it has been very cold here in Minneapolis–what I call “frozen nosehair” cold, since just a few seconds outside in these temperatures does just that. I am never without my long underwear, but no, I do not shovel snow for a living. Although we haven’t hit the gray stretch of winter yet–the days when you’d trade your lunch break for a piece of sunshine–I still find myself thinking months and months ahead, culinarily speaking. I even bought cucumbers the other day. Cucumbers! I know better than to do that–they’re about eight months out of season!
Nonetheless, I’ve been having my culinary trip south, mentally. While others take cruises in February, head to Florida, and the birds, as Minnesota’s own Garrison Keillor said, fly south in the night “so as not to destroy troop morale,” I think of salads, I dream of fat, bright red, glistening strawberries like I grew up with in the Northwest. I imagine rows of slender carrots and bunches of green spinach growing this summer in my first garden (there are far too many pests that would prevent growing spinach, but it’s a dream, so I continue). I wonder if we really could grow raspberries along the back fence.
I’ve also been looking at completely seasonally inappropriate delights–like the Strawberry Quartet featured at NY Magazine here and the Dark Chocolate Tartlets with Strawberry at one of my favorite food blogs. As long as we’re at it, I thought of my muffaletta and have decided to try making peach ice cream next summer–D., my Midwestern Meateater, has a dreamy peach ice cream in his past that I’d like to re-create.
Do you have culinary trips south this time of year, even if they’re as pretend as mine are? Maybe you’re lucky enough to live in a climate where you leave to find snow. If this is the case, please come visit me. I have a shovel with your name on it, and a little snow on the driveway for you to enjoy!