Spring! A long awaited, glorious time of year. A time for renewal, revival and a freedom from the confines of house and many layers of clothing.
It’s a time to celebrate the revival of our little part of the world. Having lived my whole life in the northeast, I cannot imagine living somewhere without seeing the world change from a frozen, sleeping world into a landscape that bursts forth with renewal of life every spring. It brings joy to my entire being and hope to my spirit.
I am frequently out in the garden on spring days, watching and waiting for the final snow to melt so I can see what plants still wait for the warmth to return. I give thanks to those plants as I think back to the cold, cold days of winter, for the struggle they have made during those harsh days.. I was able to spend those dark days near the warmth of my wood stove, but these little plants survived the dark cold of winter.
So I wonder, which of these hardy plants will emerge first? Which will bloom first? It is usually the crocus and daffodils. They are so pretty and delicate, and make nice cut flowers. Enjoyable to the eye for sure. I wait for the others though. The plants that will nourish my body and energize it for the season to come.
We live in such a world that many foods are available to us year-round, so our bodies never realize the seasonal food cycles of the earth. We feel the cold when it arrives in the fall. We don’t realize the changes in what our bodies need as the seasons change. Don’t’ get me wrong, I like my fruits from all over the world, however, with having that, I wonder, do we also lose something? Do we lose the cycles of eating seasonally, of nourishing ourselves with the nutrients that these food cycles give us for the time of year? For millennia, humankind has eaten seasonally. Modern day life has changed that, and I wonder if our bodies have changed with it? What are we missing by having all the food, all the time? I know in the spring, my body starts to crave greens. Do you ever just want a plateful of greens, either salad or cooked greens in February or March? That’s our bodies telling us that we need the nutrients in those dark leafy greens. They have a purpose. Our body knows the cycles, even if we don’t recognize them anymore. It’s our body talking to us. We just need to listen.
This and every Spring, I wait for the violas to grow, the dandelions, the nettles. I wait for the ground to thaw to dig the burdock, chicory and dandelion roots. These are the spring foods that will nourish our bodies from the long winter. They will cleanse our blood and revitalize our bodies, if we only choose to let them help us to get our strength for the busy season to come.
So onward we go into Spring, our chance to help our earth, that provides nourishing food for all. We can be stewards to our little part of the world. Be a part of the seasonal cycles, plant a garden this year. Maybe a small patch in the yard, or a few pots on the patio, but be a steward. It can be the start of enjoying the cycles of seasonal food. Enjoy this beautiful world we have been given. Grow food!
Spring Sorrel Soup
2 fistfuls of sorrel leaves, about 3 cups, washed and spun dry
2 tbsp butter
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
5 to 6 small fingerling or new potatoes, cut into chunks
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
Stack the sorrel leaves and cut into ribbons. Set aside. In a large, heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is well-browned, about 20 minutes. Add the sorrel, potatoes and broth. If the broth does not cover the contents, add a little water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. When the potatoes are done, transfer half of the mixture to a blender or food processor (blenders give smoother results). Process carefully until the mixture is puréed and smooth. Repeat with remaining soup. Return the soup to the saucepan over low heat. Temper the egg by whisking it with about one-quarter cup of soup, then pour the egg mixture into the pan. Cook, whisking constantly, until the soup thickens, about 5 minutes. Do not boil. If serving hot, garnish each portion with sour cream or yogurt. If serving cold, cover the soup tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Garnish with sour cream or yogurt, chopped cucumber or radish and a spring violet of course.
Recipe from epicurious.com