Gadshill: We have the receipt of Fern-seed–we walk invisible.
Chamberlain: Now, by my faith, I think you are more beholding to the night
than to Fern-seed for your walking invisible.
–Shakespeare, Henry IV, act ii, sc. 1 (95).
Today I don’t have a specific recipe for you. I’ve actually spent most of the week acquainting and reacquainting and myself with the bounties of spring. I’ve been creating different salads, making tacos with radishes and cilantro for cinco de mayo. I made different and interesting varieties of spring rolls whose pictures did not do them justice. I even sprung for some fiddlehead ferns and blanched them alongside a stir fry dish I’ve shared with you before. They’re bitter and taste like the earth, but in a good way. Maybe that’s why in the Middle Ages, people believed that carrying “fern seed” would make you to disappear from sight. I can see where a cloak of invisibility would be useful, but I too, like to believe that I’m more beholding to the night than to fern seed for my walking invisible.
I just wanted to celebrate the fact that the leaves are back on the trees, the weather is warm, and I can start to entertain the idea of coming back to life in a way where winter’s cold doesn’t sag inside me like a wet sail wherever I go. Don’t get me wrong, winter has its joys, but spring is the unassailable winner when it comes to cooking, playing outside, sports and sunshine.
When I was growing up, just north of the city, we used to have wild strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and mint leaves growing in our backyard as part of the landscape. It didn’t realize what a luxury that was until I no longer had that. Now my appreciation for these gifts has grown tenfold.
This weekend I plan to start an herb garden on my windowsill. While the fire department mandates that the fire escape remain unimpeded, they mention nothing about the windowsill. I’m hoping to cultivate some basil, cilantro, rosemary and lavendar.
I’ve got some great recipes coming up this weekend all prepared to the tune of spring. May you enjoy the wonderful weather and sun. Keep cooking!