gingered carrots and fennel with orange yogurt sauce

Fennel Fronds
I feel no need to bring in spring with fanfare this year. For me, spring is nothing more than a necessary but damp and awkward passageway of sore throats, watery eyes, and frizzled locks to what I’m waiting for: the real sun and the real heat of summer.

But I will admit that the strain of plucking a single flower, even a bunch, from the roots is far lighter than that of shoveling heavy, damp, packed snow; trekking through untamed city streets; and drying off cold, wet feet. It beats the clenching of knuckles and fists on the steering wheel, as they fight against sheer ice, and thick ice, and black ice, and wipeout-inducing ice. The warm scent of rain wins over that of the stagnant air inside the house. And the excited chirps of birdies back from vacation outweigh the grating sounds of the early morning plow trucks, signaling that is was not a good night.

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Sugar & Whimsy

lemon meringue…cake

Lemon Meringue Pie

I’ll never forget my first (and last) trip to Disney World. Does anyone? Walt Disney World — a child’s dream, the most whimsical place on earth, the meringue topping on the above cake. The place where kids can be kids and adults can soak up the magic of satisfying the wittle apple(s) of their eye.

And I have no desire to go again.

I spent the months preceding the trip — and this was when I was in elementary school, mind you — hitting the books, charting a path, mapping the hours, and planning, down to the minute, which soul-sucking line we’d need to wait in to get to every stop on my list. There were very small time slots allotted to bathroom breaks and sustenance catchers (let’s face it, there is no real “dining” in Orlando).

Was it worth it? Did I have fun? Was the alarming authoritarian schedule barked by the 10-year-old general worth it? Well I got to every single scheduled ride (without throwing up), parade (the festival of lights was decent), and attraction except for one: Pirates of the Caribbean, a Disney classic. I’d call it a success.

But did I cherish any of the moments and look back on them as a time that brought me closer to my family?

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