Earth

Roasted Carrots with Lemon Pistachio Butter, Pumpernickel, and Dill

roasted carrots
I’m getting used to the color brown. Dark brown. There’s no green in these parts yet, but mud has never felt more encouraging considering that all has been so white for so long. Well, more like grey in my urban environment, but regardless the surrounding color palate has been pale and dead. Mud is downright vibrant in comparison. Mud can be stepped on without trepidation: I can run on, jump on, and fall on mud without injury. Mud has reminded me that I have legs.

There’s a small patch of grey, maybe 12 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick, that has lingered, gracing the tiny front yard of a neighbor’s house for the past couple of weeks. A few weeks before that, that ice patch was more like a frozen lake that overtook the yard—you’d never know that there was once life underneath. A good 3 or 4 inches thick at that time, the lake spilled onto the sidewalk and hastened my quick pace every morning this winter. When that patch is gone, I thought, it will be spring. Real spring.

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Transition

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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