Has the capricious Mother Nature liberated spring yet? Has the yearned for season set firm foot into the ground or is it our desire getting the better of our experience? Well, even if it’s not here, let’s pretend. After all, the daffodils have shaken off that last, late snow and the forsythia is strengthening its still inner yellow. The perennial chives, mint, rosemary, thyme and tarragon are peeping out of their winter dullness. Soon ramps will poke their blades up through the brown leaves and the fiddleheads will stand tall. It is still too early for many of the seasonal delicacies, but it is never too early to daydream.
Rest assured that the bear thinks it’s spring, though she wears fur year round. She has recently ventured forth, stealing birdfeeders and dumping trashcans. After we’ve finished cleaning up after her, we can take a deep breath and think about all the good things lurking around the corner of time. Magnolias will be close on the heels of the daffs and forsythia. Don’t you pity those folks in temperate climes who preen about their weather but never experience the pleasure of one season passing into another?
If ever there was a herald of spring, surely the Easter Bunny must qualify, hopping all the way. How he, ever presented as benign and cuddly, escaped the wrath of gardeners across the continent is a mystery better left to Madison Avenue. Perhaps he is excused the occasional plant in exchange for the ancient symbols of annually renewed fertility, the hopefully colored egg.
While we wait impatiently, we can nip and snip the early bits of herbs. We can use up the last of the late squash and take advantage of the clever market vendors who can provide us the means to herald the season with or without its actual arrival. Our recipe for today is Lamb Stuffed Acorn Squash. As you scoop the squash flesh out with the stuff in each bit you can say a last farewell to the rich foods of winter.