Well, “sprung” may be a bit of a strong word. Spring has shown up. Kind of. The robins came back, if only because they’re programmed to. We still had snow on the ground last week. But at the moment the small amounts of warmth and sunshine that we’ve been graced with have produced soft buds on the raspberry canes, tiny, grassy stalks of pungent chives poking out of the leaf litter and an abundance of bunnies, which last year ate our peas down to stumps before they ever had a chance. Hmmm…
I am incapable of making my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe the same way twice. I’ve changed up the chips, added cocoa, used different flours and extracts… My family, oddly enough, has never complained.
Growing up where we are in Southern Ontario, every March brought with it a few things. The promise of spring, a break from school, and a trip to the Sugar Bush. I think we went every year, at least through grade 5 or 6. And I can recall going a few other times, either with family or with a local community group.
By grade 3 I could have given the tour. I probably still could. From the hollowed out birch troughs in which fire heated stones were dropped into pure sap, over and over, until just the syrup remained, to the innovation that was the tap, allowing trees to be harmlessly relieved of their nectar season after season, to the modern plastic piping and glorious sugar shacks where the liquid was carefully tended to ensure the end result would be properly viscous and sweet. The process is time consuming, but can even be tackled at home, if you have a couple of sugar maple trees. Don’t believe me? Read this wonderful post by my friend Tiffany at Eating Niagara (then follow her blog – you won’t be sorry), Continue reading →
The sun shone yesterday and it was “warm” enough to go out in a light jacket. Sure, it was only about 10C, but it was welcome. There was warmth in the sun as it poured over my face! We had a similar day this past weekend, and I took advantage of it to grill some steaks, which I haven’t done since December.
The weather further inspired me to crave cornbread. Well, the weather and a random comment, probably on Twitter. Some days the product of my kitchen is also the product of my impulsiveness. It’s good that I don’t have copious amounts of good chocolate and cream on hand very often. Continue reading →
What? I know, they don’t look exciting. In fact, they look like a paler cousin of the date square. And yeah, they are. But they excite me because they’re full of possibility. From the filling to the crust to the topping, they can be changed up in so many ways to make them completely different.
I was originally going to use a mix of dried figs and apricots in them, until I realized that my daughter had eaten the apricots. But already I’m wondering about other fruits. Like dried cherries! Oh.my.gosh. Can you imagine? If you love cherries like I do, you’ll understand my excitement. Continue reading →
The kids and I are having popcorn for lunch today. We’re low on fresh veggies, which they usually have. Oh how I long for the days when our garden and locally grown farmers market produce feed us again. We’ve been in the depths of winter for longer than any winter I can remember in recent history. Another squall line just went through. This may be the coldest February on record in a long time. Usually by now there has been at least a slight sneak peek at spring. Not this year, where we have rejoiced at (very few) 2 and 3 degree Celsius days. Continue reading →