Boing, boing, boing. That is the sound a spring makes. It might also be the sound of the Easter Bunny, hippity-hopping across the grass in the front yard. It is that time of the year once again. That is to say that spring has sprung! It is time to get out the gardening gloves and prepare for a giant harvest. It is also a great time of year to get in the kitchen and get one’s Master Chef on.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac , the first day of spring, 2016, astronomically speaking, the spring equinox fell on March 19 or March 20, this year. The equinox, also known as the vernal equinox, occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic. The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning ‘equal night.’ All over the world, days and nights are approximately equal.
This is the time of year to celebrate Easter. During this time, Peeps (marshmallow candies) pop up everywhere, and in every version of neon-style color. They are made to be so bright that they hurt your eyes just a little. Perhaps dinner should delight in the same way. Since there is suddenly an abounding abundance of fantastic, fresh produce, making a lovely looking dinner should be an easy task.
The produce bins at the local grocery stores are brimming with freshness. What color is spring? For each of us it is different. The rainbows of foods upon which we feast during this time determine our spring colors. There are bright orange carrots, fresh spinach, and gorgeous fresh peas. We have ruby-red beets, and yams that are the color of red wine. Lettuce and artichokes abound in shades of green. There is new asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and bright red tomatoes, too. The vegetables practically glow with the colors of life!
Spring is also the time of year when beautiful, brilliant, green, pink, yellow and orange brighten produce stands everywhere. Springtime practically screams in pastel colors. One most certainly must find a way to capture this while dining! It should be a chance to create a feast for the eyes!
With winter not having long ago passed, we have wanted some warm and, what is often referred to as ‘stick-to-your-ribs’ foods. As the seasons change, so do our tastes. Now, our desire is giving way to some lighter fare. We have dined on lots of potatoes and pasta and enjoyed a lot of soup, too. There were lots of roast chickens and some stews. We had plenty of meaty dishes like roasts and meatloaf, too. This new season brings with it all kinds of different and glorious combinations of fresh vegetables, less meat and more fish.
The varied array of these vegetables is composed of so many shades and color hues that it inspires a veritable rainbow of colors with which to complete a plate of Chicken in Peanut Sauce.
Tossing some steamed, red radishes, together with some asparagus, and some boiled Japanese yams with a good amount of melted butter made this beautiful! This dreamy combination had the look of springtime in the fairyland of our imaginations, and was the perfect dish for an early spring dinner. Happy Vernal Equinox to Everyone!