April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
The Wasteland, T.S. Elliot
I write about the seasons from the perspective of where I’ve lived the last 26 years, Chicago. Never is the cook’s imagination and skill more important than during this shoulder season when a cold raw spring reluctantly arrives after a hard winter. Often we don’t have spring here, just an abrupt bounce from dreary cold days into the parched heat of summer. So it is up to the cook to announce the new season.
We feel ourselves to be part of something bigger
when spring arrives.
A Change of Appetite , Diana Henry
If you were fortunate, all winter long pots were simmering on the stove in your kitchen. They contained fragrant broths, braised meats, vegetables and stews. In the spring, the chef can broadcast the arrival of the new season by using different cooking techniques like sautéing and stir-frying. The task is to maximize the color, flavor and texture of ingredients by cooking food quickly over high heat in a small amount of fat whether working with vegetables, meats, fish or grains.
When I think about spring I think about growing. I think about feeling better about myself
Kelvin Anderson, 2014 Graduate, Growing Home
Spring can also be a metaphor for spiritual renewal and growth. Growing Home, the employment program and organic urban farm in Englewood, was a catalyst to explore these themes. Please watch the video on this organization and be inspired about people’s capacity for change and regeneration. I will never again think about spring without thinking about Growing Home.