We started out this morning thinking we’d have a big serving of fat asparagus with just a couple of ribbons of pappardelle for lunch. Then our appetites got the best of us as we tossed the pasta in a sauce of heavy cream, butter, grated pecorino, and lemon zest. Buono appetito!

 

We had a late lunch of cheese toast sprinkled with chile de árbol. What made them even better was the fact that the delicious bread was from Crossroads Bakeshop and the cave-aged cheddar from Bobolink Dairy—two of our favorite local makers. Our lips are still stinging from those chiles.

 

Local asparagus have arrived. Amen. And plump English peas, though not local, are showing up at the farmers’ market as well. As cool early spring eases into warmer weather, we are still on a cooking cusp between two seasons. Today’s lunch for example: we braised sweet asparagus and peas in butter and olive oil with bitter radicchio leaves (our go-to winter lettuce), a little lemon zest, and some salt and pepper. This is our delicious, bitter-sweet story for the day.

 

Mondays are good days for leftovers, especially when there is something delicious from the weekend that needs to get polished off. We stepped up to the task and had bowls of mussel-scallion stew with warm crunchy bread slathered with butter for lunch today. An auspicious way to start the week.

 

We met at the garden this morning to dig in another trench of potatoes, thin our radishes, and give the beds a little drink. We brought paper cups of hot coffee to help us wake up. But the warm breeze and the sight of an eagle swooping through the trees roused every one of our senses. We always feel bad thinning sprouts, deciding which little vigorous guys get to fully mature. But topping our avocado, olive oil, and salt and pepper sandwiches with the radish sprouts makes us feel much better. Waste not want not.
 

A tin of sardines makes a fine lunch for two, especially when you have a loaf of good bread, some Irish butter and extra-virgin olive oil, a lemon, cracked black pepper, and fresh chives on hand. Oh, and enough rosé to fill two thimble-size glasses.

 

 

We played hooky from the studio today to work from the screened-in summer porch at CH’s house. MH brought a double-smoked kielbasa for lunch and we cooked it with thick slices of sweet onion, some sturdy escarole, and a splash of chicken broth until the onions were soft and “starchy” (that’s how CH describes sweet onions when they release their sugars and thicken the braising juices). We worked, then ate lunch, then went back to work, never leaving  the porch. All the while, the sounds of the wind blowing through the trees and the calls of the song birds kept us humming along.

 

 

We hit a couple of out-of-town farmers’  markets over the weekend, gathering up staples for the week. So nice to have a hunk of good dark bread, a big wedge of Shropshire Blue, and some sliced prosciutto cotto on hand. We can’t wait to get outside on this gorgeous day to plant our potatoes in the garden. So it’s a quick ploughman’s lunch, Canal House style, then off to dig in our spuds.

 

 

There’s hope. We found green-stemmed Vidalia onions and big, fat starchy English peas at the market this morning—harbingers of spring. Joy. So we poached them, then mounted salted Irish butter into the braising juices to make a delicate sauce to spoon over the vernal deliciousness. Cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.

 

 

 

Today we made a big salad in our biggest wooden salad bowl for us then another one in a smaller bowl for our nice neighbor downstairs at Modern Love (just because): velvety spinach leaves with hard-boiled eggs, bacon, blanched haricots verts, scallions, avocados, tomato wedges, house-made croutons, and lots of chives all tossed with a red wine vinaigrette. The sun is shining, a cool breeze is blowing. Our tummies are full. Everything’s all good in the neighborhood.

 

 

We had a big bunch of flat-leaf parsley, a handful of arugula, and some nice-looking fat scallions in our fridge’s vegetable bin. Been craving greens. We must be in need of a good old-fashioned spring tonic. A salad?Yes, tossed with a sharp vinaigrette—a perfect foil for Eliza’s lamb merguez sausage from Jamison Farm. We’re feeling better already.

 

We met at the studio and made this quick, but delicious, bacon and arugula sandwich for today’s lunch. This afternoon we are both off in different directions to accomplish our separate tasks. But of course we needed a little sustenance before heading out. Don’t forget to eat lunch today, dear friends.

 

April really is the cruelest month, this year anyway. All winter, no snow (save for that little blizzard that blew through in January). This weekend, as everything is abloom, came the cold wet shnee. The garden is trying its best to sprout. Even the local supermarket’s bins are showing no signs of spring. So, we continue to cook from a winter larder—with onions and potatoes. And for today’s lunch with salt pork and a fine piece of cod, we made a warm chowder, enriched with butter and milk.

 

This rainy day called for a good hot lunch. So we braised a little cumin-rubbed “cushion” pork roast (part of the shoulder) with onions and apples, and stewed some collard greens with green beans. There was a torrential downpour outside as everything simmered away in the kitchen. The aromas wafted out into the studio and we grew hungrier and hungrier. Man, it tasted good.

 

Just as we were getting our spring on—planting seeds in our garden plots, eating lunch al fresco, ironing our cotton dresses and polishing our sandals—gale force winds blew winter temperatures right back into our river valley yesterday. We are keeping ourselves nourished and warm on this rainy raw day with bowls of hot broth and open-faced sandwiches of olive-oil-fried toast with sautéed baby kale and garlic topped with a poached egg. Stay cozy, dear friends. Spring is teasing us as she always does.