All that drippy sounding stuff I said in April about spring being here? Forget I ever mentioned it. It proceeded to snow again amidst the usual punishing wind of a New Mexico spring. The only good side to that is that I can make soup without feeling like I’m clinging to the wonders of winter cooking. I really can move forward when situations change, really I can. But soup is so wonderful, what can I say.

At least I’m trying to think of something brothy and full of vegetables instead of sludgy stew-like creations that stick to you ribs. I have big plans for minestrone this weekend. And you know it is a big plan because I’m using a Cooks Illustrated recipe and those usually require a time commitment akin to painting your bathroom with a cotton swab.

But enough about my hopes and cooking dreams for the upcoming week. What has really been on our plates as of late? Well, our new refrigerator played a big part in our menu a few weeks back. There is nothing like unloading a refrigerator to really take stock of things. The foil wrapped frozen banana, the bag with three tablespoons of cranberries, into a smoothie you go. The lovely gift of grapefruit marmalade, have I got a slice of toast calling your name. Why do I have three plastic wrapped disks of pie dough? Why do we have so many packages of bacon? I was actually able to assess, rearrange and start using thing. I’m still getting a strange sense of satisfaction from looking in the freezer and seeing neat stacks. It was great spring cleaning.

We have all these wonders in the freezer and a bounty of spring vegetables in the crispers. Beneficial Farms CSA has been sending us cartloads of greens as of late and we are starting to lose track. What’s this large bag of greenery: kale, collards, chard, or lettuce? Let me think. I’ve been doing a lot of close stem analysis to see what is what and what can be done with it. We’ve had salad every night and greens sneaked in to everything I can think of. The one saving grace of this greens onslaught is that they look like more than they are. Once you blanch what appears to be a mighty pile of collards, they make two decent servings. After which we congratulate ourselves for consuming such a healthy thing and the fact that one bag of greens is done. Bulky but manageable.

We also have some odd things like scorzorena that mystified us but apparently is not that unusual. Paging through The Joy of Cooking I came across a recipe using it. If those squares know what to do with it than how weird can it be? Also our own garden has produced an early bumper crop of arugula. It’s a tough bugger that overwintered and went crazy. We have a mighty bag of it thankfully harvested before it got too spicy. Apparently I’m not the only one because I’ve been seeing arugula recipes all over the place. I finally got to use the rhubarb in our garden and one fruit crisp recipe took up a fair amount of the stalks. We might get enough for a strawberry rhubarb pie but only time will tell.

The herbs in the garden are going crazy with the oregano bent on world domination. The bees are flitting about and our seedlings have been put into their garden plots. Maybe just maybe I can really think that spring has arrived but I’m still making a pot of soup, just in case.


'Why do we have so many packages of bacon?'

Preparedness takes many forms and having lots of bacon is just good planning.

Oh come on! Can you have too much bacon?!?