It’s day one of spring hatching on our magic pond and she’s oozing water above a depth of ice. They say you can ski across her cracked and weakened blocks, for the length of a ski—tip to tail—spreads your weight so that even the heft of a morbid thought sidles across your mind.
Given our general lack of courage for a down and dirty lifestyle, once the ice breaks and echoes beneath us, we wide-eye and light-foot our way to shore, galumphing soused boots and skis onto a dense snow-bank to trench our way to the house in hardened ski ruts.
We’re safe inside, until news of an all-of-a-sudden threat to all of humanity Chicken Littles onto the airwaves.
Like all news of today we imagine it will settle into the dust of tomorrow and as spring wriggles outside, we secure inside for we are home, at our beloved Back of the Moon. Here, where even amid worldly cares, we can let dust bunnies populate.
There is a seriousness and enormity to this calamity that eventually underscores friends—all who agree to cancel a long-awaited dinner reunion. With cyber-hugs and a new list-item for our buckets, we wait to mate elbows as we wait out the eternal spring of 2020—its emerging crescents of pond water and vernal pools, its gestures of gradual submission, its thaw floating toward the end drain.
Always, on the second day of this great slush, Mergansers slide from the sky, skidding on, into, and around a small, liquid lunar-curve. This is their way.
As we muddle through the madness of March, witness the character building of April, and long for when our seeds sown in little pots inside situate outside, cozy under a new moon, we learn Switzerland has removed the ban on hugging your grandchildren.
The summer of 2020 will tell more tales of winters to come and we’ll skip in tune to our Moon with sustainable truths slogging us from our beginning to our end—for there is no halting hope—as that is our way.
MUSIC TO COOK BY
To mimic our quarto Vivaldi's Four Seasons comes to my ears! La Primavera, Spring, is first just as in this blog series.
Spring Pea Soup
2-3 lbs. English peas*
1 small bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
1 leek, white section only, sliced
3-4 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves separated from stems
4-5 c. chicken stock or water for vegetarian option
1/2 -3/4 c. of heavy cream
3 strips of sliced cooked bacon, chopped for optional garnish
Shell the peas and place pods in a pot with fennel, onion, mint stems, and half of the mint leaves.
Cover with stock or cold water and simmer for about 30 minutes to an hour.
Strain off broth and discard pods, fennel, onion, and mint. Return broth to pot and reduce by a third or until it tastes like a good pea broth. Remove and cool in a refrigerator.
Cook the peas until tender, strain and place in refrigerated broth.
When everything is chilled, blend batches of the broth with peas.
Strain through a medium sieve. Taste for salt.
Add half a cup of cream. Add more cream if desired.
Place in serving bowl and garnish with remaining mint leaves and chopped bacon.
*If English peas are unobtainable substitute ¾ lb. sugar snaps or snow peas and instead of peas from pod use 1-2 boxes of frozen peas to pureé with the broth.