Changing seasons in the first person

My kitchen and I are in between seasons.

I have spent the past few months eating root veggies and squash, cooking meats over slow heat, to help heat the house and make decent dinners.  If only I could have some fresh greens to go with my wine-braised rabbit.  I’m getting tired of celeriac.  It’s not easy to eat seasonally in this province.

Spring is a time of birth.  It is also a very brief and occasionally difficult time of transience in Nova Scotia.

Farmers are still worrying about frost damaging their crops.  People in kitchens are dreaming of the upcoming bounty.  And I’m already starting to miss the heat of the oven, the slowing down of time that comes with simmering and roasting.  No matter how excited we get for the first green shoots to come up out of the ground –  the early rhubarb, the asparagus- there’s a part of me that still wishes we had room to make slow-simmered pots of food.

It’s late May, on a sunny afternoon, and I am in the kitchen, making an apple crisp with frozen apples that I had already cored and peeled and put into Ziploc baggies for the dead of winter.  I also added some frozen cranberries that my mother and father have picked themselves, in a small bog not far from there home.  If my memory serves me, my father got poison ivy getting me these berries.  Thanks again Dad.

For dinner tonight, I am making a salad with some of the first radishes of the season.  But I am making a compromise to the seasons:  braised ox tails are slowly simmering in the oven.  I open the windows to make the best of both world. Fresh air coming in, and the heat of the oven slowly dissipating toward the incoming season.