And On Back to Springtime

Maybe it’s all the sunlight and the shock of springtime greenery after these (admittedly mild) winter months, or maybe it’s that wedding planning is very soon going to turn into wedding-happening, but these days, I feel like I’m coming out of a fog, as if I’ve been hibernating and am just now starting to be back in the world.

What happened to February? I asked Mr. WholeHog recently. I don’t  remember it. It passed in a flurry of rain and wedding invites, days spent unpacking in the East Bay and desperately missing SF. I realized how overwhelmed I’d become when my mom said, “The wedding is going to be fun”. Until that point, I hadn’t  allowed myself to even think about it being fun. It was just something that needed to be done.

But I’m happy to say that today, at least, I feel giddy. Maybe it’s that all the wedding stuff is nearly done and I feel lighter without that to-do list haunting me. Some people talk about being depressed after their weddings but at this point, I am so looking forward to getting back to our life: to hikes and camping, to cooking and trying new restaurants, to exploring new neighborhoods and planning our fall trip overseas.

Or maybe I’ve got spring fever. The trees on my walk to BART have transformed from skeletal to lush. Certain blocks in our tree-filled neighborhood glow with new-growth-green. There’s just no way to watch plants seemingly erupt from the dirt and trees explode into blossoms not see this time of year as a fresh start.

blossoms

The farmers market is always my best seasonal reminder but each year, I’m surprised at how early spring produce arrives. In early March, when the trees were still bare, the market was full of  asparagus, fava beans, artichokes and pea shoots. Amazingly, this weekend brought the first strawberries of the year.

With the move and the wedding, our meals have often been simple, but all this bright new produce has led us back to some of our favorite recipes from one of our very favorite cookbooks, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook.

Truly one of the cheeriest-looking dishes is Zuni’s take on carbonara: those bright Marin Sun eggs make for such a sunny dish, speckled with Fatted Calf bacon and green fava beans (instead of peas). With the asparagus, we turned once again to Zuni for the super easy pancetta, asparagus and rice soup. The artichoke recipe takes the most time but it’s worth it: halved ‘chokes are massaged with salt and oil and nestled in a bed of yellow onions, lemon, mint and olives.

artichoke

Of course, the promise of free time and the good food of springtime help boost ones mood but let’s be honest: a healthy dose of giddiness is just a drink away. And we’ve been doing a lot of drinking these past few weeks (all necessary wedding preparation, I can assure you).

May I suggest that if you are going to procrastinate on one part of your wedding, put off deciding on your wine. We’ve spent many of these pre-wedding nights getting looped on wine. (A taste is not nearly enough to make a decision. You’ll want to know if you like this wine after one glass, and what about after two?). One night, we ate pizza with sparkling wine. I loved that.

The extra wine consumption feels indulgent and decadent and yet the wedding makes this one of the few times in life when drinking can also be considered productive. How can you decide what wines to bring to your wedding unless you try them? So try them all. Try them often. And try them late.

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One Response to “And On Back to Springtime”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Oh, the wedding will definitely be fun. We’ve all decided that already. And three cheers (literally) for drinking.
    Depressed after weddings? I couldn’t be more relieved after mine – all that planning and questioning is finally over, and now it’s time to really enjoy being married.

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