La Bonne Vie: Spring buzz is in the air
I feel a buzz in the air. I can’t quite put my finger on where it’s coming from, but it’s there.
Maybe the weather brings it, with its clear blue skies softened by cotton clouds. Maybe the landscape radiates it, with its green growth spurt and explosion of flowers. Or maybe the humans create it, hands in the dirt and faces turned to the sun.
Whatever the case, the buzz is there and it gets me up and out of my winter cocoon. It pulls me into spring and I am running, flying, observing the rebirth all around me.
The bakery is feeling it as well these days. From 8 in the morning when our door opens until 5:30 when the “closed” sign goes up, we are running, sometimes flying, to that buzz.
Those coming in the door definitely bring some of it; and we create it here, too. We are kept on our toes baking, cooking, making and serving bread and food.
By the end of the day, when things are finally quiet, clean and organized, it feels good to close the door to the bakery and open the door to the outside. I truly need that run in the park to clear my head and to ease out of the busyness behind me.
- RELATED: The allure of mint and a journey through the great Southwest, April 24, 2015
The question these days is how to maintain and take advantage of this springtime energy. My usual response is to go with the flow, at least as long as I can. So I laugh a lot and only complain a little.
I allow myself to be surprised by the steady flow of people coming to partake of our food. I marvel at the variety the world brings to our door. I share the joys and hardships I read on each face. And when I go back into the kitchen, I continue my work with a new respect. I know I am baking for the world.
As long as our customers will have us, we will be there. As long as a new crop of wheat is grown, we will have bread. As long as the spinach and lettuce come up, we will have salad. These seasonal cycles keep us grounded and moving forward.
This week, the dark green leaves of our spearmint plants are poking up so we have to make meadow tea. And for as long as it grows, there will be mint in the salad, or in the soup, or on the lamb roast.
Yes, it’s here again. Do you feel that buzz in the air?
Here is a salad I like to make with mint.
Lentil Salad with Raisins and Mint
- 2½ cups green lentils
- 1½ cups carrots, minced
- 1 cup dark raisins
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ tsp. curry
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Cook lentils in 5 c. water, simmering for 10 to 15 minutes until just soft. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well.
- Combine other ingredients and add to lentils when cool. Mix well and chill. This salad gets better as it ages.