While each new month is an opportunity to start fresh, April is my favorite for new beginnings. For all the typical reasons you’ll hear from most people: crocuses and daffodils, longer days, etc. I am as susceptible to these ciphers of spring as you’d expect me to be. More than any of that though, my birthday is in April, and who can resist the urge to evaluate and (at least attempt to) redirect and recharge at the start of one’s personal new year? With that in mind, here’s a few ways I’ll be spending my birth month.
Eating Oeufs-en-Cocotte (sans the cream). I lamented in my last post that I feel the need to lighten up, to enjoy some brighter flavors. That said, the things I’m really craving (fresh tomatoes and peaches) aren’t in season yet, and they aren’t things that can be forced. That’s why I love recipes like this one by Caitlin Van Horn of Roost, it takes all the flavors I love, tomatoes, swiss chard, basil, and onions, and makes them appropriate for this season, roasting the tomatoes, sauteing the chard with the onions and some garlic, adding a bit of balsamic vinegar and lots of Parmesan cheese. The best thing about this meal? There’s no cream. The dish gets its decadence from the egg and the cheese. Served with some red wine, it’s great for a brunch or a weeknight dinner.|
Organizing my books. When M and I moved to Boston we brought with us seven, rather large, bookcases. Alas, even given all the ratty paperbacks that I donated, we still have far more books than shelves to house them. For the longest time, they’ve lived stacked on the floor or teetering precariously on every available end table. We abandoned any attempt at organization; finding a particular book was like playing Where’s Waldo, Beckett next to Salinger, Forster next to Winterson. But now? NOW we’re the owners of two more, rather towering bookcases, and I’m frothing at the mouth to get all the books off the floor and into some semblance of order. I get as excited about this chore as some people do for football games (or so they tell me, and I endeavor to believe them.)
Taking more walks. Spring walks! Oh there’s nothing better in the world: striding along under the buds of flowering trees, skin prickling with sun, cool rushes of air that bring the joyous racket of birds. We treat the return of spring like just another hunk of days, but when you think about it, the luckiest of us only experience it roughly 80 or so times. Hell, I’ve watched Almost Famous more than 80 times. And just think of how many times you’ve done something like vacuum or do your laundry, far more than 80, I’d imagine (I’d hope?)
Drinking Lillet Blanc. Once you’ve taken your stroll amongst the drowsy bees and tulips, you need to refresh yourself accordingly. Lillet Blanc, a French aperitif wine, is basically springtime in a bottle, chill and delicate and sweet. It’s great on its own, and it’s wonderful in cocktails as well. I’m sure it’ll be popping up on the blog quite a bit in the weeks to come.
Listening to Buika. Yeegad but do I love Concha Buika. I first discovered the Spanish singer while watching Almodovar’s The Skin I’m In. I was completely transfixed. I was Googling her before the movie was even over, and quickly became a devoted worshiper. Her voice is raspy and broken and soaring and perfect. As the best possible gift, M will be taking me to see her for my birthday. I can’t WAIT!