Saturday, April 25, 2009

Springtime in New England

Living in New England, we've come to expect the weather to turn in a blink of an eye. Even when the calendar turned the page into April, in the back of our minds, most of us are still dreading the impending arrival of that last snowstorm (sort of a last hurrah by Mother Nature to close out a sometimes-difficult winter season). So it was with a sigh of relief that we finally hit 80F on the thermometer scale today. Even as the TV weathermen try to inform us that winter is finally over and to welcome the new spring season, in the back of the minds of us New Englanders, it's never over until we hit that magical 8-0 number on the thermometer.

And today, we finally crossed over that proverbial threshold. Goodbye Old Man Winter! It's now time to put the snowblower away for the season and to bring out the lawnmower. The changing of the guard, if you will. All I can say is, it's about time!

With spring also comes the in-season fruits and vegetables. Among the more popular ones include asparagus, artichoke, vidalia onions, arugula, chards, peas, radishes, strawberries, grapefruit and apricots. Incorporating these various ingredients into our daily meals is a rite of spring for most chefs and avid home cooks. Nowadays, most of these fruits and vegetables are available year round due to the ease of transporting them anywhere in the world. However, it's always a great feeling to be able to obtain these ingredients locally.

In the next few weeks, I'll be trying to incorporate these spring favorites into my dishes. So watch out for them. As a preview, I'll start off this Monday by making Caribbean Jerk Chicken with a refreshing fruit salad. See you then!

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