Nearly the End of the Dark Days Eat Local Challenge

I'm cooking again after the big fever. Or more truthfully, I'm obsessed with local food again and my appetite is accommodating. In fact I can hardly stop eating. And there is so much good food.

I baked no knead bread twice over the long weekend and have fallen in love with the bubbly shaggy dough after it's first stage of sitting. I coo to it, "You are a good batch," I say. "Healthy, perfect."

"Who are you talking to?" the cute guy asks.

"No one," I answer.

And in the last stage before the dough goes in the oven, when it's doubled in size and is like a poem or a babies bottom I don't want to bake it. It's so perfectly pretty. But I do and we exclaim over each slice as if it were our first, or our last.

We ate salad this week made from back yard greens, one of which has gone to flower so we ate the flowers too. There was wild arugula and pea shoots from Bolinas, blue cheese from Pt. Reyes, walnuts from Mendocino.

And I steamed new stems of broccoli, mixed them with garlic toasted brown in olive oil. "This is the best broccoli I've ever had," the guy said and I knew life was good because he doesn't like broccoli.

I served asparagus prepared from a recipe at Orangette and his first words were, "It tastes like bacon." And I smiled because he loves bacon.

On the weekend I made fried rice from a recipe at Eat Local Northwest but changed all the ingredients to accommodate our season. I didn't have the oyster sauce the recipe called for and still I ate every last bite before I would have to share it.

On Easter Sunday we had breakfast after the farmers' market with eggs the color of orange Bauer plates, topped with Petaluma mushrooms, shavings of aged goat cheese and diced red serrano wildly spicy, pickled peppers from Happy Girl Kitchen. And toast with butter and jam. And strawberries. And sunshine and shadows. We ate forever. And then we napped.

Tonight because we were running out the door nearly as soon as we'd arrived we ate bean soup with chard from the freezer. I could not have been more appreciative of the ease.

Already I've planed tomorrow night's meal three times, three different ways with local food infused with spring. Infused with that impossible light that happens when the trees bloom. Even the bread has bounce.

I can taste the ground waking and warming, ready to get down to the big business of summer crops. And it tastes so good, so right, I can't get enough.

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