Spring Soul

I figured I’d better go blog and listen to French music before I eat my weight in waffles…

We just received an old-fashioned tiny squared waffle maker (the best kind, or at least my personal favorite), from a friend.  Naturally we had to dive right in and give it a try, and the vanilla buttermilk waffles from the Clinton Street Baking Company cookbook did just the trick.  We ate them simply with butter and syrup but I am already dreaming of the next couple times we make them in the future, with strawberries, a little whipped cream and chocolate shavings…then chicken and waffles (which the Clinton Street book also provides a tasty looking recipe for)!  Sigh

For the past week and a half (and counting), I’ve been fighting with a pesky upper respiratory intruder of a bug.  It’s nasty.  I’m hacking and blowing left and right, downing emergen-c, tea, sleeping with a humidifier, keeping CVS in business, popping a colorful array of meds and keeping a box of kleenex attached to me at all times.  It’s not pretty but it’s kind of fun to make baskets into the trashcan with the balled up tissues and my scoring rate is actually quite good.  The postnasal drip and annoying chest cough have given way to laryngitis and transformed my voice into a sort of sultry, raspy cabaret voice, so I basically sound like Lauren Bacall which is kinda cool.  That’s about the only upside to this…whatever it is…Some way to greet spring, huh?

Things I am Loving right now, in spite of being sick:

  • John Legend’s cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” – it adds a wealth of raw soul to an already incredibly soulful song.


  • Reading The Taste of Country Cooking, by the late Edna Lewis.  It’s a seasonally structured book and begins with spring, so I figured it appropriate to be reading the spring chapter and her picturesque descriptions of nature and food are the perfect thing to read to lull me to sleep at night.  Her writing, which is about the down to earth food she grew up with in Freetown, Virginia and how it was the thread that bound the community together reminds me a lot of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie series that I grew up with.  Reading about skillet wild asparagus, wild strawberry preserves and crispy biscuits are just the thing to get me amped about spring.  And even though it’s considered more of a late summer dish, reading Ms. Lewis’s simple but elegant prose inspired me to make her blackberry cobbler the other night.  Blackberries were on sale and I’ve desperately missed fruit cobblers during these bitter cold months, so I set to work.  The only adjustment I made was substituting lard for butter (since I don’t have lard and didn’t feel like trudging to the grocery to bother the butcher at the meat counter).  This “cobbler” is more like an informal double crust pie and  I continue to be intimidated by dough, because I almost always overwork it (once I add the water, it’s all downhill from there).  However, I refused to let that deter me, for I was on a mission.  Luckily and much to my surprise, it turned out beautifully, bubbly, syrupy and golden brown.  I enjoy mine with a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream (the hot and cold contrast is essential).

  • Seeing Robins and other birds hopping about the yard, which has suddenly turned a vibrant green, having the windows open and seeing Bradford Pear trees, cherry blossoms and rosebud trees in bloom everywhere.  The distinctive change of smell in the air that just smells like spring – especially during an evening thunderstorm.  Spring in North Carolina is truly beautiful.



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