All of the ice has finally melted off of our roof. This is major, because it means no more waking in the middle of the night to the ungodly, gut-wrenching sound of a large, heavy sheet of ice falling off the roof and sounding for all the world like half the house just collapsed. Dean wanted to practice some soccer when we got home yesterday, but the lawn is still completely covered in snow and the driveway is crisscrossed with rivers of run-off -- for a boy who doesn't want to deal with a ball once it's soaking wet, muddy, and coated with sand and grit, this isn't a good way to start soccer. So we took a walk to the end of our street instead, listening for birdsong and wagering when we'll hear our first spring peepers. The emergence of those tiny frogs with HUGE voices from the muck and mud is always a reason to rejoice. Be inspired by wish jar to explore what's happening in the world around you and be sure to read her list posted on 3/18.
I found out that my nephew's wife Erin crochets; she's working on a blankie for the baby she's expecting in June. I sent her this link to tempt her into the world of crocheted softies. They don't live close enough to us, unfortunately, so that means she can't teach me to crochet (and also means I don't get to babysit, which is heartbreaking). The older I get, the more depressing the whole family-spread-across-the-country business becomes.
A perfect kind of jumping-the-gap between winter and spring recipe is this Slow Cooked Beef and Cabbage; lest you be put off by the word "cabbage," let me tell you that Ken is solidly anti-cabbage himself and yet could not stop eating THIS cabbage and has asked that this earn a place in the regular rotation:
About 3 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast (I hate the fact that cuts of meat get called all different things all over the place -- this is a decent cut of meat; not the stringy, tough kind that calls for stewing)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 cups beef broth, heated
Allspice and tarragon, garlic salt and pepper, in amounts that make sense to you
4 Yukon Gold or other waxy potatoes, quartered
1 small head of green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
Brown the beef in the olive oil on top of the stove in a heavy pot over med-high heat.
Pour the broth into a slow cooker, add the spices and transfer the browned beef to the slow cooker. Add the potatoes, and work the wedges of cabbage in around the beef. Set the cooker for 8 hours and go have your day. (I did turn the meat at about the 4 hour mark just to feel useful, but I don't think it's necessary.) Carefully remove the roast and shred it lightly (it WILL just fall apart). Serve with the potatoes and cabbage (which have taken on a quality of rich, buttery, deeply flavored goodness) and be comforted, filled, and delighted. (Unless you're a vegetarian....)