By Danielle French

Spring. Long Time in Arriving

This spring has been a long time in coming. I wake up early and sit in a corner of my office slowly watching the day begin. Lately, it is deceiving – the sun and the way the light comes across the field it seems like it will be a warm day and then it really isn’t. A giant ice storm on the weekend has kept us all indoors and for the first time, cancelling workshops and evening dinners. It’s a cold and windy start to the spring. Hard to believe that a Mother’s Day brunch in the barn is in just one month!

south pond winter barn

We’ve been doing as much of a outdoor clean up as we can to get ready for the summer season. As the snow thaws and reveals the yard, it’s plain to see evidence of the dogs. Calls to nature, dog bones. They are spread around the property like dust bunnies. It might appear like a minefield when walking from the drive shed to the house. I often joke that it’s stressful to have people come up to the front door because of all the debris littered like along the path. It requires ongoing attention every week making sure things are picked up and removed. It’s as if there is another extension of tidying the house before guests arrive only it is the outdoors!

We’ve put seeds to start in the greenhouse and direct planted in the hoop house. Everything is sprouting nicely and it’s so inspiring to think about having fresh greens and vegetables again. I make a spring spinach dish that I love that my mother used to make as an easy dinner when we were kids – creamed spinach with fried eggs. I love it. I made it for Shawn and Aubrey Rose the other night but just as a side no eggs. The bright green colour is a nice addition to the plate this time of year when outside it is completely brown.

This is simple to make. Serve with two fried eggs on top or just serve along side of whatever is on your dinner menu. You can use fresh spinach or frozen – either work perfectly.

2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 medium size onion, thinly sliced
1 10 oz box frozen spinach or about 10 cups fresh spinach
A dash of water
½ cup chicken broth or table cream
salt , pepper
Grated fresh nutmeg or a pinch of dried

In a saucepan with a lid, sauté the onion in the fat on medium heat until soft. Add the spinach. If using the fresh spinach you will need a splash of water in the pan to prevent any burning. Stir and cover for about 5 minutes until the spinach is cooked through. Remove from heat. Put the contents in a blender and add the cream or broth and puree until it is perfectly smooth. Add in the salt and pepper. Serve warm with grated nutmeg on top.

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