Celebrating Life: Cycles, Seasons, Creations

Feb 27, 2019

Photograph by Tara Evans

A celebration: Embracing the flow of the seasons of life in our kitchens, gardens and souls

Happy Birthday Newsletter! Hurray!!

I can hardly believe that I actually wrote and created content every month for a year — and that I’m still feeling super inspired to keep on going. As a matter of fact, more than inspired…overflowing with creative visions as cookbooks and projects dance in my head. Thank you to all who have been reading our musings, cooking our recipes and sharing your feedback. It means so much to know our words are extending beyond the restaurant kitchen and into your homes and hearts.

We have become a true community.

So here we are in March again when it all began. Spring is fast approaching and we have completed the cycle of a year full of seasons and weather patterns, emotions and changes both expected and unexpected.

In the language of planting seeds and tending gardens, I want to know, what did you plant and nurture? What has grown this past year?

For me, I have allowed myself to surrender to trust — trusting my heart and trusting my creative impulses.

Even if things didn’t work out the way I hoped or planned for, I have grown in my trust that something else will work out instead. And oftentimes that ‘something’ is better than I could have imagined.

I live in a new home and have a brand new garden to plant and explore (literally and figuratively) this spring. The stress of being uprooted over the winter has evolved into the excitement for the blank slate of a new garden (and life) adventure.

For the first time in 10 years, I now have a place with full-sun all day long. It has a generous-sized stone patio that I already envision lined with red clay pots filled with bright colored geraniums and pansies.

My inoculated shiitake mushroom logs will be propped up under the shade of a mystery tree (I have yet to learn how to ID deciduous trees in the winter, but stay tuned). And in the small strip of dirt just  outside my front door, I have my large blue iris that I brought from the old house and replanted just days before the ground froze. Hello old friend.

I am looking forward to early morning outdoor time where I can sit and write under the sky. I am looking forward to fresh spring greens like dandelions, nettles and ramps (sustainably harvested of course). And after a winter of snow and ice, I’m hoping the forest will be wet enough to create another stellar mushroom season. Last year was incredible. Keep your eyes open for morels popping up hopefully in April.

But for now, we are still at spring’s wild edge; where one moment it is warm in the shining sun (teasing us playfully) and the next, ice is falling over a layer of snow (jolting us back to reality).

I find myself in a t-shirt with winter boots most days caught somewhere in between, ready for both.

And accordingly, at this time of year I’m craving warm and tender foods such as the vegetable quiche in this month’s recipe. But I’m also craving the cool crisp bitter greens that can be found in early spring as they help to awaken our digestion and palettes. Spring is a beautiful time to stir the pot of your creativity, to dream of the coming year, to plan adventures and reconnect to self-care.

Nature is waking up, let’s wake up with her and stretch open our arms and hearts to the warm sun on the inside and out. Hello March, I see you.

—Chef Christine Moss, The Garden Cafe Woodstock

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