Tiptoe through the tulips and grill; Spring is here
It’s “officially” spring, and it certainly looks the part this year. There’s nothing timid about the abundant daffodils, full-blown flowering apple and Japanese magnolia trees and lush forsythia bushes.
The grass in our yard has that emerald green, slightly “lumpy” look of new spring grass, not yet tamed by a lawn mower.
Bunches of violets are scattered randomly in the side yard, and a few early dandelions are out, hugging the earth with their big yellow faces on short stems stretching to face the sun.
Maple trees and sweet olive bushes around our house are showing tiny leaves — in the middle of March.
Everything that grows from the earth seems to be in an all-out race to be among the first to emerge. Ordinarily I’d expect a cold snap to put a crimp in spring 2012s flamboyant style, but I have a feeling the soft seasonal weather is here to stay into June or so this year.
I’m sure we’ll pay for this year’s banquet of spring delights at some point in the future — maybe next year — so let’s enjoy it now.
We’ve been having perfect weather for kids’ class trips to the Columbus Zoo (although the polar bears might not agree). A family trip to the zoo is great when the weather’s mild and it’s not quite time for the bugs to come out.
A walk around the block — or two — in this weather is just what a lot of us need to shake off the winter blahs. If you’re working, the afternoon passes a lot more quickly after a lunchtime walk when you’ve breathed some fresh outdoor air and stretched your legs.
Dinnertime begs for something light in this weather. Maybe it’s time to take out the grill and start cooking simple meats to go with cool side dishes in the evening. I like to put “salad-y” side dishes together in the morning to chill all day and serve at dinner. Try sliced Harvard beets tossed with a can of drained Mandarin oranges, old-fashioned Waldorf salad or mixed chopped fresh fruit with no dressing at all.
This marinade is good on both chicken and pork. Marinate your meat overnight, grill or broil, and enjoy with a salad and a cold side dish.
1 boneless loin pork roast or pork tenderloin, or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 green onion
1 large clover garlic
1 tablespoon chili sauce (Bennett’s brand)
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except meat. Mix thoroughly. Pour marinade into a large resealable plastic bag, add meat, and turn to coat all sides.
Refrigerate and marinate meat overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees or light the grill.
Remove meat from marinade, reserving marinade. Place meat on a rack over a shallow pan if roasting inside.
If grilling, place meat directly on the grill. Cook until meat is done inside, about 40 minutes to the pound for a pork roast or 20 minutes for the separate chicken breast halves. Baste frequently.
Allow meat to cool, then slice very thin and serve at room temperature.
Serves four to six.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.