FIRST, ASPARAGUS

How appropriate that the first major crop to appear at spring farmers’ market comes from a Greek word meaning sprout.  The appearance of asparagus has signaled the start of the growing season since ancient times.  The simplicity of its preparation can also provide a guidepost for us sidewalk foragers as we gather items for solo…

LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE

Think of something you have long enjoyed eating. Then, think of the person who might have prepared that for you and how the two, the person and their joy of that food, are so intertwined. In mid-May, on Mother’s Day weekend, many equate comforting food with mothers and grandmothers.  Have you asked that person, whether…

A HORIZON OF HARVESTS

The horizon is widely visible on these days in early May when there are still no leaves on the trees. The tips of the branches are greening up. The dampness of the winter thaw is still in the air. The shadows of the bare branches on the sidewalks barely move in the still air. It…

SPRING HOPES

The calendar can play tricks on those of us who live in northern climes.  The astronomical landmark of the equinox on March 20th only teases us into believing that spring has begun here in the temperately tenuous Upper Midwest of Wisconsin. The equinox usually brings a sloppy, melting mess when snows mix with rain to…

Grilled Cheese: Solo Simplicity

There are few items tastier and friendlier to solo eating than a well-made grilled cheese sandwich. OK, I’m biased. I live in “the land of cheese,” Wisconsin.  Most of us likely think of white bread and American cheese as the classic grilled cheese. Yes, I suppose. But, we’re grown-ups now and can use better breads…

The Versatility of Cole Slaw

Cole slaw can often be that overlooked dollop of crunchy veggies on the side of a sandwich or Wisconsin fish fry, if you are fortunate enough to know of that coveted tradition. Slaws, and their many variations, can become welcome mates in the quest to provide variety in “the craft and finesse of cooking and…

Salad Days of Summer

Simplicity seems to be a buzzword in so many facets of lifestyle advice from minimalism to meditation. As I walked among the rows of farmers market stands last Saturday morning, I reminded myself how uncomplicated and gratifying mid-summer food preparation and eating can be, even for solo meals. The crisp crops are delicate from their…

Farmers’ Market Fresh

While the abundance of a farmers’ market may seem the last place to shop for solo meals, the overflowing displays of festive, just harvested vegetables and fruits is the ideal place to find the most delicious and most sensible additions to your solo meals and snacks. Produce purchased at a farmers’ market are super fresh,…

Spring Blossoms & Growing Ideas

The first blossoms of spring surprise me every year. As I walked through the botanical gardens a few days ago, I was wowed by the quilts of soft color that blanketed the tree branches that have yet to be repopulated with the reliability of green leaves. The wispy, wide blossoms are showier than the fruit…

Oven Roasted Vegetables

I enjoy the four seasons we have here in the Upper Midwest. There is value to slowing down in the winter. By March, however, the Wisconsin winter becomes a bit tedious. I start to long for the farmers’ markets of the other three seasons with their supply of fresh vegetables and fruits. How appropriate, however,…