The blackbirds dive in and fly out, perform balancing acts on phone lines and billboard signs. The robins revisit their home, high in the treetop, still intact. The doves, they sing.
Activity in the kitchen is sprouting on a Sunday morning. Quinoa is rinsed under cold water before its release into salted, boiling water. It will simmer and steep.
Energetic hands will chop garlic and shallot, peel and slice button mushrooms.
The sun is pouring in. The warmth feels good. Recharging. I surrender.
Imprisoned by winter. Spring arrives, but visiting hours are short. One more week, a loss of one hour of sleep, and yet another week leading up to release.
Food shopping for the days ahead and crimson tomatoes from far away look so appealing. Long cucumbers of the English variety, Buy in Bulk and Save!
We cannot help ourselves.
"What are you making?"
"A quinoa salad of mushrooms, cucumber, and tomato."
Something bright. Something to nest in. Where Spring and Summer dreams can lay, hatch, grow and flourish.
A Monday lunch of quinoa salad, orange segments and banana bread. Whole foods. Delightful whole foods to nourish and strengthen, bidding lethargy a farewell.
The salad was made simply. A saute of chopped garlic, shallot, crushed red pepper, sliced button mushrooms and parsley in extra virgin olive oil. When all was tender, when the mushrooms had released and dehydrated by 50%, forked fluffy quinoa was added.
Transferred, it cooled in a large Pyrex bowl. Once at room temperature, the addition of diced cucumber and tomato made things complete.
More than a few heaping spoonfuls into a bowl and more fresh parsley as a finishing touch.
Amounts? Whatever wakes you up. For us, it was one cup dry quinoa to 1 1/4 cups salted water. A single clove of garlic (I pull the largest clove I can find). Half a bloated shallot. More than necessary crushed red pepper. A small basket of button mushrooms. Enough extra virgin olive oil to pull what was heated together. Leftover cucumber. One very robust plum tomato. Salt, pepper and parsley to taste.