I took an unofficial poll amongst my friends (‘tis the season) and confirmed what I thought all along: I am in the small minority of people who prefer cold weather and the seasons that come with it. More than likely, this stems from a classic case of wanting what I can’t have. Growing up in Texas, while I certainly experienced cold weather (and even a little snow each year), I mostly experienced the heat. My tastes, however, are more suited to warm blankets, hot soup, and lots of layers. Now that I live in New York City, the seasons are much more clearly defined, and I am more than a little sad to say goodbye to winter.
All’s not lost, however! Although spring does give way to summer, it has plenty to offer in the meantime. I will admit that after a long and cold winter, even I start to get excited when I see restaurants dragging out their sidewalk furniture and big umbrellas. I love getting together with friends, picking a restaurant with outdoor seating, and people watching over a lazy afternoon; spring, more than any other season, lends itself well to this activity.
Spring also has some delicious seasonal produce to offer; some of my favorites, in fact! I’ve mentioned before on this blog how much I love onions and garlic. They are a year-round presence in my cooking, but they are at their best in the spring. The same goes for asparagus and beets. One vegetable that really does represent spring for me, though, is the artichoke. I have fond memories of eating artichokes in the kitchen while dinner finished up on the backyard grill: rapidly dipping the leaves in a lemon butter sauce so that we got to the heart as quick as possible.
For my first post regarding spring, I knew I had to make something with artichokes. I chose the spinach and artichoke dip that was posted on the blog back in March of 2014. Before looking at this recipe, I would have assumed that making spinach and artichoke dip, beloved appetizer of the masses, would be a work-intensive recipe, potentially taking the better part of the day for something that will be devoured so quickly. I am pleased to report that I was wrong. The most time consuming part is boiling the artichokes for thirty minutes, but as the recipes points out that leaves plenty of time to get the rest of the ingredients assembled and prepared. It almost feels like cheating when you learn how to make something at home that is so synonymous with eating out, but with this recipe it is easy enough to do just that. Now to find enough outdoor space for my own table and umbrella…