I spotted this patch of blue on my run this morning. Veronica penduncularis or 'Georgia Blue' was growing on the side of the road, poking through dirt, rocks, and debris. Its presence made me ever aware of the signs all around me. Squirrels were chasing each other and searching for food buried before it grew cold. Birds were chirping and gathering bits and pieces for nest building. Daffodils were blooming and trees buds were beginning to swell.
This is the time of year I like to pick up Thoreau's Walden and read about how excited he was for things to start budding and blooming. "Walden was dead and is alive again" he wrote. The rebirth of our landscape ushers in a rebirth for our souls.
Soon, very soon, the landscape (and our dinner plates) will be augmented by ramps, morels, and fiddleheads, those harbingers of springtime.
Places and spaces I look forward to in early spring:
Empire State South-- foraged spring ingredients always sing on the spring menu.
Seven Lamps-- Drew Van Leuvan created the most spectacular spring menu while at One Midtown Kitchen. I had ramps, morels, and fiddleheads in one meal. I have no doubt early spring will be nothing shy of dazzling at Seven Lamps. The winter menu has thrilled me over and over.
100 Mile Dinner-- the next dinner is in March. I anticipate lots I local foraged early spring arrivals or some of Nick Melvin's pickled ramps from last spring.
No. 246-- Drew Belline is an accomplished forager which makes No. 246 extra dreamy in early spring.
Ecco-- Remember last spring when chef Craig Richards covered a pizza in wood violets? It was stunning and, I heard, delicious. Morels with fish; ramps with rabbit; a pasta with both?
Miller Union-- The menu at Miller Union always revolves around the week's harvest. Wasn't there a ramp sabayon on the menu one spring? I could see morels in chef Steven Satterfield's creamed rice dish. I swear I have ordered the dish 10 times.
Hot and Hot Fish Club-- Tasting some of chef Chris Hasting's food during early springtime is worthy of a road trip from Atlanta. He has a large network of foragers that make possible incredible plates like "A forager's walk"- a dish I saw him tweet about. Beautuiful. His foraging seminar at last year's Atlana Food & Wine Festival was the reason I purchased my pass. It is my favorite session since the festival's inception.