Although I sympathize with folks who are still getting fresh snowfall and for whom spring is off in the distance, or even a memory as south of the equator it's looking like fall, around here there are lots of signs of spring.
The wild iris are blooming, so are buttercups in the meadow and pink shooting stars. The ferns have been unfurling for a month and grow taller each day. Best of all, the apple blossoms have begun. Since I live in a traditional apple producing region, there are places where enough apple trees are massed together that you can smell the sweet fragrance when you drive by. The blossoms bloom and finish in a very short time, so I treasure that fragrance while it is here.
Another sign of spring is the appearance of fat green asparagus spears at the market at a reasonable price. A few mornings ago for breakfast I fixed an omelet using an egg substitute, an asparagus spear that I had sliced into coins and steamed quickly in the microwave, some sauteed mushroom slices, some shredded cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. So simple, but so good. Alongside I had some toasted wholegrain bread, full of sunflower seeds. It's baked at the Wild Flour Bread bakery in Freestone in a wood fired brick oven and is amazingly good.
More asparagus recipes will show up very soon. Their season is short, too, for California grown ones. They just are the taste of spring for me.
Spring Asparagus Omlet for One
3-4 slices of mushroom (about 1 large) diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 fat asparagus spear (or 2 thin ones), bottom end snapped off, then washed and sliced in coins
1/2 cup egg substitute or 2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese
In a small non-stick or seasoned cast iron skillet, sautee' the mushroom a minute or two until the edges are a bit browned.
Meanwhile, put the asparagus coins in a heat proof small cup, add 1 teaspoon of water, cover and microwave 1 minute at half power, then drain.
To the skillet with the mushrooms, add the eggs, sprinkle with the asparagus and cheese. As the egg sets, pull the edges toward the center, letting the uncooked egg seep to the sides of the pan. Turn off the heat and cover with a pot lid. After about a minute check to see if the cheese is melted. Once the cheese is melted, use a spatula to fold the omlet in half and transfer it to a plate. Enjoy while piping hot.