It's hard to pinpoint why, but I'm finding the whole spring thing a bit exhausting this year, just between you and me. It's like I haven't quite adjusted to those extra hours yet. They offer so much more time to get up and do! It's all a bit taxing, really.
It's exciting, though, too. Spinach and peas are up in the greenhouse, and a little row of radishes just popped up the other day. Most afternoons, we even have to open the door, to let it cool down in there. The temperature's gotten as high as 90 (!), when the sun's out, around noon. I'm thinking of going on a tropical vacation this weekend, right there in the front yard. I'll mix up a pitcher of fizzy grape juice, call a friend or two, and haul out my favorite blue and white polka-dot bikini. Beat that, June!
Springtime also means the simplicity of summer cooking is on the way, and frankly, at the end of a week like this, I can't help but hope it comes soon. Remember the days when breakfast was as simple as a pint of strawberries? When dinner could be a beefsteak tomato, a few slices of homemade mozzarella, basil, and a pinch of sea salt? Honestly, I can't wait for those days to return.
In the meantime, I have something almost as easy for you. When you get home from work this afternoon, crack open a beer (preferably something hoppy, or maybe Belgian-esque, like a Hefeweizen, or an amber ale) take a good swig, and pour the rest into a large soup pot. Grab another beer, and do it again. Add some butter, maybe a sprig of thyme, a squeeze of lemon juice, and an onion, too, for good measure. Now bring it all to a boil, throw in two dozen littlenecks, and in about three minutes, when the shells are open, pat yourself on the back and declare dinner done.
See how easy that was?
Now grab the pot, and haul the whole mess outside to the porch. Crack open a bottle of white wine, take off your shoes, and eat the whole darn thing, flinging the shells into the woods.
LITTLENECKS STEAMED IN BEER
2 hoppy beers
2 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons butter
a squeeze of lemon juice
24 littleneck clams
Pour beer into a large soup pot. Add onion, thyme, and butter, and bring to a boil. Throw in clams, soaked and cleaned. Steam 3 minutes, or until shells have just opened. Squirt a bit of lemon juice over top and haul the whole put outside. I like the broth just as much as the clams.
P.S. Did you see the news?!