24 March 13 • MAV

This week we got to say a big GOODBYE to winter. It’s officially spring!

Sure, here in Maine we had a big snowstorm on the first day of spring but still, I was saying it loud and proud: GOODBYE, winter. GOODBYE!

Each year, as March ends and April begins, I like to pull out a sheet of paper and make a “Springtime MAV List.”

I set some small goals for April and May. After being cooped up by winter months, I can feel a little lost and I find that I just need some goals. I think about creative goals, relationship/friendship goals and nourishment and wellness goals. I try to be realistic about what simple things might help me get rid of the winter dullness.

This year I’m thinking of a mish-mash of beach walks, yoga, happy hour drinks with friends, green veggies, oats, play-dates with my nephews, lavender & rose essential oil, early wake-up-times, nettle tea, lots of laughing, new make-up, vitamin C and most of all, cotton. I am so over wool!

So join me in saying GOODBYE to winter (at least those of you on this season cycle) and HELLO to spring. Maybe you might want to get out a piece of paper and make your own “Springtime List?” Let me know what you find on yours, I’d love to hear. (Email me at mav{at}3191milesapart.com.)

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All images are film photograph outtakes from the Deep Winter gallery from 3191 Quarterly, Issue No. 11. This new issue releases on May 17, 2013. NOTE: We have just a handful of copies of Issue No. 9 left … it’s nearly gone!

24 March 13 • SCB

Here in Oregon, spring has arrived. We are frosted pink. The weather is mercurial. Sunshine switches to torrential downpour and back to sunshine in a matter of minutes. We are rewarded with rainbows.

I am loving the longer days where daylight stretches into the dinner hour, but would rather leave time for an evening walk than spend time in the kitchen. This week, I wanted to share a quick and simple pasta recipe that can be made ahead of time, comes together quickly and takes advantage of either hardy winter or early spring greens.

I have been making this recipe for at least 10 years, and I can no longer remember where I first found the idea. In our family, we call it “green sauce”, and it is simply greens blended with ricotta which we toss with pasta. It is an excellent way to use up greens that have become a bit wilted or those you find tough or strongly-flavored. I have used everything from beet greens to chard to kale in this recipe. The ricotta and the blending really mellow out even bitter greens, making it very kid-friendly. I make the sauce in advance when I know I will have to throw together a dinner quickly, store it in the fridge, and just toss it with pasta at the last minute.

We serve ours with Parmesan, lemon wedges, and toasted sliced almonds. In the summer, it is great topped with fresh tomatoes.

Pasta with “Green Sauce”

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups washed and chopped greens of your choice (some stems are fine!)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup whole milk ricotta (good quality, full-fat ricotta makes a difference here)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound pasta of your choice

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet large enough to hold the greens (although, they will cook down quickly). Add garlic, cook for a minute and then add greens, tossing to coat with oil. Allow greens to cook down, adding water or broth if necessary, until wilted, but still truly green. Transfer greens to a blender or food processor and add ricotta, lemon zest and generous amounts of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and uniform. Taste and adjust seasoning. Store until ready for use, and then toss with hot pasta and serve.

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A few past posts that might be fun to revisit this week:

Naturally dyed eggs

Shibori-style dyed eggs

Feather dyed eggs