Monday, September 05, 2011

Spring Feelings.

The weather has been glorious the last couple of days in my neck of the woods, and everyone I seem to meet hails this as a fitting start to Spring – which ‘they’ say began officially on the first of September. Now, I don’t know how ‘official’ this starting point is, and I certainly don’t know who made the decision, but I always thought that that Spring (or Autumn/Fall, in the Northern hemisphere) began with the September equinox. This year, if the Celestial Rules rule, then Spring will start at 7.04 pm on September 23rd.

I don’t know why it matters to me, but it does. I shouldn’t bother my pretty little head with such astronomical ideas. Instead, with apologies to my Northern hemisphere friends, I will give you some appropriate recipes for the season, whenever it is.

To make Spring Soup.
TAKE twelve Lettices, cut them in Slices, and put them into strong Broth, get six green Cucumbers, pare them, and cut out the Cores, cut them into little Bits, and scald them in boiling Water, and put them into your Broth.; let them boil very tender, with a Mutchkin of young Pease and some Crumbs of Bread.
A new and easy method of cookery, (1755) by Elizabeth Cleland.

Spring Soup.
Take a handful of chervil, three heads of celery, three lettuces, two heads of leeks, a little parsley, and chop them all very fine; put them into a stew-pan with a piece of butter, and let them simmer on the fire for a few minutes, then add to them two quarts of broth, and let it boil until it is reduced to three pints,
The practical cook, English and foreign, by J. Bregion and A. Miller.

Spring Cake.
Fifteen eggs, the weight of 14 in sugar, and 7 in flour, the rind and juice of 2 lemons.
The Creole Cookery Book (1885)

Quotation for the Day.

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. 
Henry Van Dyke


Les said...

These are very springy soups. Here we are getting over a month of 100F temps down to a mild 78 degrees F.

I never understood why anyone would core a cucumber since it seems not much is left after the coring. Am I missing something here? The seeds seem innocuous. I've been eating a lot of gazpacho to counteract the summer heat and have been peeling the cucumber and throwing the rest in the blender.

Piet said...

Les - I've heard people say that it's the cucumber seeds that give them gas pains. I've also heard that it was the skin. Maybe that's why? I've never had a problem with cucumbers, so I only peel them "for pretty" sometimes, and never bother to core them.

I love the soups, though. The lettuce soup does sound delicious and very spring-y.

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Les and Piet. Thanks for your comments. I dont usually peel or core cucumbers either - unless the skins seem particularly thick, or i want pretty too.