Good morning. It’s getting toward ice-out season in some parts of the country, everything melting, making way for buds and flowers. It’s not pretty. (In Vermont, they call it mud season. Maine, too. In Alaska, it’s breakup.) Everything’s dirty, everything’s wet. But that little softness in the air? Those pale green shoots in the wrecked grass at the park? They are promised of a lovely season to come, even if the act of writing those words will no doubt bring one last vicious snowstorm to my door.
I want to cook to that promise this weekend, to make my version of Jules Feiffer’s “Dance to Spring.” And though I know that the asparagus at the market isn’t yet in season, that it comes from factory farms far away, I can still salivate at the idea of this turmeric-black pepper chicken with asparagus. I’d thrill to an asparagus, goat cheese and tarragon tart (above). I’d like to make spring tofu soup.
More appropriate to the actual time of the year, perhaps, is this pressure cooker bo ssam, which comes together quite quickly in an Instant Pot. Though I’ll eat it in lettuce wraps with kimchi, I like the spicy radish salad that’s in the recipe, too.
I could absolutely see myself with a big wedge of Trinidadian macaroni pie this weekend, perhaps alongside some of this amazing chicken. Also, how about these portobello patty melts? And these turkey meatballs in tomato sauce? Cheesecake pudding for dessert, whatever happens.
One more possibility. Jocelyn Ramirez gave us a fine new recipe for tacos dorados de papa, crispy potato tacos, in which you mash boiled potatoes into a quick fresh tomato purée before folding them into tortillas and frying them. Nice.
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Now, it’s a long day’s journey from anything to do with granola or ramps, but I went down a rabbit hole the other day and found this 1978 dispatch in the Village Voice, about the newspaper’s search for those behind the then-ubiquitous graffiti tag” SAMO©,” “the most ambitious — andssentious — of the new wave of Magic Marker Jeremiahs.” That is, Al Diaz and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Please read Dwight Garner, in The Times, on literature and refugees, and how closely they’re tied together in history and on our shelves.
More history: In the Anchorage Daily News, David Reamer recently looked into what happened to John Suter, an Iditarod musher who in the 1980s brought a new breed of sled dogs to the race: the poodle.
Finally, here’s Willie Jones to play us off, “Slow Cookin’” Listen to that all weekend, and I’ll see you on Sunday.