Alive and Well Beneath the Snow

We had a lot of melting this weekend, thanks to bright sunshine and temperatures in the 50s. 

The 50s!

It would appear that I have fully acclimated to life as a New Englander. When we first moved here 16 years ago, I would shiver in my car in the mornings, and end up with cramps in my legs from all the tension in my muscles trying to ward off the cold. For real.

Now I find that with the right gear (fleece, ski jacket, lined hat, lined boots, insulated and waterproof gloves), I can shrug off all but the worst of the polar vortex like a native.

But the real sign that I've acclimated? I didn't even glance at most of those items today. It was just shy of 40 degrees outside when I left the house yesterday morning, but the sun was out, and a fleece and sneakers  (and regular clothes, of course) were plenty to enjoy a good long hike around town today. 

I ended up taking off the fleece about halfway through.

I'm not the only one enjoying the sudden warmth. Look what I found outside:

I was able to pick a big salad bowl of spinach, mache, and kale from our cold frames. It's been quite some time since we've been able to get to them, but I am pretty good about getting at least enough snow removed so they can get some light. Today, though, the ice that had been sealing them shut was gone:

And inside, just as we left them in January, were our winter greens. They are even showing new growth, thanks to our longer days. I tried not to over-pick them so they will keep producing, but it was hard not to get greedy. 

I mean, we haven't had a salad in ages. (You know, since we're not buying veggies and all.) This has been a unusually harsh winter, so our greens were stunted early and then made inaccessible for weeks. 

So we are very glad to have a few salads in our future, and it's yet another sign that spring is, eventually, coming. That salad, will wait until tomorrow, though. We decided to take full advantage of our great weather today to grill:  

I wish I had a photo of Kirk flipping burgers out among the snow banks. But that's how we roll now that we've acclimated: 53 degrees and grilling outside on charcoal! (Don't worry — we ate it inside.)

Dinner last night was soooooo good: a real, grilled cheeseburger with spinach and sandwich pickles, a couscous, spinach, and sundried tomato salad with a bit of Italian dressing, and oven-fried potatoes. 

Yum. Yum. Yum. 

And a preview of warmer days to come.


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