With spring just a day away, Ottawa has seen some beautiful and unusual weather the past few days. Can you recall a March in which there was hardly any snow left on the ground? Or, how about days of endless sunshine? Nope, I didn’t think so!
With the majority of elementary and high school students enjoying their March Break, I have seen many of them walking around Hintonburg and Wellington West Village in their spring/summery clothing. Many of them were just coming out of the bakeries with cookies and sweets in their hands while others had ice cream and popsicles. I myself have been walking around Wellington West Village in my bright red shorts and my Canada Olympic t-shirt during the afternoons (started running again) and dreaming of a delicious cold bubble tea. With such warm and gorgeous weather, I am eager for spring to come.
I love a good cold snowy Canadian winter, but there is just something about spring that makes me very excited. The days are longer and warmer and waiting at the bus stop for a bus seems less of a chore. Or perhaps it is the knowledge that spring means that the public will soon be able to purchase and taste locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Growing up in the suburbs, spring meant it was time for my parents to buy bags of top soil and for them to decide what crops and plants they wanted in their garden. My favourite childhood memory of spring were trips my family and I made to the ByWard Market on Saturday afternoons. There, my parents would take us from vendor to vendor, examining lots of beefsteak tomato and zucchini plants. Over the years, my parents added chives, strawberries, green onions, green beans, winter melon, fuzzy squash, bitter melon, potatoes, and more to our backyard garden. With so many varieties of vegetables, both Asian and non-Asian, I had my own farmer’s market at my disposal.
I understand now that years of watching crops and plants grow from little seedlings to luscious foods have contributed to my love of cooking. Watching my parents nurture their garden has made me appreciate all the hard work that goes into growing one’s own food. Although Don and I live in a building, I will be celebrating spring by planting my own garden of herbs and tomatoes on our balcony. And, I will be one of the first people in line at the farmers’ markets once asparagus is available! I can’t wait for the full arrival of spring!
And so foodiePrints readers, that is my spring story. Now it is your turn. What are your favourite childhood memories of spring? How do you celebrate the new season? And, what are your favourite spring foods?