Three cheers for Spring! I'm one of those people who doesn't really go for winter, but understand that I live in the northeast and so do what you do - prepare for it, get cozy, eat soothing foods, embrace the shorter days with more at-home enjoyment. But by February every year, I feel kinda hateful. All that grey - on top of the chill - just gets me down.
So when I saw the first stalks of crimson rhubarb at my local specialty market I seized on them. At home, I lingered on how I could give them best expression and when I landed on this upside-down cake, it was a done deal. It is pretty amazing. Worth doing on repeat. I've even been thinking about using the basic recipe towards stone fruit such as plums when they come into season, as well as grapes. If you make it, I'd love to hear how you like it too.
To the grey, happily moving (mostly) along by now... a dear friend was set to get married in March, out in California. I hadn't been there in years - good enough reason to go - never mind that I couldn't miss her most special day. So sweet husband and I decided to make a layered experience of the trip... and we did that in spades.
To our good fortune, the onslaught of rain the previous month made for some of the most epic, abundant blooms we've ever seen. I can recall a few instances where we had to pick our jaws up off the ground at how beautiful it all was. And the sunshine! So abundant and warming, just when we needed it most (we escaped NY on a 39 degree very rainy day).
Here are some favorite moments. You'll pardon me that there are so many, I hope. It was all of a dream - so good in fact, we've talked since about moving there. Time will tell, but the winds of change are definitely a-blowing...
(Scroll to bottom for cake recipe!)
|a moment from the absolutely breathtaking Big Sur|
|Gjelina Take Away leftovers - happy next-day breakfast|
|Santa Monica farmers market - sent off with bags and bags of JJS Lone Daughter Ranch goodies|
|First thing I did with the market bounty...|
|Died and went to heaven with the grain bowl at Sqirl|
|roaming Silver Lake|
|Casual but amazing Santa Barbara beauty|
|Cocktail hour at the Biltmore with friend Betty|
|Betty went to market and so I whipped this up. Eaten al fresco on a lazy Sunday.|
|taken with my phone from our moving car with audible gasp|
|Next destination, lazing the afternoon away with old friends|
|poolside cocktail hour|
|Making my hosts my favorite breakfast|
|being on the road was almost as much fun as being someplace...|
|Carmel Valley retreat|
|Barnacles waiting out low tide|
|Lovely - but wary - little crab|
|If I had more time I would have harvested some for dinner|
|breathtaking Big Sur|
|searching for a good picnic location....|
|we settled on a formidable cliff edge for picnic, only to realize we both felt vertigo|
|found a way down to the beach and then rolled out this feast|
|last moments before our flight home, shot by Jim Lafferty back in LA, 'gramming|