Today, the Vernal Equinox, turned also to be the Grand Day of Spring Food Sharing, which was fantastic! It started with a trip to see friends in Berkeley who have recently had a baby. My standing thing to do for friends with kids is cooking up a storm and packaging the food in individual frozen servings, so they can quickly and easily defrost and eat it. Happily, I had a beautiful lentil stew from yesterday, which I brought the friends:

2 cups green lentils
3 large carrots
3 large tomatoes
1 fennel
3 celery stalks
1 package rainbow chard
5 garlic cloves
1/2 can tomatoes
1 tbsp cumin

Mix all ingredients in slow cooker, cover with boiling water, and set to cook on “low” for ten hours. Delish!

From there I headed on to Oakland for an Equinox ritual, which was springy and delightful. You can see our gorgeous altar in the photo. One of the activities was dyeing hardboiled eggs, which no longer appeals to me knowing what I know about the egg industry. But there was an alternative–sowing seeds and getting clippings of succulents–and we did a wonderful ritual for rain using reclaimed water, which I really appreciated. I need to start thinking about ways in which we can use reclaimed water and gray water here at Casa Corazones. Our garden consists of natives, which need a lot less water than exotics, and yet, if we are wiser about collecting shower water we can water them with that. The drought is a very serious source of concern, which means we may need to switch to growing things that require less water.

Our post-ritual feast included a lot of wonderful vegetable dishes. I summarily ignored the chicken and cheese and went for a green salad with edible flowers, two varieties of hummus, roasted asparagus, starfruit and strawberries and blackberries and blueberries, and my two contributions to the feast:

Fennel and Cucumber Salad

1 fennel
4 cucumbers
2 Meyer lemons
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp lemony pepper

Thinly slice fennel (bulb and leaves) and cucumbers. Combine in a bowl with juice from the lemons and the spices.

Broccolini and Blood Orange

20 broccolini stems (or two big broccoli heads)
1 blood orange

Cut broccolini or broccoli into florets and steam until bright green and cooked but still lively and crunchy. Peel and slice up orange into little bits. Combine with broccolini.

I really hope my friends, who were lovely company, enjoyed all the vegetables and may have been persuaded that a meal that consists mostly (or exclusively!) of plant foods is fantastic. This one certainly was!

For this evening, I’m plotting tofu and mushrooms in soy-orange glaze, served over quinoa.

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