As I mentioned over on my Facebook page, I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired lately. This is mainly due to the fact that we’re trying to lose a bit of weight – eating lots of vegetables, avoiding starch and alcohol, and getting more serious about running (we’re looking at another 5K in April, then our first 8K in May). We’re eating simple preparations of food for the most part: roasted vegetables, sauteed greens, lean protein, fizzy water and tea. Not much to talk about, really.

asparagusroasted asparagus

But yesterday was Brigid, also known as Imbolc, and we always have a little private celebration to observe the return of the light and what tends to feel much more like the start of a new year than “normal” New Year. I wanted a dinner that was light, non-starchy, but a little fancy and evocative of spring, and I found one in Nigella Lawson’s new book (I love Nigella, reading her is like eating potato chips for me). It’s a very simple supper for two consisting of pan-seared sea scallops and a puree of peas flavored with creme fraiche and Thai green curry paste (a take-off of British mushy peas, I assume). I added a side of roasted asparagus, which was perfect with the other flavors, and opened a bottle of rich, buttery California chardonnay.

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dinner by candlelight


dinner table

A holiday that we like to celebrate in this household is the festival of Brigid, otherwise known as Imbolc, Candlemas or Groundhog Day. To us, it marks the break between the dark days of winter and the rise of spring, as the days get longer and the garden begins to bloom again. Even though we know it’s going to keep raining until July, just the fact of being able to walk home in daylight is pretty exciting.

hellebore bud

Earlier in the day, I celebrated by going out and doing battle with blackberry vines and cutting back the hellebore leaves. We have hellebore flowers coming up, as well as the first glimpses of snowdrops and violets. Hurray, flowers!

cocktail hour

Afterwards, we had a little cocktail hour. Continue reading