Who knew butterflies love chive flowers?
This is one of the best times of year to be in North Dakota. Memories of winter quickly fade in the warmth of the spring sunshine. Sidewalks beckon people for a stroll, no dog or stroller or excessive workout gear needed to justify the excursion. Summer days of camping and fishing, barbecues and softball games, sandbars and s'mores stretch out before us and the evening light continues until well past 9 pm, getting later every evening. The community throws open the windows and flutters to life like butterflies drawn to a field of flower blossoms.
It's times like this that I don't cook. I still love to cook, but this time of year, I want to - need to - be outside. Instead of cooking, I do what I call no-cooking - I'm prepping food, but meals are super simple, easy, quick and (hopefully) still tasty bites that give us more time to enjoy these beautiful, warm spring days. No cookbooks. No recipes. But also, no McDonald's. Just making a meal out of real food to fuel up for a few more hours of play.
So what's a no-cook meal? A few examples from my kitchen this past week:
- Some of Steph's lovely farm eggs, scrambled with a quick saute of onion and red pepper, topped with Cholula (always Cholula)
- Croque monsieurs, a.k.a. hot ham and cheese sandwiches
- Quick egg salad with chopped boiled eggs, pickles, mustard, mayo, cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar, served with toast and some veggies on the side
- A "snack" meal - venison summer sausage, cheese, crackers, veggies, with homemade fruity popsicles for dessert.
Nothing fancy, and I'm sure I'll get back in my usual cooking groove soon. But for now, I happily trade my kitchen time for a few more moments with Ben at the playground, a little more time to dig my hands in the garden, and sitting on the patio with a good read, trying to get some sun on my pasty legs. 'Tis the season of the no-cook meal. I embrace it.
If you have any favorite no-cook (or low-cook) springtime meals, please share! For more ideas on super quick meals, check out this article from Mark Bittman.