While Nosher of the North hunkers down under a blizzard that has been called brutal and pummeling, and while our California and Texas friends bask in warm weather, the Butter Bitch and I are waiting for spring.
The weather in Seattle has been bad this year, but far better than winters from our youths in the bitingly cold high desert stretching from Eastern Oregon through Idaho, or on the frigid Alaskan seaboard. "We know from cold weather," as my mother would say.
Harder to bear have been the short days, when the sun rises and sets while we are at work, leaving us to glimpse cloud-muted light during lunch before returning to gaze hollowly at a computer screen.
In late December, my friend L. emailed me a frustrated rhetorical question: "Are you ready for the end of these dark days?"
March arrived not so much like a lion as a wet blanket, bringing a scattering of rain, hail, and some frost.
We have long days and some sunshine when we eat dinner, as well as the promise of spring in less than three weeks. With the earlier-than-usual onset of daylight savings time, next weekend, our evenings will be a riot of sunshine.
Impatient for spring, I made a modified version of a remake of a cocktail called Bee's Knees.
A friend passed the recipe to me a couple of years ago, but we lacked the lemon called for at the end. Fortunately, I was planning to serve a bottle of pinot gris with dinner, and the tartness of the white wine served nicely in place of the lemon juice.
I modified the recipe further, because the original quantity of lavender was a bit skimpy.
Northwest Bee's Knees
1/4 C water
2 tsp dried lavender
1/4 C honey
6 T gin
2 T pinot gris
2 chilled martini glasses
Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat. Steep the lavender in the water for 5 minutes. Whisk the honey into the lavender water, and then strain the honey-lavender syrup through a fine mesh sieve.
Mix the honey-lavender syrup, gin, and pinot gris in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain the cocktail into the martini glasses.
The tart and floral qualities of the drink will make you think of spring, even if it approaches cautiously, like a lamb.