When I saw the forecast for this weekend–40s and rain–I sighed. It’s spring and I want to be outside, hiking and gardening and soaking up sunshine! But it’s May, one of our wettest months here in Montana, and we are in desperate need of the moisture after a winter nearly devoid of snow.
Besides, when I awoke on Saturday morning and heard the patter against the window pane, I smiled and snuggled deeper under the covers. I was reminded of the luxury of rainy days. Everything slows down. The drive to go go go–to be a human-doing instead of a human being–recedes. The rain gave me permission to stay in bed a little longer. It gave me permission to linger a little longer over the newspapers, and second a cup of tea. It made me pause each time I passed the window, to watch the clouds dance and move across the mountains, peaks shrouded in grey blankets emerging momentarily through wisps of mist, only to disappear again. The vibrance of the new spring green creates an even richer contrast against a slate grey sky, the earth seemingly saturated with life-giving hues long dormant.
Days like this, and clouds like this, remind me of Alaska. Perhaps that’s partly why I love rainy days so much, once I am in their midst; they transport me to one of the most magical places on Earth. And the clouds up North: sometimes they hang over the mountain peaks multidimensional, each sitting in a different plane of space-time, like an otherworldly diorama.
Other times, the clouds envelop the landscape from the side, and it’s hard to tell where earth ends and ether begins. That’s what it looked like in Montana this weekend; mountains embraced by clouds.
We settled into a different rhythm, walking leisurely by the rushing, rising creek, the misty air filled with the sweet-lemony-spice of cottonwood resin. We were content then to cozy up at home …
… and warm up by the heat of the oven. Roasting vegetables, baking bread, and reveling in my favorite meal: brunch. Here is one more recipe embracing asparagus season, before we move beyond it for the year.
Asparagus and Cream Cheese Frittata
Ingredients: 2 T butter or ghee, divided 1 shallot, peeled and sliced thin 16 spears oven-roasted asparagus 8 eggs 1/2 C whole milk 4 oz cream cheese salt & ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
Heat a 10″ cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.
Once the skillet is hot, add 1 T butter or ghee. Saute the shallot over medium-low heat until softened and just beginning to turn golden (5-6 minutes).
Meanwhile, cut each of the asparagus spears in half. Set aside the halves with the tips. Coarsely chop the other halves and set aside.
Whisk the eggs and milk in a medium mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the coarsely chopped asparagus halves.
Once the shallots are golden, add the additional 1 T butter or ghee to the skillet to melt, then pour the egg mixture into the skillet.
Break the cream cheese into small chunks and scatter around the egg mixture.
Let the eggs cook until the edges just begin to set, about 5 minutes.
Arrange the asparagus spear halves on top of the surface of the egg in a starburst pattern.
Place the skillet in the oven and bake until cooked through. I prefer mine to just barely begin to get golden on top, which takes 20-25 minutes.
Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving to make slicing easier.
Note #1: I prefer my egg dishes (frittatas, quiches, omelettes) to be filled to the brim with their fixin’s. An asparagus and cream cheese frittata, therefore, should be filled to the brim with asparagus and cream cheese! If you don’t like as much of either, you can simply scale back on the amount.