As the daylight hours begin to lengthen – FINALLY! – I start to feel the rumblings of my old self return. With this comes a strong desire to throw open the windows and look for the first blooms of spring outside my kitchen window.
The first few days of spring are a time for “dusting off” – an expression gleaned from my early days of entertaining. An old friend of mine, extremely funny and lively, was a popular, sought-after guest, who attended many dinner parties during the course of the winter; invitations that could not be reciprocated as she fell into a personal inertia during January and February. To make up for her failure to entertain, she hosted an annual cocktail party that became known as Colleen’s “Dusting Off”.
The following recipes, starting with “Spring Cleaning,” will provide menus for your own dusting off – whether it’s a cocktail party amongst friends, an afternoon lunch, or a sit-down dinner. I promise to keep the menus simple and delicious – and hopefully your own social animal will be encouraged to come out of hibernation.
*Note: The following Spring Cleaning menu is geared towards entertaining and portions of it can easily be prepared before the actual event. Alternatively cut the recipes in half and use the Crab Cakes a la Super Sundays and feast on them for a couple of nights.