The first of May is here and I feel all the anticipation for my favorite month ahead. Not only is the weather forecast for the next week pure sunshine and warmth, but the month concludes with my 30th birthday.
After nearly two months of building up a new life in Portland, things are finally starting to take shape. Slowly, but surely. In an attempt to focus less on how life-turned-upside-down this all has been and more on everything that lies ahead, I am making a monthly list of three things to help the settling in process move ahead and make each month a little sweeter. Plus, I love lists.
1. Furnish our apartment
On May 15, Marcus and I will move into our new apartment! We are beyond excited and can only hope that our shipment from Amsterdam will have finally arrived by that point. After living in half-furnished apartments for the last eight years, we finally get to start investing in our own items. First up: a bed, dining room table, and comfy chairs for the living room.
2. Sign up for a library card
Libraries are magical places. The libraries in Amsterdam had a small selection of English-language books, but nothing worthy of a membership. I’ve either purchased or borrowed from friends all the books I’ve read since 2005. I can’t wait to go to the library again.
3. Join a yoga studio
I have been practicing yoga independently for years. It started out during the wintertime in my high-rise apartment in Seoul when I came across a great video series. I’m looking forward to trying out a few studios and hopefully finding a good one in my neighborhood.
What do you hope the month of May brings?
Rhubarb is slowly becoming one of my favorite fresh ingredients. The rich, red stalks that taper off into a light pink hue adds a splash of color to any recipe. It is a great source of vitamin K and C, and has a tartness that combines so well with sweeter fruits to create a textured flavor.
Until last year, my experience with rhubarb was limited. I had eaten a slice or two of rhubarb pie as a child, but it wasn’t until I received a few stalks in our CSA in Amsterdam that I decided to try making a rhubarb pie myself. The taste was so incredible, I made the pie at least five more times throughout the spring and summer months.
In Oregon, rhubarb season is just beginning and I’m anticipating the opportunity to experiment with a few more recipes, including rhubarb and strawberry lemonade, strawberry rhubarb crème fraîche crumble pie, rhubarb pie with this crust, rhubarb mojito, and rhubarb compote.
Have you ever had rhubarb? What are your favorite recipes?
Rhubarb stalks photo by Georgia Glynn Smith.
Dutch people often ask me what the weather is like in Oregon and my response is that it is quite similar to Amsterdam. Four distinct seasons with a good dose of rain. Spring in Oregon tends to be unpredictable, while usually very pleasant in the Netherlands. Our weather here turns chaotic, cool, and rainy in the summer, while Oregon is more consistently warm and summery.
The difference between an Oregon spring and a Dutch spring were at there extremes yesterday. At my parents home in the valley, they had a blanket of snow. My mother sent me photos of the white landscape and I rode around Amsterdam with a light coat and sunglasses. I’ll take one Dutch spring and one Oregon summer please.
Snowy photo by my cute mother. Spring photos by me.
Yesterday was a perfect ‘first days of spring’ day. Warm in the sun, cool in the shade. Huddled with a book on a terrace wearing a thick scarf and sunglasses. You could almost see the flowers and plants stretching towards the sun. North America already has turned back its clocks, but Europe waits for two more weeks. Fourteen more days of waking up to the half-light of a spring morning.
Photo by marrren
A perfect spring day. Waking Saturday morning to fresh air and the breaking light. Grocery shopping, a trip to the fruit and vegetable market, over the bridge to take food scraps to the neighborhood zoo. Greeting a friend sitting in a corner café, a stop at the flower shop. An afternoon in the sun, a book and fresh strawberries within reach. Balcony doors open to the sounds of the neighborhood taking in the spring.
The dark days of winter have almost passed. While I enjoy the yearly chance to hibernate, I love to see the light dawning when I wake and be able to ride home without bike lights when I finish for the day. Thank you to warm-lit lamps and steaming drinks for your coziness during the cold months. Until next year. (image above via, image below via).
All the blogs seem to be posting pictures of spring bursting in. So, here I am, leaping on the bandwagon. The above image is of the just-emerging flower buds in Cologne, taken during a weekend trip with my lovely sister. The image below taken during a Saturday afternoon walk through Amsterdam with Herr Pfeiffer. We walked one hour to get fresh bread. Yeah.