March Marches On

img_5409Another Day in March. This morning, the thermometer read zero, and there is frost on the windows. Another storm is blowing up the coast, and although there are small patches of blue in the sky, there are plenty of hazy clouds to indicate bad weather is coming. The prediction is that the storm will be mostly coastal, and I am hopeful that central Maine will be spared the worst. Even better would be for the storm to be entirely coastal, as in completely out to sea, but I suppose that is too much to hope for.

On the stove, there are chicken bones simmering with garlic, peppercorns, a bay leaf, salt, and an onion studded with a few cloves. After it has simmered for several hours, the broth will be strained and then go into the slow-cooker to be combined with drippings from a chicken meal we had on Sunday, when I put sweet potatoes under a whole chicken sprinkled with garlic and herbs. When the broth and drippings have simmered for a bit, I will blend the leftover sweet potatoes into the resultant stock and add leftover chicken. Noodles will be cooked separately to add at the last minute, and Clif and I will have some warm soup on this cold March night. I’ll either make biscuit muffins or bran muffins to go with the soup.

While the stock is simmering, there will be a walk in the woods with the dog. There is still plenty of snow in central Maine, and the trail we walk on is packed hard by snowmobiles. It doesn’t feel like spring at all. It still feels like winter. But the days are getting longer, and the birds have begun their spring songs. I tell myself this as I bundle up in my heaviest coat and put on my hat and my heaviest gloves.

In the woods, at the end of the trail, are sap buckets. Unfortunately, it has been too cold for much of a harvest. Nevertheless, those buckets are a cheering presence at the end of what has been a long, hard winter.

Surely warmer weather is just around the corner. Surely spring is coming. Surely sometime before July, the snow will be gone from the yard of the little house in the big woods.