Before … After

Before she lays her egg, Kumo-hime 雲姫 is quiet, patient, alert, meditative. Perhaps she is practicing her grand performances in her head.

After she lays her egg, she is Julia Andrews auditioning for “The Sound of Music”, Beyonce practicing for the Super Bowl, Maria Callas at La Scala, her full throttled voice ringing over hill and dale.

Hope of spring arriving is not dead. It is alive. The stinging nettles have pushed out of the soggy earth. Yes, yes, yes! It’s stinging nettle soup tonight! Wear thick gloves when you pick these if you don’t want your fingers feeling like a million microscopic needles are pricking them for several days. A peeled potato diced, perhaps cauliflower chopped, simmered slowly in milk with stinging nettles just picked, and a pinch or two of salt, and you have all you need to make the best spring soup known to humankind. At the end, blend it well, and top with a bit of heavy cream.

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