Spring Into Action!
By Aaron Hale
Posted April 16, 2021

There are various technical definitions of spring, but local usage of the term varies according to local climate, regional cultures and customs. Before Spring was called Spring, it was called Lent in Old English. Starting in the 14th century, that time of year was called “springing time” - a reference to plants “springing” up from the ground (makes perfect sense to me). In the 15th century this got shortened to “spring-time,” and then further shortened in the 16th century to just “spring.”  

The first day of spring, the vernal equinox, has 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The term vernal is Latin for “spring” and equinox is Latin for “equal night“.  The reason the equinoxes and solstices don’t always come on the same day each year is that Earth doesn’t circle the sun in exactly 365 days. 

Fun Facts:

-In spring, the Earth’s axis is tilted toward the sun, increasing the number of daylight hours and bringing warmer weather. 

-Many trees, flowers, plants and bulbs begin to grow during the Spring because of the availability of water, light, warmth and soil (compost).   April showers bring May flowers!  The first spring flowers are typically dandelions, daffodils, lilacs, lilies, iris, azalea and tulips to name a few.

 -In Washington D.C...the opening of the cherry blossoms, in March or April signals the start of spring there.

-As it stays light for longer in spring, birds know it is time to find a mate. They do this by singing to each other (hence the reference to “Love is in the air” during spring!).

-Most wild herbivores (plant eaters), have babies in the early spring. This gives the babies the best chance of growing large, strong, and putting on some fat before winter.

-It is also probably no coincidence that early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising Sun on the day of the vernal equinox.  How cool is that?

-On the first day of spring, at the North Pole the sun skims across the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight. At the South Pole,the sun skims across the horizon, signaling the start of six months of darkness.  No thanks on either of those options!!

-Spring fever is a term applied to several sets of physical and psychological symptoms associated with the arrival of spring. Experts say the body’s chemical makeup changes due to different diets, hormone production, temperature and increased light exposure.

-According to the National Association of Realtors, spring is the most popular season to sell/buy a house.

-Tornadoes are most common in spring and least common in winter.

 

Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth.  So sometimes it’s not just about spring cleaning the house...make sure you take care of yourself and your friends and family.  

Don’t forget to check out my apparel...and whether it’s you in your new E.O.D shirt, a picture of you with a recipe of mine you’ve tried at home or the look on your face when you taste my confections - be sure to use the hashtags #EODfudge #EODconfections or #EODapparel and share your experience!

Now back to food!!  Below is a fresh spring delicious recipe your family will love!

 

Mediterranean Chicken        Prep Time: 1 hour    Cook Time: 30 mins    Serves: 4

All Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

14 oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts (save liquid for marinade) - personally I like to use two jars, but I love artichokes

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin

4 sprigs of fresh oregano 

2 Tbsp olive oil, separated

1 small red onion

1 pint cherry tomatoes, left whole

14 oz can Cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed

¼  C chopped Kalamata olives (you can substitute any olive, I've used black olives in the past and it tasted delicious)

8 oz tub of Bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls in marinade) - DRAINED

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish:  ¼ C chopped parsley and 2 Tbsp of basil leaves, cut in strips

Directions:

  1. In a large large bowl, add marinade from artichoke hearts, garlic and oregano leaves

  2. Cut chicken into thirds (1 ½ inch strips) and add to the bowl.  Cover and marinade at least 1 hour

  3. Prep other ingredients (drain/rinse beans, cut onion, pat artichokes dry and cut in quarters) 

  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  5. Brown chicken in 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat, transfer to a plate.  It will be slightly underdone, but browned

  6. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, sliced red onion and cherry tomatoes only into a large roasting pan (pan should be at least 11 x 13 or use two pans so it doesn’t steam) and toss to coat

  7. Roast just that for about 15 mins

  8. Remove pan from the oven, onions should be soft and somewhat sticky.  If not, bake another minute or two

  9. Add the browned chicken, artichoke hearts, beans and olives to the pan (but NOT the bocconcini yet)

  10. Roast for about 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through

  11. Add the bocconcini cheese and toss gently to combine.  The heat from the pan will soften the cheese

  12. Top with parsley and basil leaves and drizzle with extra artichoke juice if desired

Notes:  Double up this recipe to feed more, just be sure to use large pans

Also, this dish is just as good cold the next day, as a stand alone salad - or salad topper to bring your greens to the next level

Don’t forget to check out my apparel...and whether it’s you in your new E.O.D shirt, a picture of you with a recipe of mine you’ve tried at home or the look on your face when you taste my confections - be sure to use the hashtags #EODfudge #EODconfections or #EODapparel and share your experience!  

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