Happy Happy Spring!

Here I am. And here's the first self portrait I've taken in months. I guess it was time, which is an excellent sign. I believe I can safely say that spring is here, or at least so close around the corner that I can just FEEL it, everywhere. The air has become soft and gentle, sweet almost. I ran up Mont Royal this morning and only wore a long-sleeved shirt and shorts. That's the least amount of clothes I've worn outside in Montreal since I arrived. There are shoots of green popping up in yards (daffodils and tulips?) People are starting to wear shorts to show off their shocking bright white legs. I wore sandals to work the other day. Sandals! But the most important occasion is the pending arrival of asparagus and rhubarb. You can bet there'll be a few articles about those two lovely vegetables (is rhubarb a vegetable? maybe a fruit? I have a feeling it's a fruit...the Oxford Dictionnary classified it as "food". Hmmm. Well, anyways, it's super high in vitamin C, so take note.)

After the run I was pretty hungry. So I took a cold shower, danced in my room to the Jesus and Mary Chain, and made migas, or my version of migas, in fact the first and only version that I've ever made of migas. I got this brilliant idea to fry up old tortillas, onions, jalepenos, and eggs from the Homesick Texan. I however was lacking cilantro and jalepenos, but it's quite a versatile recipe; you could do anything with it as long as you have eggs and tortillas and spice, I imagine. I sliced up some onion, threw it into hot canola oil, stirred it around, added strips of tortillas and let them get nice and brown. Then in went some spinach and sweet smoked paprika. I stirred the mixture around, added two eggs mixed with a bit of milk, when it was cooked I dumped it onto a plate and grated tons of cheese on top. During this time, I also heated up some black beans, added salt and pepper, dumped those next to the eggs, added a dollop of salsa on top and boom! I was ready to go. Of course, the water for my coffee was ready at the exact moment the eggs were ready in the pan, nearly burning, and then the beans were sticking to their pan, kinda smoking.... Libby was also asking me from the other room how she should dress and if it was warm enough to wear capris. I gave a rather disjointed answer, mumbling that she should just go see for herself. She left the house in jeans, but not before she had a bite of my creation, exclaiming, "oh wow, that's so good!" Yes sir, it was delicious.

The key of course was the smoked paprika. I've decided that the ingredients you buy are the most important things. You can cook very very simply (but so deliciously!) with very few key ingredients and once you stock up your kitchen, it's cheap.

Then to finish off the whole experience, which was unreal, there was one square of white pepper and cardamom chocolate sitting on the table. I gently savoured it and gulped down the last mouthful of coffee.

mmmmmm! delicious, as we like to say at the Murphy house.

So today, here's to spring, here's to new life, here's to new beginnings in new places, even if it's horribly uncomfortable and scary. Here's to being open to life and meeting challenges. Here's to new spring vegetables (and fruits!). Here's to good quality ingredients. Here's to great friends who love to cook and share good food. Here's to those who match my enthusiasm and feed it. Here's to the sun. Here's to Mont Royal Park, I wouldn't survive this city without you.

Rock on and until next time, make some migas!

- chef murph

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