Is spring here?
Is that grass I smell? I bet most of you are waiting for those Minnesota smells, like fresh cut grass, that let you know that spring is here. It has been a cold and blustery winter so this column is dedicated to all of those sights and smells we wait for each spring.
So, set the scene….it is 5-10 degrees outside..brrrrr: It just kills me when I am in making a hotdish and can smell that my neighbors are using a grill in their garage to get their supper ready. The smell could be coming from blocks away but it is strong and so wonderful that it makes me want to go and invite myself for their meal. How about the warm smells of laundry when you walk in the house on a cold Saturday or the chili or roast that has been cooking in the crockpot for hours? I think those smells are the best. However, there are some positives to the frigid cold, including the fact that wandering skunk who leaves a smell that is essentially vaporized almost immediately (if it isn’t inside!) and the pet poop smell in every yard doesn’t float our way with a good breeze when it is frozen. Ah, the good life of winter.
But, let’s talk only about the great summer smells – like when the garage doors are open and my husband is washing cars outside – the smells of fresh soap and tire cleaner let me know that we are thankful the good weather is finally here. One of my favorite whiffs of summer smells has to be the smell of pouring rain. It brings back great memories of sitting under our front porch with my dad when I was a kid and watching the rain roll down the highway by our home. And, of course, the smells of summer column would not be complete without a nod to my camping life and the smell of a roaring campfire – better yet when someone is grilling over the fire. What about the 4th of July and the smell of fireworks? What about the fresh corn on the cob boiling or being grilled? Oh my gosh…summer, please come soon! Mother Nature please take away the nasty brown snow and dirty streets and replace them with greenery and blooms we need in Minnesota to help us survive just one more winter.
One last winter recipe: Chicken Pot Pie in a Mug
One 10 1/2-ounce can cream of chicken soup
Half a 10-ounce bag frozen vegetables (carrot, corn and green bean mix)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 small rotisserie chicken, meat shredded, skin and bones discarded (or used canned chicken)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can biscuit dough
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the cream of chicken soup, frozen vegetables, garlic powder, shredded chicken and some salt and pepper in a bowl. Fill 4 oven-safe mugs three-quarters of the way up with the pot pie filling and top each with a biscuit. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.