This weather has got me in a funk. I want flowers. I want bright sun and blue sky and green grass. I want long, lazy evenings on the patio that linger into the moonlight and star-filled sky. I want to wake up to birds chirping. I’d even take waking up to the yard-obsessed neighbor mowing his lawn at daybreak…

Another two months. Or three. If you live in the upper Midwest and it’s early March, a weekend of play isn’t in the cards. Now don’t misunderstand, when it comes to wintry weather, I’m pretty nonchalant. I have no problem getting outside in the cold for a sunny afternoon walk followed by hot apple cider or cocoa, but this haze and damp and slush and chill that shoots through your bones makes me shiver just thinking about it.

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But on a brighter note, the food today was well worth writing about.

Breakfast: Steel-cut porridge oats cooked with a cinnamon stick, chopped dates, toasty pecans and shredded coconut; a knob of butter and splash of milk to finish. Homemade gingerbread Americano later in the morning at work. I needed a serious pick-me-up and get-me-through.

Lunch: Cilantro-lime-garlic and Sarvecchio chickpea salad over mixed greens, with céleri rémoulade alongside [using a Greek yogurt-cider vinegar-extra virgin olive oil slurry in place of the mayo I did not have time to make].

Supper: Braised noodles with pork and veg, a twist from A Chow Life, with loads of improv. In lieu of Shanghai noodles, shiitake mushrooms, chicken, cabbage, dark soy and oyster sauces; I used Chinese egg noodles, my trusty [and sneakily nutritious] white button mushrooms, leftover pulled pork shoulder, water chestnuts, Shoyu and fish sauce. Sambal oelek also joined the mix – a slippery, salty bowl of noodles bursting with dance-on-your-tongue flavors begs for a little heat. Complex yet un-fussed with, and dangerously good. Half a bag’s worth of noodles good.

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L.A. Times crossword. Supper** wouldn’t be supper without a crossword.

And there is always room for dessert. Especially when 85% dark chocolate is involved. Strawberries, granola* and milk.

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Off to spring my clocks forward and then fall asleep to MPR Classical, dreaming of warmer days and what’s to come…

*I kept some Valentine’s almond, honey and dark chocolate granola for myself. Molly raved, I had to! I’m sorry.

**Breakfast and supper are always accompanied by crossword puzzles. I have a problem. I need them. Or a twelve-step program.

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