Cold April showers bring May soup

I am built for Minnesota winters. Physically, emotionally, socially: I thrive when the snow blows and temps dip below zero. I scoff at the weak who cannot tolerate endless Januaries and who complain constantly about the weather. Winter assures me that I am strong, invincible, rigorous, and healthy. Yup, I am THAT girl. I am the one you want to pelt with icicles when I skip along your frozen street whistling with joy.

But send me a cold wet spring and I lose my mind. As my friend K noted, "I always say about Minnesota... at least it's a dry cold. There is nothing worse than a wet cold. Nothing."

Minnesota, meet wet cold spring. I think she's here to stay.

Europeans and Scandinavians celebrate St. Walpurgis Eve on April 30. Sun-loving Swedes especially revel in this day as a long winter is nearly behind us and spring's arrival is imminent. Last night T and I celebrated Valborgsafton (a.k.a. Walpurgis Night) at the American Swedish Institute. We've headed to ASI for Valborgsafton festivities for years. Pre-Fika we'd gather on the front lawn for hotdogs and beer with a handful of other Swedish-enthusiasts, warming ourselves by the bonfires and watching the kids play a rousing game of Kubb.

Times have changed since then. The spring menu at Fika is ever-so-slightly fancier than a paper plate of hotdogs and mashed potatoes. Over meatballs and gravlax we skolled to our flooded basement and the river running through our backyard. We watched some of ASI's staff being bombarded with rain and wind while lighting a bonfire out in the courtyard. I thought about how my feet haven't been warm since I replaced my winterboots with rainboots even though I'm wearing a double layer of wool socks.

Until the rain stops and and sun shows itself, this weather screams for roasted chicken and soup made from the bones. Find a recipe for overnight chicken stock and ideas for quick spring soups at Called to the Table this week. Then take your place next to me at the bonfire. May Day is here and Midsommar is (practically) only a month away!


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