I've lived in Portland pretty much my whole life. I know, I don't count as a "native" I guess, because I was born in Ohio, but we moved here when I was still a baby and if you don't count the few weeks I lived in San Jose when I was pregnant (Homesickness + hormones, that move didn't last long), I've been here all along. That's why listening to people alternately complain/marvel about the weather here kind of drives me CRAZY. It's always like this, you guys- every year. It always hails in the spring time. The weather is always erratic and weird during the changing of seasons, so early spring and fall are always punctuated with bursts of cold rain between lazy sun breaks. Some days it will go from dreary to cheery and back again in 10 minute intervals. It always pays to wear layers, and umbrellas are for pussies. Get with the program, y'all. Welcome to Portland.
Yesterday was cold and bleak, lots of rain. I know it annoys people to say things like, "Oh, I love the rain!" but whatever, I do. I like the way it smells, I like wrapping myself up in thick swaths of fabric before I leave the house, I love hot tea. I mean sure, I love hot weather too. But being raised in the Pacific NW, I tend to feel really at home when I'm holed up in my house, watching rain splatter outside. So, yesterday was a, "we need to use this chicken broth" day, and I made a big pot of soup. Using whole, bone-in legs in my chicken soups has changed the way I look at soup FOREVER. I'm never going to stop doing this. This was a really simple soup- diced carrots, red bell pepper, onion, shallot, and zucchini. I sauteed all the veggies (except the zucchini, I sauteed that separately just before the soup was ready and added at the end to prevent mushiness), dumped in some broth (I don't know how much, I think I only had 4 cups or so), and then added 2 whole chicken legs with the skin mostly removed. I added some more water until the chicken legs were covered and simmered the whole thing until the meat was cooked, then I removed the legs, shredded the meat, and returned it to the pot. After salt & pepper was added, it really didn't need any seasoning at all. Lemon zest would have been nice, but neither of us felt like running to the store for a lemon.
I had started a loaf of no-knead bread that morning, and for the first time ever, it occurred to me to throw a head of garlic (in foil, with olive oil) into the oven while I baked the bread. Kind of a no-brainer, right? I don't usually bother roasting garlic because it seems so stupid- HUGE OVEN! TINY HEAD OF GARLIC! But since I already had the bread in the oven it was like the natural progression of things. After the garlic cooled a little, I squeezed it into a bowl and mashed it up with some butter for slathering all over the bread.
So, yes- I am a little over it as far as the weather goes- I bought some really cute dresses that I want to wear and I want to go berry picking and we finally have a backyard so lets do some damn grilling already- but I still have it in me to enjoy a cool evening. And at least this way I don't have to water my garden.