We have a friend who is originally from Iran, where they observe New Years on the first day of spring—this year on March 19. We’ve celebrated with her many times at parties that usually include leaping over bonfires. But the Persian custom I love most involves growing a small dish of wheatgrass or other seeds in anticipation of the New Year.
By the equinox it becomes a 2-inch tall patch of bright green, which is called sabzeh and used to decorate the table or give to friends. It symbolizes the greening and rebirth of the earth after the bleakness of winter.
Nothing makes more sense to me than taking our cues from Mother Nature and celebrating the new year as spring begins. Even though we’ve had a mild, sunny winter so far in the Monterey Bay area, spring always brings fresh energy to tackle new projects, learn additional skills or make life changes.
In our culture New Year’s resolutions are made on January 1, but I like to make mine when spring begins, which also happens to be when I celebrate my birthday! The earth warms, days grow longer, plants switch into high gear, flowers bloom and it’s time to begin a new turn around the sun.
Our seasonally-inspired magazine’s first issue of 2020 features Jamie Collins’ story about local growers of microgreens and many ideas on how to use them for taste and nutrition. As it turns out, photographer Patrick Tregenza’s delicious photos of microgreens look a lot like the bowls of wheatgrass grown for the Persian New Year.
Elsewhere in the spring issue, Mark C. Anderson brings us up to speed on his hometown, Seaside, where an explosion of youth-driven food and drink businesses is transforming the landscape and making it a place well worth checking out.
Kathryn McKenzie introduces us to third-generation duck egg rancher Marc Metzer, who is preparing his family’s business to continue well into the future. We preview a new cookbook by Jordan Champagne, who readers will recognize from her Preservationist articles in Edible Monterey Bay, as well as her Pacific Grove business, Happy Girl Kitchen.
We have a trio of articles to help you learn new culinary skills for spring. Chef John Cox explains everything you wanted to know about onions and the role they should play in every kitchen. Chef Martin Hoellrigl offers instruction on how to cure salmon at home—a technique which is surprisingly easy and just in time for salmon season!
Contributors Jessica Tunis and Amber Turpin encourage us to get creative with a universal green sauce that can be adapted to suit whatever style of global cuisine you are planning to put on the table.
We hope you’ll enjoy this fresh spring issue as much as all of us enjoyed preparing it. As always, our deepest appreciation goes to our dear advertisers who continue to champion and support Edible Monterey Bay. Happy spring, and have an amazing new year!