Feasting Persephone

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One year in college, just after Christmas, I caught a big old case of Winter blues.  A friend told me that he knew someone else who dealt with this slow, dark part of the year by celebrating her own holiday--"The Feast of Persephone"--on Groundhog Day.  It's a bit of a riff on the pagan holiday, Imbolc, actually, but it caught my imagination.  We had a grand party that year, and planning it chased my Winter doldrums away quite nicely.

Our observance has waxed and waned over the years.  It's still hard for me to "welcome Persephone back from the underworld" when there are six inches of snow on the ground.  But every now and then, particularly when the air smells like Spring, we revive the celebration.  

In fact, it had barely registered that today was "the Feast" until I stepped outside into the balmy, sixty-degree air this afternoon.  "I think we're going to have a picnic outside tonight," I declared to my co-worker.

And because Sweet Husband is willing to tag along for most of my crazy whims, and the Kiddo loves any excuse to play outside, we did just that.

I made some pasta, spread a big blanket on the porch, and lit some candles so that we could see.  The Kid walked back and forth between us, sampling cheese, chickpeas, and cherry tomatoes from our bowls.  And for dessert, we finished off a modified batch of Sweet Husband's orange shortbread cookies.  (He added honey and whole wheat flour, which made it an entirely different and even more incredible cookie--recipe forthcoming!)

I know it's too early still, but after such a nice dinner outside I'm going to say it anyway--Happy Spring!