We have grown accustomed to - no, make that attached to - the calendar on the wall of our kitchen that reproduces the vintage drawings from something called Album Benary, an archive so foreign to us that we have long assumed (wrongly) it was of Italian extraction.
We find ourselves on the cusp of an ambivalent May, the first, fragile blush of spring already fading - a special breed of Jersey broccoli rabe, so tender it can be eaten raw, finished; good-bye, too, to the feathery, early dandelion greens (saluted with their own annual banquet in Vineland), gone.
You can find some stunning molé sauces in these parts, descendants of the rainbow of sauces that date back centuries in Mexico, mixtures variously of tomatoes or tomatillos and onion, garlic, and designated chiles, and often almonds or peanuts or raisins, and typically cinnamon, and Mexico's gift to us all - chocolate.
Rick Nichols is a Philadelphia native (a product of rowhouse Mayfair) who moved as a child to Lower Bucks County and later to New England. He graduated from the University of North Carolina and worked on the newspaper in Raleigh. After a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, he joined The Inquirer in 1978. He was for many years a member of the Editorial Board, and has several journalism awards.