It seems only yesterday that everyone I met on the street had one thing to say, “We need rain!” Now all the people I see comment, “I’m so ready for spring.” Like most of us in Northern California, I am growing weary of being indoors, but grateful that my home is still intact. However, if one more person tells me how beautiful snow is, I might have a PTSD attack.

All this time in the house and without power I find myself running out of books to read and tired of indoor projects. I dream of summer dinners on the deck; fresh tomatoes that don’t taste like aging apples with a hint of cardboard like the ones in stores all winter — peppers, olive oil, basil ... all my favorite summer foods.

Patti Bess is a freelance writer and recipe developer. She lives in Grass Valley and can be reached at