That’s pork belly braised in the last of the maple sap with pho spices, then removed and the liquid strained and reduced to somewhere in the happy medium between stock and syrup. Underneath, freshly dug parsnips—early spring’s great treat, and maple’s perfect partner—steamed with yogurt whey and then puréed in it underneath, and alongside kale sautéed with some of last summer’s mirepoix from the freezer and a vibrant pesto of escarole and sunflower seeds. Chervil, the earliest (and latest; it’s indestructible by frost) of the domesticated herbs, made a fitting garnish. I reduced the rest of the liquid down to a thick caramel for use in various future nefariousness. This was a good dinner: contemplative and subtle, but also revelatory. This time of year, when fresh food becomes available again, is conducive to flavor experiences more profound than any other time.