Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring has sprung!

*Disclaimer: This blog is about gardening, but I do almost none of this gardening myself (no patience), but I'm blessed to have family who enjoys it...I get to walk out and reap the bounty like I'm in a grocery store!

Spring is the best time of year for veggies...well, right now I say that, but I'll say it again at the turn of every season. Everything is so green, the weather has been near-perfect, and we have a whole new selection of produce to choose from! I'm lucky enough to live where I can have a garden to "shop" in...check out these pics! This is a large pot of cilantro just getting ready to be used...we go through this stuff like crazy: burritos, anything on the grill, salads, pesto. Davis Farmer's Market tip: the Afghan/Italian food booth has awesome cilantro pesto if you aren't into making it yourself.

The garlic is taking it's time, and because I'm impatient I just chop up the tops or dig up some green garlic to add to whatever I'm making. This works well for soups/stews, stirfrys, you can sub it for pretty much anything you would normally use fresh garlic in. We're also sprouting our first round of corn for summer, strawberries are almost red, pea tendrils are everywhere, and it seems like we might have tomatoes and lettuce till the end of time! They're not ready yet, of course, but all that summer stuff has to start sometime.

I love walking through Farmer's Market and seeing all the spring standards: asparagus, strawberries, morels, green garlic, leafy greens, baby carrots....I'm so overwhelmed sometimes that the only thing I can do is make the oh-so-cliché "pasta primavera" (which means 'spring', so it's ok)...I end up with so many bright, delicious veggies in the pan that I don't have room in my tummy for the pasta! I also love spring vegetables because they don't need much in the way of prep: you can walk out into the garden and dust off whatever you want on your jeans and take a bite!

I was really bummed after the bad freeze a couple months ago because we lost all our oranges and meyer lemons, but fortunately the trees survived. Obviously that cold snap had a negative effect on citrus, avocados and strawberries, among other produce....this lower market quantity has led to higher prices for what's left, but it doesn't seem as bad as I thought it would be. The good news is we're getting into warmer weather and a HUGE selection of head is spinning from the culinary possibilities! I love going out to eat and seeing what other people come up with. It's amazing that new and original dishes are always being created...that's the nature of Spring!

Oh, and I've included a picture of my buddy Mr. Lizard...or maybe it's one of the other 3,000 lizards who live out here. They like to rustle around under the last of the dried leaves and scare the kitty, whose name is Monster....go figure. -K

No comments: