Thursday, March 26, 2009

Real Sporks eat quiche. And they like it.

I've never understood why "real" men wouldn't eat quiche. You take what is basically an unsweetened custard, add some fillings, cheese and herbs, then bake it in a pie crust. What could possibly be bad about that?

My asparagus bed is finally mature enough to harvest a small amount, but I wasn't sure what to do with just a little asparagus. This morning I happened to see this recipe being made on Today and thought I'd give it a whirl. The original recipe called for a pound of asparagus, which I didn't have, so I filled in with spinach and herbs (parsley and thyme) from the garden (along with a leek from the garden - brag brag).

Results: Yum! I will definitely be saving this recipe.

This was my first experience with fresh-from-the-garden asparagus. It's a lot lighter and fresher tasting than what I've bought, almost like snow peas. And even though the stalks I picked were about 2 feet tall, they were very crisp and tender. I like growing my own! I'm looking forward to trying more asparagus dishes in the future.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Even more spring!

Have I mentioned that I'm a fan of spring? I'm not sure. In case I haven't, let me just tell you that I love spring! Love it, love it, love it!

Signs of my favorite season are popping up all over the place. First, we have the dogwoods. They seem to bloom "big" every other year here and this is one of the "small" years, so we only have 25 or so blooming. I know, poor us! But, even though it's a small year, they are still pretty.

From Spring 2009

The wild dewberries have been blooming for a couple of weeks now and this morning on the dog walk, I spotted the first baby berry. Cobbler season, here we come! (Not to mention I plan to try making blackberry cordial this year - tipsy season, here we come!)

From Spring 2009

Another sign of spring I think a lot of people miss is the emergence of the mayapples, Podophyllum peltatum. They look like a plant plucked from a fairy tale and I always imagine bands of leprechauns and other tiny magical creatures living under them.

From Spring 2009

From Spring 2009

From Spring 2009

Alas, the creatures I'll most likely find beneath the mayapples are snakes. I'll just have to pretend it's something magical living under there.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Brussels sprouts redemption

Once again, the Brussels sprouts have failed to produce sprouts. Well, one plant did, but it developed such an aphid infestation that I decided it made more sense to chuck the plants than to keep trying to eliminate the aphids. This particularly valiant Brassica specimen must have felt guilty over its lack of productivity because when I pulled it up, it presented me with a potato.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A hallmark moment

Anyone who has ever been the recipient of a card from me knows that I don't do mushy. Cards should have some bite to them, in my opinion. I even search for mean get well cards. Laughter is the best medicine, after all.

Today was our 14th anniversary (St. Patrick's Day wedding in Vegas - yes, we are that fun!) and Spork presented me with what may be my favorite card ever.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring is springing

That Christmas song has it all wrong. Spring is the most wonderful time of the year!

Here at the stuga, we have a small stand of baby redbud trees. This is the first year they have really bloomed. They are going to be gorgeous in a few years.

From Gardening

I've never looked very closely at redbud blooms. I was playing around with the macro setting, trying to capture the bees, but this butterfly scared them off.

From Gardening

The ground here is covered with wild violets. They have a nice scent when in direct sun.

From Gardening

Another of our wild flowers, rose vervain (a type of verbena).

From Gardening

A not-so-wild strawberry bloom.

From Gardening

Asparagus. This year we are allowed to eat some of it!

From Gardening

And our favorite harbinger of spring, the dogwood!

From Gardening