Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring is here!!

Spring is coming and all sorts of good fresh foods are becoming locally available including asparagus, rhubarb but more important if you’re a gardener it’s time to consider start planting any seeds indoors so that you’ve got time to mature before they’re planted outside as sprouted seeds. This is because Michigan is in the hardiness zones 4a to 6b.

But let’s get to the question of asparagus and rhubarb which are already available. Asparagus is grown on the western side of the State and Michigan grows more asparagus than any of the other states. Asparagus is delicious cooked in a variety of ways – baked on pizza, or boiled eggs and soldiers, or baked in a tart with ricotta or just steamed with topped either butter or drizzled with olive oil.

Rhubarb is not a fruit but a vegetable as well as a member of the Polygonaceae family. Michigan is considered the third state in terms of quantity of production and the plant is highly suited to its cool climate and soils. The fact that it has a tart flavour means that it is often combined with strawberries and raspberries in pies and cobblers or made into sauces, or jams and even jellies. But if you’re a keen baker is delicious combined in bread, muffins, cakes or even puddings. Consider trying the cornmeal pastry tarts by Kim Boyce, or strawberry rhubarb pie crumble, or a variant of Eton Mess where the author uses yogurt instead of cream which I use, or even just as a chutney which is delicious on melted cheese on toast! But if you really want to not bother it's sometimes faster to just go by some from 'American Spoon' in Petosky!

So, spring is here and summer is not far behind!!

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