Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday: Food, Flowers, and a Good Book


Spring, for me, brings a renewed interest in cooking. I crave fresher, lighter meals with lots of fresh vegetables. Asparagus is one I've learned to appreciate. It's not a dish that we had when I was a child, yet alongside the road where I walked on my way to school, an asparagus field flourished and many stalks escaped outside of the fence and were free for the picking. Any asparagus we did eat was usually canned and I found the flavour strong and the texture mushy. 

These days I usually roast asparagus coated with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse salt. Patricia Wells, in her cookbook, Vegetable Harvest, suggests braising it with rosemary and bay leaves, then letting it brown just a bit. I did that recently and was very pleased. 

Roasted carrots with cumin, and roasted broccoli are so good with toasted almonds, a squeeze of lemon juice and some lemon zest on top. Underneath the vegetables is a thin layer of Greek yogurt. No other dressing needed. At room temperature or cold I could make a meal out of this dish. 

Rhubarb is flourishing in my garden. I made a pan of Rhubarb Almond Crumble Squares that tasted delicious. The recipe is found here on the Canadian Living site. Tomorrow I plan to make a Rhubarb Cream Cheese Pie. Do you enjoy rhubarb? What's your favourite way to prepare it? We enjoy it stewed with some yogurt, as well. Simple and delicious.

I finished this book and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It's the story of Mary, the middle sister of those five Bennet girls, told very much in the manner of Jane Austen, but in a more modern style. I thought the author did a wonderful job of evoking Austen's writing without imitating it. 

Beautiful Mountain Cornflower (centaurea montana) is blooming just now. The green foliage is so pretty and I just love the blue and pink flowers. It self seeds and comes up throughout my garden, but is easy to pull up if not wanted. 

We had rain last night and when I went out this morning such freshness filled the air. Birds sang and the last raindrops clung to leaves and flowers. White strawberry blooms show good promise of berries in a few weeks. I netted the plants against the invasion of birds and bunnies. Lilacs are opening. I have a vaseful on the dining room table and their sweet scent floats on the air as I walk by. 

This morning I baked Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies from an old recipe, then went out into the garden to work for a bit. I'm moving a bit slowly today as I received my first C19 vaccination yesterday. A sore arm, body aches, and a headache convinced me that I should just take it easy for a bit after lunch. I watched Escape to the Country, edited some photos, and took a wee nap. By tomorrow I expect I will feel just fine. 

Happy Weekend, my friends.


  1. I had to laugh when you mentioned asparagus. When I was a child my grandmother thought, you had to cook asparagus till it was slimy. So I did not like it. Lucky for me when I was an adult I had some lovely steamed asparagus and I just love it now.I love rhubarb but I'm the only 1.I love it in cookie bars.So you already have Lilacs? Oh I can't wait But it will be another couple of weeks before we get some. We just started getting what I call the green fuzzies In town.I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I am looking forward to the Kentucky derby. Take care.Kit

  2. We never had asparagus when I was a child, but I do like it now Rhubarb, I love a fresh pie and a rhubarb crisp. Yum! I remember how good the lilacs smelled, but my nose is not so good at picking up scents, so I must enjoy them in my memories.

  3. That cornflower is so pretty. Asparagus is something we've enjoyed in the last 15ish years and rhubarb was not something I was familiar with growing up. The first time I had rhubarb was in a pie that Dear's bachelor uncle made for us in Denver in 1976. I have a very healthy rhubarb bush here at our country bungalow that I just offered to our daughter-in-law's mom since she'll enjoy it more than we will. Just like that April is over. Hope May brings you many joys!

  4. All your food comments are making me very hungry this morning. We are eating so much asparagus at the moment with lashings of butter. Still waiting for rain, can’t wait to wander round a rain drenched garden. Glad you enjoyed the Bennett book. Have a good weekend. B x

  5. Growing up I did not like asparagus. My mom used canned too and I thought it was awful. I rediscovered it years ago as an adult. Love fresh asparagus roasted or steamed. Your crisp sounds great. I like strawberry rhubarb pie. Have a great weekend!

  6. Nature sounds and looks so alive and beautiful there this spring.

    Rhubarb is a favourite here too. I make a cake or a crisp. Our favourite way is stewed with yoghurt. Such a wonderful spring treat. Our grandchildren love it too.

  7. It's Asparagus season here too and this morning I bought a nice bunch from the farmers market, which only sells locally produced goods. We had some for lunch, gently steamed with a little butter added. (That's not true, it was quite a lot of butter!)
    My rhubarb started off well but has now decided it prefers to do nothing. I have fed it and talked to it, so we'll see.
    I love Centaurea but somehow dont have any in this garden.

  8. Rhubarb Cream Cheese Pie? Yes, please. It's the best.

  9. I'm the same, I don't remember having asparagus at home. I planted some when we moved here, but I couldn't keep it up. We have so many farms nearby, though.
    I should check the rhubarb, thanks for the reminder!

  10. I only ever had canned or jarred asparagus and when I finally had fresh, what a difference. My husband loves it with salt and a squeeze of lemon. Looks like you are baking a lot. I didn't grow up ever having anything with rhubarb. I'm sure I've had it in something as an adult, but can't even remember now when or where that might have been. Both my boys have been vaccinated. My youngest got his second just the other day and felt really sick for about 6-7 hours but then was okay. We registered months ago but still have heard nothing. Take care.

  11. Rhubarb Cream Cheese pie sounds intriguing. Asparagus was also absent from my childhood menu too, but so were many other foods that are common place for us to have today.

  12. Good evening, Lorrie. We do love asparagus. Much like you, growing up our experiences were the same. We love them roasted or slightly sauteed, in risotto. They are truly a lovely gift of spring.
    Lorrie, we so enjoy rhubarb. My mom always kept a jar of stewed rhubarb on the table for our morning toast. I love her recipe for a rhubarb crisp. Another joy of spring.
    Hope you better soon. I had zero side effects, Mike had a sore arm. But all is certainly worth the vaccination. Happy spring days, Lorrie.

  13. Having just presented at this year's Virtual Jane Con I absolutely want to read the Bennet book. Your food images are just so delicious looking!

  14. Thank you for the tip on the Bennet book
    Lighter meals are in! Switching from plastic container greens to no container is the direction I'm taking now.

  15. Glad you were able to get vaccination.
    I love, love the lilac picture. Such hope in those buds.
    We have a little bit of asparagus in our garden, but I am not hugely fond of asparagus. I have found I like tossing it in stir fries and other dishes, just not plain asparagus please. For some reason our rhubarb didn't return last year, so we replanted some this spring. It is being very slow to take hold and grow. I didn't like rhubarb until just a few years ago, so maybe there is hope for me and asparagus. HA!

  16. I've had strawberry rhubarb pie, but never rhubarb as a solo dessert.

    If I recall correctly, Mary was the musical sister?

    Congrats on getting the vaccine! I'm registered, but still waiting for my booking...

  17. so so so glad you got your vaccine. Sorry you had a reaction. But it will be worth it!!!
    I love seeing your asparagus. Mmmmm. Now I want some

  18. I love asparagus , when I go to visit my son in Dubai I have some in a restaurant and they are just a little cooked.
    I also love rhubarb pies!
    I had my first Covid injection yesterday and I had back pain last night and will have a test today.

  19. I read that book too, The Other Bennet Sister and was pleasantly surprised it was much better than I thought it might be, so a good read.


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