Right now, this particular transition from spring to summer, seems unusually swift and forceful. Buckets of rain, tornado warnings and flooding is occasionally punctuated by periods of humid heat and blissful sunny days. Everything feels delayed and I continue to hear about the hardships many farmers are facing with flooding, fields too muddy to work in and moist conditions that raise concerns of pests and disease.
That said, some things continue to persist, even thrive. Purple and white wild violets compete for their time in the sun among the thick patches of ever green and ever growing grass. The blossoms on the lilacs, choke cherries and crab apples are prolific and fragrant. My patch of rhubarb is ripening and chives are topped with tight buds of blossoms. The black flies are numerous and hungry.
In spite of the challenges, A few farm stands and most Farmers' Markets opened this weekend with the typical abundance of vegetable and flower starts but also cool weather crops of spinach, bok choi and swiss chard. The greenhouses have given birth to european cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, herbs and mesclun. Fresh cheeses, maple syrup, pullet eggs, crusty bread, frozen meat and spring sausages round out the offerings, making it possible to leave the markets with all the makings of a week's worth of meals.
Spring, with its unpredictable weather patterns, is still here and summer will come eventually, but in the meantime, I feed myself, family and friends.
- Pan-fried trout; wilted, garlicky swiss chard; savory rosemary bread pudding
- Simple, roasted chicken thighs topped with rhubarb chutney; creamy polenta
- Linguini with spicy sausage, olives, herbs, chives, cherry tomatoes and parmesan; mesclun in balsamic vinaigrette; maple sweetened ricotta with wafers
- Chevre and chive souffle; barley, cucumber and cherry tomato salad; spring onion soup
- Tacos of black beans and chevre topped with sweet chard-cilantro slaw and pickled red onions
- Homemade paneer with lentils; chicken masala; basmati rice; naan
- Bibimbap with leftover meats, fried egg and bok choi; miso soup