Monday, April 20, 2009

Springtime means alfresco

Our valley is quite shocking in its array of color. So many shades of early green, blooming trees everywhere, red, pink, orange and white, patches of wild daffodils glowing along the side of the creek. The lilacs are about to bloom. So is the ornamental peach. There are a few blossoms glowing this misty morning. The cherries are in full bloom. The black heart cherry is now putting out leaves.

Everything sounds different with all this nice greenery bursting forth. Softer.

We had a nice rain last night and this morning. Happily received because the garden was looking a bit dry. Philip planted several rows of chioggia beets this weekend. Some of the lettuce we planted is sprouting up. The onions are shooting up some green. Gardens in the baby stage are one of my favorite pictures of hope and faith. I can't eat the salad yet, or roast those beets to go with our Sunday dinner. But seeing the little teeny leaves and shoots gives me hope and in faith I wait!

We had a lovely beginning to our farmer's market season, even if I am still tired from the hard work. So happy to see our regular customers. It is really something wonderful to think about all the relationships we have enjoyed as a result of the farm. So many acquaintances have come about because of the market or farm interest.

Yesterday we had an after church potluck with our Tuesday night ladies' Bible study group and families plus a few other friends. It was warm. We all hung out on the deck, much to my chagrine, because I hadn't done any cleaning out there, but nobody seemed to mind since it was 70+ degrees and we could watch the kids take turns playing on Patrick and Maggie's homemade raft on the pond.

I was happy to have a nice supply of spring eggs because after all the baking on Friday, I had no interest in complicated cooking. Frittata was the perfect Sunday afternoon potluck solution for me. A frittata is an italian omelet or quiche, no crust, easy to throw together, especially if you own a cast iron skillet. We sliced up some bread leftovers from market, mixed up some brownie mix we sell at market, and put it all out with the wonderful offerings from everyone else--enchiladas, salads, fruits, deviled eggs, pastas, artichoke dip, veggies. What a feast!

Here is the recipe for frittata. Of course, like any eggy dish, there are many variations on this theme. Basically involves using what you have available. Options will be much more interesting come mid summer!

Preheat oven broiler.
Heat oven proof skillet on stovetop. Add olive oil. Saute onions til crispy tender. Add a bit more olive oil. Search freezer, back of fridge, veggie crisper. If you have peppers, dice them and toss them in skillet. If you have bacon, slice it up and toss it in the skillet also. For a vegetarian feast, skip the bacon. I happened to have a few artichokes left in the back of the fridge in a jar, so I set those aside along with some kalamata olives that DEAR JULIE gave me. Beat a dozen eggs in a bowl. Add a couple of pinches of sea salt. Pour into hot skillet. Season your frittata however you like. A few pinches of chopped fresh herbs, freshly ground black pepper, garlic. If you have fresh spinach, that is great, too. We like to put cheese on the frittata at this point, cheddar or mozzarella or chevre, whatever we have available.

When the eggs are bubbly around the edge, put the skillet in the oven under the broiler. Your frittata is done when it is all puffy. Take it out, slide onto a platter. Cut like a pizza. It can be eaten at room temp, so it is a great dish to make a little bit ahead of time. Served with a salad and some bread, you have the quintessential springtime lunch. I am going to have to buy some asparagus off of Donna Janezcko at Brambleberry Farm for our next frittata. If we are so lucky as to find some morels I think asparagus-morel frittata sounds lovely! Kids have been bringing me fiddleheads from the woods. That might be yummy, too. Wild forest frittata.

Taste and see that the Lord is good!


Beth said...

The frittata sounds like a tasty way to use up all those little bits of leftovers scattered about my refrigerator! Yum.

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Sounds similar to an omelete. I'm getting hungry now! (I would love to live in your house for one week and have you cook for me!) said...

Come on over,Debi! Of course, we would welcome you because you are an old pro at manure shoveling! Some of our friends sing for their supper, but most of them shovel! And yes, Beth, frittata is a great clean out the fridge kinda dish!

CountryDew said...

I can't believe the kids were on a raft. It's not that warm yet!