16 May 2013

Spring Seduction

We had an eventful winter with trips to New York, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Southern California (Los Angeles, Dana Point, San Diego).  Coming back to the rural Midwest after walking the Brooklyn Bridge and touring the Mission at San Juan Capistrano was proving to be somewhat anticlimactic.  Then spring revealed herself in all her bucolic glory and I was reminded, again, that living the country life has its merit.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

The cherry tree graced us with just a few days of gorgeous blooms.  The asparagus broke through the dry ground forming purple and green rows.  The arugula, lettuce, pea, and radish have all sprouted.  The Brassica patch is planted along with some new perennial flowers and fennel.  The rhubarb patch went from a few green leaves to an abundance of red and green stalks in a matter of days, and the first picking is macerating on my counter as I type.  My porch is full of eager transplants awaiting the approaching warmer soil temperature.  The wildflowers have all bloomed on the shady hillsides by the creek creating a pastoral paradise of Virginia Bluebell, Trillium, Dutchman's Breeches, Hepatica, and Violet.  Then, as if she hadn't been convincing enough, the Midwest decided to have her final word in the matter of her worth: morels.


I've never tried morels, but I've always been intrigued by their reputation.  A generous student gave my husband a small ziplock baggie full of them this week.  As I anticipated their arrival for an indulgent Monday night meal, I learned how to clean them here. And I read an interesting article about foraging them here.  Then, in pursuit of the perfect recipe with which to introduce our family to the morel, I found this.  In my opinion, Molly Wizenberg (blogger, author, restaurateur) can do little wrong by way of recipe choices or writing.   Both the recipe and post are wonderful. 

rinsing morels

And so, on a mild spring evening overlooking the garden, my husband, daughter, and I sat at the small table on our back porch with a simple meal fit for royalty: creamed morels on toast with wine.  We devoured the earthy deliciousness surrounded by the colors of spring as the busy birds sang their lively work songs.  And there, in a very rare moment, I desired to be nowhere else. 

creamed morels, toast, Pinot Grigio