Color Me Green

It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain

Can you feel it? Spring is coming. In fact, it is a mere 13 days away. If it wouldn’t look like a high school yearbook entry, I’d type about a thousand exclamation points after that sentence. People everywhere seem that excited.

Green, green, green! Isn’t it just the most positive, uplifting color to see at this time of the year?! The earth is starting to smell a little different, the sun is starting to shine a little warmer, are those tiny buds I see? Ah, yes! I tell you, those Crayola people hit the nail on the head with the color “Spring Green”. That’s exactly it. The yellowish-pale green color of buds and beginnings. Remember, I told you I was a color person. And seeing as the yard is waking up, I have already begun my annual race-the-deer-to-the-buffet routine of spraying my emerging tulips and poppies with a spray so fierce in it’s scent that it should be used in the military as a weapon of defense. Anyone entertaining the thought of staging of coup really just should get their hands on some salmon-rotting-egg spray…they have no idea of the power they could wield. It will stop any animal and any person dead in their tracks. Tulips or no tulips. Normally, I don’t plant anything in my garden that is attractive to deer, but this past fall, I could not pass up a bag of Parrot Tulips. They have this fabulous fringing all around the edges and the most beautiful streaking in their petals. It’s like Rembrandt himself came through and painted blooms in your yard. How can I not be a little impatient? Those gems are snuggled down in the soil, just waiting for the right deer-free moment to give everyone “up top” a thrill. Bring on the sun…let’s see ’em!

“The poetry of the earth is never dead.“…John Keats

Isn’t that a good quote? Guess I’m asking a lot of questions of you today. Yes, yes it is a good quote by dear Mr. Keats. Every day outside is bringing small changes, it’s just our job to not blow right by them without taking notice once in a while. There’s really some great, albeit very subtle, stuff happening out there. I like going for walks in the woods at this time of the year. You start to see small shoots pushing up through the piled and weathered leaves that had fallen in the autumn. Once you see those crazy skunk cabbage leaves emerge, you know that Spring is headed to you like a freight-train. There’s no stopping it. Another plant that starts to unfurl are the ferns. And with them come Fiddleheads. Have you ever eaten a fiddlehead? Don’t just go picking them willy-nilly out in the woods-head to the grocery store. Easier and safer that way. There is a very brief window when they are for sale in early spring. They look crazy…almost snail-like, the way they are all curled up, but saute them with a little olive oil and garlic, maybe a splash of white wine, a dash of red pepper flakes….oh, delicious! And they are bizarre enough looking that they will peak your kids’ interest. It’s a shot in the dark that they’ll eat them (mine still won’t. Maybe this will be the year), but at least you’ll be introducing them to something new. Really. Try them when you see them for sale. They are earthy and delightful.

And here are two other GREEN recipes for you…perfect for either St. Pat’s day celebrations or Easter. Can’t get enough of all this green!

The Classic Green Goddess Dip-America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

*Yes, this is a simple one. But I guarantee that it will be thoroughly enjoyed with a plate of good, crisp fresh veggies. It’s imperative that you use fresh herbs here and psst…it’s also the most beautiful color!

1 cup sour cream (use lower fat if you like)
3/4 cup mayonnaise (use lower fat if you like here, too)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
2 Tb. minced fresh tarragon
1 Tb. fresh lemon juice (remember, no bottled. Ew.)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Process all in a food processor until smooth, about 20 seconds. Transfer to serving bowl and refrigerate until the flavors have blended, at least an hour. Serve chilled. This dip can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Season with additional lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste before serving. Makes 1.5 cups.

And here, another classic from the ubiquitous Silver Palate…Asparagus with Prosciutto

4 oz. whipped cream cheese
1/4 tsp. finely minced garlic
pinch of fresh ground pepper
12 thin slices of prosciutto, cut lenghtwise into halves
24 asparagus spears, cut to 4 inches, lightly cooked

Combine cream cheese with garlic and pepper. Spread each half slice of prosciutto with some of the cheese mixture and roll around an asparagus spear. Arrange on a baking sheet. Heat in preheated 350 oven for 3-4 minutes, until heated through. Serve immediately.

Go Green, everyone!

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