Rhubarb is perpetually stuck in the Friend Zone, like that friend you’ve known your whole life, but you just didn’t see him that way. Every spring, rhubarb kicks off farmers market season in the Pacific Northwest, but all you have eyes for are the asparagus and peas. Last week at the market, I snapped a few photos of rhubarb but otherwise passed it by. Then, with a nudge from Hannah’s rhubarb cranachan (think oaty rhubarb jam parfait) over at Blue Kale Road, I put this crazy red celery-looking fruit on the shopping list.
Posts tagged ‘spring’
This week has been crazy. It’s not anything you’d think — not work, not family commitments, not getting ready for a vacation. It’s been Wild Kingdom over here. Literally. It started with the Heron.
Our relationship with the Heron has been tenuous at best. We have a small man-made pond and he showed up about a year after we moved in, looking for dinner. It was mainly a goldfish pond, but there was one big koi in there, old enough and wise enough to survive. We called him The Leviathan. The Heron is a gorgeous bird with a 5 foot wingspan, but his goals and ours are completely at cross purposes. Our koi pond is not a sushi bar. So Wolf MacGyvered a cover out of PVC and netting.
But the Heron is persistent.
Like a 3-year old running through a group of pigeons, I’ve taken off across our grass, waving my arms and yelling to scare him off. We’ve driven up only to catch him soaring off after a sashimi appetizer from our pond. Eventually, while we were on vacation, he even got the Leviathan.
This week, I saved the damn Heron.
When you think of tamales, what’s the first filling you think of? Pork with salsa verde or green chile and cheese, maybe? How about asparagus and pepper jack? Drive east on 90 from Seattle and on the other side of Snoqualmie Pass in the Yakima Valley, there’s a tamale joint called Los Hernandez, famous for their asparagus and pepper jack tamales. People rave about ‘em.
It’s been four years and I’m still having a hard time adjusting to the seasons in the Pacific Northwest. I’m used to strawberries starting in late January, asparagus starting in April and lasting nearly to the fall, stone fruit starting in May, and then being socked in by June gloom. But if there’s one benefit to the long, cool spring we get in the Pacific Northwest, it’s an extended window to enjoy peas. Long after the southern climes are into their tomatoes, we’re still enjoying sugar snaps, English shelling peas, and snow peas. And when those sugar snaps are fresh — they’re sweet and crunchy…and there’s nothing like ‘em.
The first weeks of the farmers market in Washington always feel like everyone’s still trying to wake up from hibernating all winter. We get a relatively late start, opening up in April, but by then, the tulips are in full force. On an otherwise gray day, there’s nothing like a burst of color to get you out of the blahs. Those are double tulips, by the way. They almost look like peonies, my other favorite flower.